It’s on: New Cruz ad ridicules Trump as fake Republican

posted at 10:01 am on February 10, 2016 by Ed Morrissey

Like Donkey Kong. Ted Cruz scored a surprising third-place finish in New Hampshire in yesterday’s first-in-the-nation primary, and now it looks like he’s going for a knockout before South Carolina. Cruz tweeted out the campaign’s latest web ad after his victory, one that takes aim at the winner, Donald Trump. The ad depicts children playing with their new “Donald Trump action figure,” and says what he does most is “pretend to be a Republican”:

It’s a tour de force of counter-Trump arguments. The ad manages to mention Trump’s friendship with Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, and Harry Reid (and adds in a shot at Anthony Weiner, too). Bailouts and Too Big To Fail get mentioned, but it’s Trump’s support for eminent domain that gets most of the attention:

GIRL DOLL: Check out my house, Mr. Trump!

TRUMP DOLL: That’s a lousy house! I’m gonna take your house with eminent domain — and park my limos there.

KIDS: [while destroying dollhouse] Eminent domain! Eminent domain!

VOICEOVER: We wouldn’t tolerate these values in our children. Why would we want them in a president?

Ridicule can be a powerful tool in politics, and it might be the only kind of attack that will work on Trump. His supporters don’t appear to care much about Trump’s lack of policy substance and consistency; they like his attitude and his ability to shift the Overton window on acceptable debate. Trump has a thin skin, though, and Cruz does not. If he can force Trump to demonstrate that thin skin, it might undermine the perception of Trump’s toughness, while still appealing on policy grounds to other voters.

This still holds some risk. Some voters might not appreciate the use of children to make these points (perhaps especially the reference to Anthony Weiner, considering the context). Cruz got some media heat for using his own kids in a Saturday Night Live skit, which was ludicrous, but this might reopen that debate. Trump and his supporters will complain that it’s a low blow, but since Trump himself often ridicules his opponents with personal attacks, that’s a non-starter. In fact, Cruz might be counting on that reaction to counter Trump’s recent attack on him as a “pussy,” to demonstrate that Trump might be suffering from a case of projection.

It’s a good time for Cruz to go on the attack. It got lost in the John Kasich shuffle last night, but Cruz far outperformed expectations in New Hampshire, beating out Jeb Bush for third place. Combined with his win in Iowa, Cruz has significant momentum, and is aiming to take over the race by beating the other leading candidate rather than punching downward or sideways, as Team Jeb is doing. This ad could steal some of the post-primary buzz from Kasich, and set up a real fight in South Carolina.


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A governmental program hasn’t been born that wouldn’t eventually be abused.

Rix on February 10, 2016 at 1:07 PM

I absolutely agree, but until we get more engineers et. al, we need them.

melle1228 on February 10, 2016 at 1:09 PM

No, it was more do to the secrecy and the crap they were putting in it. Even Rand Paul said he might support it but didn’t like the way they were handling it, because it gave the exec. too much power.

melle1228 on February 10, 2016 at 1:08 PM

I think we’re probably both correct on the reasons as to why they’ve drawn back from it.

Having Trump in this race has altered the trajectory. Otherwise, Cruz would be where Bush is now in the electoral standing.

lineholder on February 10, 2016 at 1:12 PM

I think we’re probably both correct on the reasons as to why they’ve drawn back from it.

Having Trump in this race has altered the trajectory. Otherwise, Cruz would be where Bush is now in the electoral standing.

lineholder on February 10, 2016 at 1:12 PM

I agree that Trump has been good for the race. I just disagree he is the best candidate.

melle1228 on February 10, 2016 at 1:13 PM

In fact, 24 percent of NH polls say they voted for Trump because of a pathway to citizenship.

melle1228 on February 10, 2016 at 10:55 AM

Do you have a link for this?

Jason58 on February 10, 2016 at 12:33 PM

Sorry it was 23 percent..

melle1228 on February 10, 2016 at 1:01 PM

The 23% was the highest for all candidates except Kasich which also got 23%. 50% who voted for Trump wanted deportation back to original country…which was the highest of all candidates.

Every coin has two sides and they should both be shown equally.

HonestLib on February 10, 2016 at 1:14 PM

I absolutely agree, but until we get more engineers et. al, we need them.

melle1228 on February 10, 2016 at 1:09 PM

Who says we don’t have them?

The study that Cruz based his decision on where H1B visas were concerned was developed and promoted by big business.

