Culture / Newsy

Ted Cruz Accuses Beto of Messing With Texas Barbecue

Yes, a Food Fight’s Broken Out in America’s Most Interesting Senate Race

BY // 09.19.18

Political tension is in the air in the Lone Star State as the Senate race heats up between incumbent Ted Cruz and Beto O’Rourke. But there’s one thing that really shouldn’t get political: What’s on your plate.

That’s true whether you’re conservative, liberal, Republican, Democrat or independent. Texas’ greatest culinary contribution should be above all that. Barbecue should be bipartisan.

And it was, up until a telling tweet and statement from Cruz. The subject? A Beto barbecue ban. That’s right. O’Rourke’s been accused of coming after our beloved brisket.

Sure, it was a joke — the accompanying social media emojis and GIFs would indicate that. But barbecue is no laughing matter here in Texas. After all, Texas cleaned up, earning 10 spots on Southern Living’s Top Barbecue rankings.

It all went down this weekend at Shobels Restaurant in Columbus, Texas. Demonstrators from the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals crashed the party, handing out our tasty state treasure with a twist — barbecued tofu.

“I’ve got to say, that summed up the entire election. If Texas elects a Democrat, they’re going to ban barbecue across the state,” Cruz told the crowd inside Shobels.

Cruz has been crying out against tofu for weeks now. At a campaign event in Humble just last week, Cruz said “Liberals desperately want to turn Texas blue. They want us to be just like California, right down to tofu and silicon and dyed hair.” Dude really takes issue with bean curd.

But the barbecue ban talk didn’t end at Shobels. Just one day after the Columbus stop, Cruz took to Twitter to take things further.

“@peta protested our town hall yesterday, handing out barbecued tofu. We were glad to welcome them, but it illustrates the stakes of the election: if Beto wins, barbecue will be illegal!” Followed by three crying-with-laughter emojis.

Cruz’s spokeswoman Emily Miller retweeted, adding “Texas on the brink of #AbolishBBQ if voters don’t #KeepTexasRed.”

Since then, Ted Cruz has been retweeting articles about the fictitious barbecue ban. Most recently, he cleared the tofu-tinged air with a tweet on Tuesday.

“When @peta protested my town hall — and gave away barbecued tofu— I joked that was because if Beto won, he’d ban BBQ. Lefty commentators and reporters have been melting down, screaming ‘not true.’ Uh, guys, put your trigger warnings down; it’s just a joke!” A screaming news GIF drove the point home.

This isn’t the first meaty comment the Cruz camp has made about O’Rourke. Instead of the avowed vegetarian Cruz’s joke made him out to be, spokeswoman Miller says O’Rourke is “like a Triple Meat Whataburger liberal who is out of touch with Texas values.”

All joking aside, they’d better not make a joke about Beto coming after Whata. We’d have a full-on revolt on our hands. Let’s calm down before too much spicy ketchup gets spilled.

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