Ted Cruz mocked the showrunner for The Simpsons at the Conservative Political Action Conference, or CPAC on Thursday. He let the Democrats know that the cartoon family, except Lisa Simpson, was Republican. Lisa he pegged as a Democrat.
"The Democrats are the party of Lisa Simpson," Cruz said of the character who is portrayed on the show as being a know-it-all, which is a characteristic in liberal personalities. "And Republicans are happily the party of Homer, Bart, Maggie, and Marge."
Al Jean, the producer for the animated Fox cartoon, responded on Twitter saying that Cruz needed the pacifier from baby Maggie's lips.
"Ted Cruz says Maggie Simpson would vote for him," Jean tweeted. "I think Ted's the one who could use a pacifier in his mouth."
In an episode of the hit show aired back in 2000, The Simpsons "predicted" that Donald Trump would be elected as President of the United States, following which, Lisa Simpson would take matters into her own hands and get elected after Trump to solve the budget crisis he would leave behind. The show is known to present political satire in its own style.
In an interview with Ben Domenech, founder of The Federalist, Cruz made his Simpsons references public. Domenech compared the developing gun control debate to another episode of The Simpsons.
In an episode titled "The Cartridge Family", which was aired in 1997, the head of the family, Homer Simpson, buys a gun despite protests from his wife Marge Simpson.
Homer argues that he has the right to own a gun as mentioned "in the Constitution," to which his daughter Lisa retorts, "Dad, the Second Amendment is just a remnant from Revolutionary days. It has no meaning today."
Cruz had previously expressed his obsession with satirical TV show, but his affection was not reciprocated by the show's producer, who said the Republican had it all wrong.
Cruz spoke to The Daily Beast's Will Rahn in a radio conversation back in 2015, where he talked about his fellows in the Senate, his stance on ObamaCare, and pop-culture, in which he mentioned his love for his favorite television show.
He quoted several of his favorite lines from the show, including one from the 1995 episode “Round Springfield,” the quote contained the phrase “cheese-eating surrender monkeys” which was created to loosely poke fun at French people.
The Republican also recounted a scene from 1996's “Treehouse of Horror VII” episode in which aliens from outer space take on the garbs of President Clinton and Bob Dole as a part of their scheme to take over the world.
In the "Treehouse" episode, Kodos, one of the aliens, talks to a voter in Springfield and tells him that he has to choose between him and the other alien, who is disguised as well. He goes on to explain that in a two-party system when you vote for a third party, the vote is wasted. The other alien Kang replies, “Go ahead, throw your vote away.”
The Daily Beast then contacted Al Jean, Simpson's producer for his comment. However, he did not reciprocate the love showered by Cruz.
“To paraphrase Kang, ‘Ted Cruz?’ Go ahead, throw your vote away,” Jean told the site.
Having said that, Senator Cruz is an ardent fan of the cult show and has done quite a few impressions of the major characters in the past. He had made a BuzzFeed video in 2015 impersonating the cartoon family while on the presidential campaign trail.
As anticipated, Twitter users had a field day over Cruz calling Lisa Simpson a Democrat, with one user tweeting, "Lisa is the only intelligent character in the family. So R the dumb characters Republican?"
Bill Oakley, The Simpsons previous showrunner, had his own ideas about the characters' political leanings.
Oakley tweeted that there was "no way" Maggie was a Republican and said that Bart is a Libertarian through-and-through.
As for Homer, Oakley wrote, "He may be Republican because the joke with Homer, as everyone knows, is that he is poorly-informed and reactionary in the extreme."
Apart from making the aforementioned references, Cruz discussed gun control at the conservative convention.
Quite a few critics slammed Cruz on social media for his "Simpsons" reference.
"The entire point of the Simpsons is that Homer is a walking example of what not to do and Lisa is the voice of reason," user Joe Berkowitz tweeted. "Ted Cruz is the least self-aware organism on the planet."
"My new conspiracy theory, which I believe with all my heart, is that Ted Cruz has never seen the Simpsons and a staffer just read the Wikipedia page to him," user Sara Jones wrote.
Many Republican politicians have openly shown their love for pop culture icons during the course of their careers. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie professed his affection for legendary musician Bruce Springsteen after meeting him in person back in 2014.
“He actually told me we were friends,” Christie said of Springsteen.
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