John Cornyn Condemned for Tweeting Tenderloin as Republicans Block $2,000 Stimulus Checks

Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) has been criticized for tweeting a photo of a tenderloin while attempts to provide further COVID-19 economic stimulus have stalled in the Senate.

"Great tenderloin dinner from ⁦@PeriniRanch.⁩ Highly recommend," Cornyn wrote on Tuesday, sharing a picture of the steak. Perini Ranch is a steakhouse in Buffalo Gap, Texas.

Cornyn's tweet came on the same day that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said there was "no realistic path" to giving $2,000 checks to Americans, despite pressure from Democrats and President Donald Trump.

"Did they pay you or give you free meat for this advertisement?" said actor Patricia Arquette.

"LET THEM EAT STEAK," said Scott Dworkin, co-founder of the Democratic Coalition, a campaign group. He was referencing famous remarks attributed to French queen, Marie Antoinette.

Many other social media users highlighted the fact that American families are struggling as further economic stimulus was still being debated yesterday.

Some speculated about the price of the tenderloin, while many condemned Cornyn for what they saw as excess at a time of hardship for others. Cornyn's tweet had almost 5,000 likes at the time of writing but nearly 21,000 replies.

This 'ratio' is often seen by social media users as indication that a tweet has garnered far more criticism than praise. The comparison is also interesting considering the tweet was about a meal and not an overtly political statement. A review of the replies showed an overwhelmingly negative reaction.

"What kind of Senator brags about his fancy meals as his constituents suffer? Chew that meat very carefully because karma cooked it," said Twitter user Gailen David. He was replying to Cornyn's retweet of the original post. The senator had added: "One of my best Christmas presents."

"People are going without food and you tweet this. You are the embodiment of evil," said Kate Kendell, former Executive Director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR).

"2.5 million *households* in Texas didn't always have enough food to eat in November, but now I can see why @JohnCornyn doesn't give a damn about main street Americans," tweeted Michael Drake, an 82nd Airborne combat veteran.

"What a horror show, this your state @JohnCornyn?" tweeted campaign group People for Bernie, along with an image of an article about faltering food banks in Texas.

Senator John Cornyn has been contacted for comment.

Great tenderloin dinner from ⁦@PeriniRanch⁩ Highly recommend. pic.twitter.com/kKjLjNAmeh

— Senator John Cornyn (@JohnCornyn) December 30, 2020

This is the second time in recent days that Cornyn has caused controversy by tweeting about food. On December 24, he shared a photo with the the comment "Brisket family tradition."

Many social media users, including Texans, objected to the dish, arguing that what Cornyn called a brisket was a poor example of the Texas staple. The senator's latest food-related post has seen much more serious criticism, however.

Both Democrats and Trump have pushed for $2,000 stimulus checks but Senate Republicans have blocked the proposal. Cornyn has also publicly criticized the idea, while his Texas colleagues in the House were divided on the matter, according to the Dallas Morning News.

"This is all funny money, borrowed money at this point, and that's another consideration," Cornyn said on Tuesday. "I mean, [we're] being just frivolous about the way we spend money and rack up debt.

"I think people are willing to do what we need to do if they feel like it's an immediate need and it's an emergency, which we have already done and we'll probably continue to do."

The Treasury has started issuing the $600 checks that were agreed in the latest round of stimulus but it now seems unlikely there will be a third round of direct payments to Americans—at least not involving checks for $2,000.

"We just approved almost a trillion dollars in aid a few days ago," McConnell said on Wednesday of the $900 billion package. "It struck a balance between broad support for all kinds of households and a lot more targeted relief for those who need help most."

John Cornyn at a Senate Judiciary Subcommittee
Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) speaks during a Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Border Security and Immigration hearing on Capitol Hill on December 16, 2020 in Washington, DC. Cornyn has caused controversy with tweets about his meals. Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Update 12/31/20: This article was updated to include additional comments.