This is from a non-political site.

lineholder on February 10, 2016 at 1:15 PM

Would you rather be a fake Republican,

or a pu$$y?

I’m asking for a friend…

mjbrooks3 on February 10, 2016 at 10:18 AM

Sorry to laugh at your post, but Cruz isn’t either of these. He constantly stands up to the horrible leadership in his party. No way Trump will ever do that. He’s told us he will work with these fools. In other words, keep the status quo.

steelhawk on February 10, 2016 at 1:16 PM

At first, methought, Oh, no, another cute kid ad. But then when the parents peeked in and the kids started shouted “Eminent domain!” a smile crept into my cynical, withered face. I’m not sure this’ll help Cruz but I am certain it won’t hurt him. Trump is vulnerable on this point because it shows him to be a vulture capitalist.

Next ad, have vultures circling overhead while a widow begs the wrecking ball operator to leave. Then have the vultures come swarming down to peck the woman’s eyes out leaving her face scarred with the words: Trump, Inc. Just for good measure have the vultures devour the wrecking ball guy too. It wouldn’t make sense but these days, when did sense matter?

MaxMBJ on February 10, 2016 at 1:17 PM

Who says we don’t have them?

The study that Cruz based his decision on where H1B visas were concerned was developed and promoted by big business.

This is from a non-political site.

lineholder on February 10, 2016 at 1:15 PM

Unless I completely missed it; it does dispute anywhere that we don’t need more people in STEM. I am not a cultist. I didn’t like the original vote. He is trying to correct it. I could care less if this is a political move, as long as it is corrected.

melle1228 on February 10, 2016 at 1:20 PM

No it’s not. It’s someone property.

The keystone Pipeline is private property and cannot be built without eminent domain.

Not different from what Trump did.

weedisgood on February 10, 2016 at 1:08 PM

Really? Whay don’t you name one branch of the military that will operate without it. Maybe you can explain why we have a “strategic oil reserve”. National defense runs on oil, period. But maybe you’re still hoping the military can run on rainbows and unicorn farts?

James Moriarty on February 10, 2016 at 1:24 PM

melle1228 on February 10, 2016 at 1:20 PM

So, he’s trying to self-correct. That’s great.

But for people in the tech field who were denied jobs for visa holders OR are displaced workers who lost their jobs to visa holders…..they have legitimate questions about Cruz…about his understanding of business, about his loyalty to American workers…..

They have valid questions. I know that isn’t what you might want to hear, but they have valid questions.

I’d rather see Cruz answering those questions than putting out ads about dolls and playtime.

lineholder on February 10, 2016 at 1:24 PM

And if you think for one moment that Trump’s immigration screeds are anything except a populist appeal to buy votes, if you think he is going to make any motion towards fulfilling his campaign promises, I have a bridge to sell you.

gryphon202 on February 10, 2016 at 10:51 AM

Is that why he enlisted Senator Jeff Sessions to write his immigration policy? Is that why he HIRED the key aide to Jeff Sessions as a senior policy advisor? You know, the aide who helped define Session’s positions on immigration and prepped him for media interviews during the Gang of 8 betrayal?

gryph, you’ve been a good commenter over the years, but you are dead wrong on immigration. You don’t hire a guy as senior policy advisor as a stunt. You do it when you’re serious about a policy. We’ve seen that from years of campaigns, especially those that hired the same backstabbing consultants.

dominigan on February 10, 2016 at 1:27 PM

lineholder on February 10, 2016 at 1:24 PM

He has answered it. Are his answers politically motivated, sure. He has said he is working with Sessions to correct it. No American company that has laid off an American worker within two years can use it, and it only applies to those making over $100,000. If those corrections are put in, I don’t see a problem with it. We need more STEM candidates.

melle1228 on February 10, 2016 at 1:28 PM

Oh, and my thought when I saw the ad…

While Cruz was playing with dolls, Trump was out building great buildings by putting Americans to work! We need that kind of can do attitude now.

dominigan on February 10, 2016 at 1:29 PM

If those corrections are put in, I don’t see a problem with it. We need more STEM candidates.

melle1228 on February 10, 2016 at 1:28 PM

No, we need to max out on American workers to fill those positions first, then decide what demand might be for visas.

