By Daniel Rigney
Political satirists want to know: Is it too early to begin minting and circulating Ted Cruz jokes in preparation for Tailgunner Ted’s possible run for the presidency in 2016?
President Obama doesn’t seem to think so. He got this punch line in last week: “If Ted Cruz says that somebody’s a Communist, then you know they’re in my cabinet” – a sly reference to Cruz’s McCarthyist claim that when he was studying at Harvard Law School, twelve members of the faculty were Friends of Karl.
I know it’s early in the election cycle, but I believe that standup progressives should begin stockpiling Cruz jokes immediately, in the unhappy contingency that the Cruz Missile makes a serious presidential bid in 2016. Last month, the Cruzer was coy when asked about his presidential plans as he flew to Iowa to give what sounded suspiciously like a stump speech.
So if Tex Cruz does decide to run, political satirists should be ready. Herewith, a starter kit of sample lines.
What does Ted Cruz have against the Tea Party? It’s too moderate.
What’s the most dangerous thing you can do in Washington? Get between Ted Cruz and a news camera.
What’s a sure sign that Ted Cruz will join the presidential race in 2016? He signs up to take a Spanish language course.*
How many donors does Ted Cruz need to raise the biggest campaign war chest in U.S. history? Two. Charles and David Koch.
Does Ted Cruz take orders from Wall Street? No. And neither does his wife, who works at Goldman Sachs.
When is a birther not a birther? When Canadian-born Ted Cruz runs for president.
Why are Canadians grateful to Ted Cruz? Because he moved to the United States.
Have you heard about the new Cruzmobile? It circles the block endlessly, because it makes only right turns.
What’s Ted Cruz’s favorite automotive feature? Cruz control.
What does Ted Cruz pay his speechwriters to write? Cruz lines.
What was the key to Cruz’s successful senatorial campaign in Texas? Branding.
What does Ted Cruz do for the environment? He recycles 19th century ideas.
Where does Ted Cruz stand on natural gas as a bridge fuel to renewables? He favors it so long as the bridge is a causeway.
Does Ted Cruz believe human activity contributes to climate change? Not until climate scientists like Rush Limbaugh say it does.
Who will Ted Cruz pick as his 2016 running mate? Someone more moderate to balance the ticket, like Ted Nugent.
What if Ted Nugent declines? Cruz’s running mate will be a mirror.
What will Ted Cruz’s speeches be called? Ted Talks.
What will his followers be known as? Teddies.
Where does Ted Cruz stand on evolution? He’s against evolving.
Where does Ted Cruz stand on women’s issues? He’s compassionate. He’s believes women have suffraged long enough.
And Mr. Letterman, in answer to your question: Yes, I can work from home.
:] Rimshot the Sitdown Comic, since 2011
*When Cruz ran for the Republican Senate nomination against David Dewhurst last year, he ducked Dewhurst’s repeated challenges to debate in Spanish. Cruz later acknowledged to Fox News that “my Spanish is lousy.”