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Ted Cruz Made a Pretty Decent Joke

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Ted Cruz, maker of jokes

Ted Cruz, maker of jokes

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) this week had a solid-if-unspectacular Twitter burn, projecting a modicum of normal social behavior.

In a tweet Wednesday, Cruz appeared to “dunk” on his former Senate challenger-turned-2020 presidential primary candidate, Democrat Beto O’Rourke. In an interview with late-night television host Seth Meyers, the Democrat was asked if, given the crowded  2020 field, he missed “how easy it was to be different from Ted Cruz.” O’Rourke responded: “Where is Ted Cruz when you need him?”

Cruz’s twitter account, quote-tweeting a reporter who transcribed the exchange, responded: “…in the Senate.”

The joke here is that Cruz is in the Senate because O’Rourke is not, having lost to Cruz in a high-profile contest in 2018. While Cruz’s tweet does not clear the bar for an “ethering,” it was far better than most senatorial jibes.

It also garnered favorable media coverage from the website “Chicks On The Right,” which Cruz’s twitter account retweeted to 3.4 million followers.

The O’Rourke slam is not Cruz’s first brush with Twitter comedy, though previous attempts have ended with more mixed results. In 2017, Sports media outlet Deadspin solicited proof of Cruz playing basketball, responding to a Politico piece about him attempting to engage in the normal human activity of starting a weekly pickup basketball game. In response, Cruz’s account tweeted “what do I win?” alongside a photo of Cruz-lookalike and former Duke martial artist Grayson Allen shooting a free throw.

Deadspin responded to the somewhat clever but fairly obvious joke — the Allen-Cruz resemblance was widely noted on the internet at the time — with “Go eat shit.”

In 2016, Cruz appears to have tried his hand at performance art, waging a multi-month public campaign against then-candidate Donald Trump, declaring him dangerously unfit for the presidency. Cruz later campaigned for Trump.

Cruz’s office did not immediately respond to a Rolling Stone inquiry about whether the Senator wrote the tweet or whether it was authored by his staff. We will keep you breathlessly updated on this matter of great consequence.

As of press time, Cruz has not stopped fighting against reproductive rights, nor has he ceased opposing action to address the climate crisis. He still, however, supports legislative efforts that would take health insurance from millions of working-class Americans.

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