Cruz will just have to keep trying to convince people that he’s sincere about supporting American workers first.

lineholder on February 10, 2016 at 1:34 PM

Sorry it was 23 percent..

melle1228 on February 10, 2016 at 1:01 PM

In fact, 24 percent of NH polls say they voted for Trump because of a pathway to citizenship.

melle1228 on February 10, 2016 at 10:55 AM

Explain this then:

Deported to the country they came from – 50%

These are the views of the voters, not why they voted for him.

I appreciate your effort, thank you for the link.

Jason58 on February 10, 2016 at 1:38 PM

No matter how you slice it, Trumps views are mostly Republican and mostly conservative.

They are well documented.

Cruz is even more conservative, yet Cruz has voted for very non conservative things since he got slapped down by the GOP.

It was once asserted you needed a fiscal conservative\social liberal Republican to win. Well, Trump is as close as you are going to get without going full Bloomberg.

And, Trump has wide support.

TexasDude on February 10, 2016 at 1:42 PM

cozmo on February 10, 2016 at 10:08 AM

I love it.
The NYC leftist needs to be knocked on his NYC Leftist azz!
Texas values-not NYC values!

annoyinglittletwerp on February 10, 2016 at 2:29 PM

TexasDude on February 10, 2016 at 1:42 PM

Trump is a whiny, rich trash, misogynistic DEMOCRAT.
A REAL conservative will never support Trump.
That scumbag will NEVER get my vote.
NEVER.

annoyinglittletwerp on February 10, 2016 at 2:31 PM

And if you think for one moment that Trump’s immigration screeds are anything except a populist appeal to buy votes, if you think he is going to make any motion towards fulfilling his campaign promises, I have a bridge to sell you.

gryphon202 on February 10, 2016 at 10:51 AM

Closing the borders and building the walls are antithetical to buying votes. It’s practical policy that attracts voters. No vote buyin there.

Fulfilling his campaign promises? Last time I looked, even Ted didn’t fulfill his promises. In fact, in less than 4 years, Sen. Cruz has made “minor” infraction to the so-called “pure conservative” principles. Truth be told, only an idiot trusts a Lawyer.

At least for businessman Trump, I can take a chance. And, at least for Trump, I am assured the Government will be working for “my advantage and interests” and not for some “bodiless poticial principle” that even Reagan also violated to make things work.

TheAlamos on February 10, 2016 at 2:31 PM

What has “real” conservatism gotten us?

Yes, Ted Cruz shut down the government over ObamaCare. I applaud him for that. He was elected to do that. I, in a phone call town hall meeting, advocated for him to do that.

What has been his action\votes since?

That’s the rub with him. He is very articulate and can debate in person very well, but so?

He is viewed, rightly so, as a hard right conservative, yet he has supported some very unconservative things. More to the point, since Obamacare, Cruz has either gotten along to get along (tow the party line) or he truly supports the things he voted for.

Real conservatism has resulted in not stopping Obamacare, which is based off of Republican Romney’s RomneyCare. It has resulted in a Republican majority in Senate and House caving to every Demicrat demand and giving them more!

Why? Somas to not be seen as the oppositional party in the eyes of public.

Problem is that a lot, if not a majority, of the public is passed it Republicans for failing their mandate, their party platform, and, thusly, their promises.

Trump can be viewed as a candidate that the GOP has been demanding. Yet now they are rejecting.

So, the issue isn’t really Trump or his views, but the fact that the GOP has no control over him. It explains the fact that he attracts independents and some liberals, but is seen as Lucifer incarnate.

You can’t control him, he may deal from a position of power, but is willing to deal and walk away.

Damn, he really is bad …. NOT!

TexasDude on February 10, 2016 at 3:16 PM

He is viewed, rightly so, as a hard right conservative, yet he has supported some very unconservative things. More to the point, since Obamacare, Cruz has either gotten along to get along (tow the party line) or he truly supports the things he voted for.

I see this argument a lot…. and it’s baffling to me. Almost everyone in the senate hates Cruz. Yet people, mainly Trump supporters, seem to think Cruz is a go along to get along GOPe stooge. He is the most hard-right unapologetic conservative that we’ve had in the senate that I can remember.

Sure, he hasn’t tickled everyone’s political erogenous zones consistently enough on every issue… but has Trump?? GOPe insiders have said they’d much prefer Trump to Cruz because they think Trump will play ball and keep the gravy train rolling once elected. The GOPe is scared to death of a Cruz nomination, yet so many Trump supporters think he’s an establishment hack. How can you possibly arrive at that conclusion?

