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Ted Cruz Says Democrats Will Ban Barbecue in Texas

His opponent, Beto O’Rourke, has not yet responded — and Cruz says it was all a joke

Senator Ted Cruz on Capitol Hill Photo by Zach Gibson/Getty Images

In a new low, failed presidential candidate Ted Cruz is waging a barbecue smear campaign to deter voters from siding with his opponent, Democrat Beto O’Rourke, in Texas’ heated Senate race.

At an event over the weekend at Schobels Restaurant in Columbus (about 90 miles southeast of Austin), Cruz claimed that if the state elected a Democrat, “they’re going to ban barbecue across the state of Texas.”

The baseless allegation is just the latest example of Cruz bashing liberals by taking aim at their supposed food preferences: At a campaign rally earlier this month, he warned that out-of-state Democrats were funneling money to O’Rourke’s campaign with the goal of turning Texas into another liberal haven “just like California, right down to tofu and silicon and dyed hair.”

The incumbent senator doubled down on his wild barbecue conspiracy theory on Twitter, noting that PETA protested a recent Cruz campaign event by handing out barbecued tofu. Campaign spokesperson Catherine Frazier also chimed in, encouraging people to “lighten up.” (Apparently, those laughing-crying emojis imply Cruz is just kidding.)

But the campaign can hardly blame people for wondering if Cruz is joking or not: The conservative senator isn’t exactly known for his sense of humor, though he is often the butt of jokes — such as the mock-conspiracy theory that he’s actually the Zodiac Killer, or the time the internet believed he may have eaten a booger during a GOP debate.

Meanwhile, O’Rourke has yet to publicly respond to Cruz’s barbecue-ban accusations. He’s seemingly busy with other matters, such as pushing for universal healthcare. Cruz and O’Rourke are set to go head to head in a series of three debates beginning September 21 in Dallas, so stay tuned to see if the barbecue-versus-tofu issue rears its ugly head again ahead of the November 6 election.

Meanwhile, proof O’Rourke loves the food of Texas, below:

Cruz Says O’Rourke Will Ban Barbecue [Austin Statesman]