There’s nothing that Texans everywhere hold more dearly than a slow-cooked helping of brisket with some sausage on the side.
Incumbent U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz has raised a recurring issue during his speeches on the stump about how little his opponent U.S. Rep Beto O’Rourke holds barbecue in high esteem.
The Austin American-Statesman reports Tuesday that Cruz has used barbecue as a cultural wedge between him and his opponent.
“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,” Cruz said during a stop in Columbus on Saturday. “If Texas elects a Democrat, they’re going to ban barbecue across the state of Texas.”
“You want to talk about an issue to mobilize the people, and I’m talking everybody,” Cruz said to laughter at the Columbus eatery. “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.”
While Cruz’s comments might be a bit of a reach, it’s shows his strategy of using O’Rourke as a straw man who holds ideas outside the traditional Texas mainstream.
Like about barbecue.
O’Rourke has never made a stand during his campaign about barbecue. PETA volunteers who were clearly not representing the O’Rourke campaign outside the Columbus eatery when Cruz appeared.
It gave Cruz a chance to tweet on the issue the following day.
.@peta protested our town hall yesterday, handing out barbecued tofu. We were glad to welcome them, but it illustrates the stakes af the election: if Beto wins, BBQ will be illegal! 😂😂😂 https://t.co/L1ILod6EST
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) September 16, 2018
Despite Cruz’s jest on the issue, his family isn’t completely carnivore as he readily admits.
“And by the way,” Cruz said earlier this month in Katy, according to the Statesman. “I married me a California vegetarian. She’s wonderful, but I brought her to the great state of Texas.”
Heidi Cruz began her vegetarian diet as she grew up maintaining a vegetarian diet preferred by her church members. She has maintained her eating habits after she married her husband and now worships as a Baptist.
So look for more commentary about the topic as the two candidates prepare for their first debate Friday in Dallas.