It’s just sad to me that we’re going to pass on the most conservative candidate since Reagan in favor of a tough-talking, sailor mouthed, reality TV star who’s just telling you what you want to hear. He’s never actually acted on any of it and when he has acted in the past, it was in support of Democrats.

This is a real blown opportunity and I just think it’s sad….

bettercallputin on February 10, 2016 at 3:27 PM

How many times do I have to explain you that nullification does not work as long as the feds control the money flow?

Rix on February 10, 2016 at 11:45 AM

And how many times do I have to respond by pointing out to you that the feds control the money flow because We the People willingly allow it? Cut off the tax money and they’ll have nothing left to blackmail us with.

gryphon202 on February 10, 2016 at 3:33 PM

So now Ted Cruz agrees with the National review crew. Took him long enough.

ojfltx on February 10, 2016 at 3:39 PM

Stupid ad.

I would expect more from Cruz.

Barred on February 10, 2016 at 4:20 PM

Trump gets beat in court like a red headed step child, but isn’t a loser? Hmmmm…

WordsMatter on February 10, 2016 at 10:15 AM

Trump is up by 16 in South Carolina and that doesn’t factor in any bounce from wining big in New Hampshire.

Dick Richard on February 10, 2016 at 5:59 PM

This is a real blown opportunity and I just think it’s sad….

bettercallputin on February 10, 2016 at 3:27 PM

Folks don’t trust him on arguably the most important issue of this election; immigration.

Dick Richard on February 10, 2016 at 6:02 PM

Great ad…..factual too.

Expect more of these from TED CRUZ on his way to being the first Hispanic President….

Realdemocrat1 on February 10, 2016 at 6:54 PM

No matter how you slice it, Trumps views are mostly Republican and mostly conservative.

TexasDude on February 10, 2016 at 1:42 PM

Trump sees a problem; and thinks of a way to make Government bigger to fix it.

Maybe that’s “conservative”… but “everyone will be taken care of” and “the government will pay for it” doesn’t sound like a conservative ideal I hold.

I also don’t think a “wealth tax” to pay for more government is “a really conservative proposal” which is what Trump called it last year.

Maybe I’m not conservative after all.

I think having the government take care of everyone like a nanny, and taking your home for a rich guy who can make a profit from it is a bad thing.

I always called people who supported those things “liberals”… I guess they were all “conservatives”.
I owe a lot of apologies to a lot of Democrats for calling them liberal; when they were all Conservatives all along.

Now I just have to figure out what I am.
In your view; who supports more states rights, individual rights, smaller government and more freedom?
Nobody?
Or am I a liberal and I just always had the labels backwards?

gekkobear on February 10, 2016 at 6:56 PM

If only Texas had elected the Republican Establishment’s preferred gazillionaire RINO, David Dewhurst, and spared us from the horror that is Ted Cruz!

We’d be so much better off. Jeb! would probably be getting fitted for his coronation robes…

///

Lime in the Coconut on February 10, 2016 at 6:57 PM

Those kids act just like Donald does today….

That action figure appears just like this current wife of Donald….

Realdemocrat1 on February 10, 2016 at 6:59 PM

No more Bushies or Clintons

Realdemocrat1 on February 10, 2016 at 7:04 PM

I hate Trump but that’s a TERRIBLE Ad.

A. Don’t use kids in ads, it’s a turn off.

B. 80 percent of Americans have NO CLUE what eminent domain is.

He’s been liberal on almost every issue. Pick one that resonates like say being for partial birth abortion. Duh.

AYNBLAND on February 10, 2016 at 7:38 PM

Remember kids, Trump got a smaller percentage of votes than Hillary… who lost badly.

We’ll see where his ceiling is in a two-man race, but the way he’s been offending everyone who isn’t already a core Trump supporter, that ceiling may actually be falling even as other candidates leave the race.

TallDave on February 11, 2016 at 4:30 AM

No matter how you slice it, Trumps views are mostly Republican and mostly conservative.

TexasDude on February 10, 2016 at 1:42 PM

He claims his views are mostly conservative or Republican now, because he’s trying to win a GOP primary, but that won’t last a minute longer than its convenient. He’s always been a crony-socialist and he’s always been a shameless con man.

He’s already talking about having Medicare set drug prices — something almost no Republican has supported, and even most Democrats have balked at — and it’s only February.

TallDave on February 11, 2016 at 4:57 AM

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