If Ted Cruz Were 'Tough as Texas' He Wouldn't Be 'Kissing' Trump's 'Ass,' Says New Ad by Director Richard Linklater

A new advertisement from a political action committee, Fire Ted, turns Texas Senator Ted Cruz’s election tagline “tough as Texas” against him by slamming the candidate for not standing up to President Donald Trump.

The ad, directed by Austin-based Richard Linklater, who is behind films like Dazed and ConfusedSchool of Rock and Boyhood, features actor Sonny Carl Davis of Thelma & LouiseFast Times at Ridgemont High and The ‘Burbs.

Sitting in a diner, Davis takes on the role of the Texan he played in Linklater’s 2011 film, Bernie. He deadpans to camera that, “Somebody left something on my door the other day that said, ‘Ted Cruz: tough as Texas.’”

He then made reference to Trump’s repeated insults of Cruz’s family during the 2016 presidential election.

“If somebody called my wife a dog and said my daddy was in on the Kennedy assassination, I wouldn’t be kissing their ass,” he said. “You stick a finger in their chest and give ’em a few choice words. Or you drag their ass out by the woodshed and kick their ass, Ted. Come on, Ted.”

Ted Cruz has criticized his opponent, fourth-generation El Paso Congressman Beto O’Rourke, for not being Texan enough. If O’Rourke had his way, Cruz said, Texas would become California "right down to tofu and silicon and dyed hair." He’s also joked that if elected, O’Rourke would ban barbeque.

Cruz also said he’s forgiven Trump for coining him “lyin’ Ted” and laying personal insults on thick in 2016.

In a Senate debate, Cruz said that the presidential election was "unlike any other," and that he had put aside his hurt feelings because "I've got a responsibility, which is to fight for everybody here and every person in this state."

Still, a truck with a tweet about Cruz from President Trump has been following his campaign through Texas. “Why would the people of Texas support Ted Cruz when he has accomplished absolutely nothing for them. He is another all talk, no action pol!” it reads.

Trump is expected to travel to Texas to rally for Cruz later this month. Donald Trump Jr. stumped for the junior Senator last week and Ivanka Trump visited NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston with Cruz last month.

Marc Stanley, the Dallas-based lawyer who started the Fire Ted PAC, said that the commercial will air online and has already raised $500,000 in donations. The O’Rourke campaign, however, does not accept PAC money.

Even without the money, O’Rourke outraised Cruz significantly this summer and is trailing his competitor in polls by single digits.

The candidates are set to debate each other next Tuesday, October 16, in San Antonio.

The deadline to register to vote in the Texas midterm elections is Tuesday, October 9.

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