Food by VICE

Ted Cruz's Newest Election Issue Is French Fries

In what may very well be the 21st century equivalent to "let them eat cake,” Ted Cruz took the time to reassure Americans that should he be elected, “French fries are coming back to the cafeteria.”

by Alex Swerdloff
Feb 1 2016, 11:00pm

In what may very well be the 21st-century equivalent to "let them eat cake," Ted Cruz, the junior senator from Texas and presidential candidate, just this weekend took the time to reassure Americans that should he be elected, "French fries are coming back to the cafeteria."

At a rally in Des Moines, Iowa in anticipation of today's Iowa Caucuses, Cruz said he wanted to let Iowa's school-aged kids know about this ever-important policy of his presidential platform. After all, who in the hell would aim to "make America great again" when you can do the next best thing and give our kids the greatest lunch of their pre-teen dreams?

"Let me say something to the school-aged kids here," Cruz stated. "If Heidi Cruz becomes the next first lady, French fries are coming back to the cafeteria." The remark was made by the presidential candidate during his final pass-through Iowa before the all-important electoral event.

Heidi Cruz is, of course, Ted Cruz's wife. And in case you thought first ladies were in charge of school lunches, Cruz's comment is clearly a dig at Michelle Obama, who is known for her interest in and efforts to address the problem of childhood obesity.

The current first lady supports the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, a law that allows the US Department of Agriculture to set standards for food sold in schools. The legislation, enacted in 2010, also gave access to healthy lunches to more than 100,000 children who did not have such meals previously. But Mrs. Obama's mandate to improve school lunches has taken plenty of abuse on social media, well before Cruz's latest jab. Just search for the hashtag #ThanksMichelleObama if you want to see some nasty school lunches, offered up as a rebuke to her attempt to make American kids healthier.

But Cruz is cutting right to the chase. He wants schoolchildren to have the right to eat crap and he wants them to know it. The crowd in Des Moines reportedly cheered when they heard his declaration. Cruz went on to say, "Maybe it's just me, but I kind of think cardboard belongs in the trays, and not in the meals." Talk about fighting words.

Looks like we have Cruz to thank for once again putting the freedom back in Freedom Fries. Somehow the humble fried potato likes to make its way into American politics every few years or so. Call it the most political of side dishes.

And, if Ted Cruz has his way, who knows? Maybe, like back in the Reagan years, ketchup will be declared a vegetable once again. We can dream, can't we?