Food by VICE

Ted Cruz Makes Attempt at Humor by Claiming Beto O'Rourke Will Ban Texas BBQ

Spoiler alert: Beto is not banning barbecue.

by Jelisa Castrodale
Sep 18 2018, 8:39pm

Photo: Getty Images and Flickr user FD Richards

According to one of the latest polls, the race to represent Texas in the US Senate is getting increasingly close, which has to come as a surprise to the state’s staunchest Republicans, and to its current junior senator, Ted Cruz. CBSDFW reports that Cruz currently has a four-point lead over his Democratic challenger Beto O’Rourke, but since the margin of error is 4.3 percent, the result is “a statistical tie.”

The tight race could be why Cruz has started to increase and intensify his attacks against, uh, tofu. During a campaign event last week, he warned that O’Rourke had attracted the attention of members of the “extreme left” who would do whatever they could to put the Democrat in office. “We are seeing tens of millions of dollars flooding into the state of Texas from liberals all over the country who desperately want to turn the state of Texas blue,” Cruz said. “They want us to be just like California, right down to tofu and silicon and dyed hair.”

On Saturday, Cruz further escalated his rhetoric, jokingly (?!) suggesting that not only would O’Rourke bring more tofu to a state that ALREADY HAS TOFU, but that he’d make Texas’ most famous style of meat illegal. “When I got here someone told me that even PETA was protesting and giving out barbecued tofu, so I got to say, they summed up the entire election: If Texas elects a Democrat, they’re going to ban barbecue across the state of Texas,” Cruz told the crowd.

First, PETA wasn’t protesting outside Cruz’s campaign event; the Austin American-Statesman reports that four PETA volunteers were on-site offering samples of barbecued tofu and holding signs that said “Republicans Eat Tofu Too” and “Tofu is Made in Texas.”

In a statement released before Cruz’s appearance, PETA politely pointed out that Texas produced almost $61 million worth of soybeans last year. “Tofu is the most versatile food on the planet, and it’s grown right in the Lone Star State,” Tracy Reiman, PETA’s Executive Vice President, said. “PETA is confident that once Ted Cruz tastes how delicious tofu can be, he’ll want to see it in every Texas pot.”

The fact that they came in peace didn’t faze Cruz, who seemed to be encouraged by the crowd’s polite laughter to continue. “You want to talk about an issue to mobilize the people, and I’m talking everybody,” he said. “So I want to thank PETA and I do want to tell PETA you’re going to have to disclose to the FEC that by coming and protesting and giving away tofu, that you have given an in-kind contribution to my campaign by demonstrating just how bad things can get.”

That Ted Cruz, always bringing the LOLZ! And because his VERY FUNNY JOKE elicited some laughs, he reprised it on Twitter afterward. “@peta protested our town hall yesterday, handing out barbecued tofu,” he wrote. “We were glad to welcome them, but it illustrates the stakes af [sic] the election: if Beto wins, BBQ will be illegal!” He then added three cry-laugh emoji, because Beto isn’t the only candidate with youth appeal.

That’s also the face we all make when we learned that O’Rourke isn’t even a vegetarian.

Beto O'Rourke