Republican presidential contender Ted Cruz has been waging a war of words this week with a media outlet over something that Cruz considers off limits: his family.
Reuters reports that the dispute was triggered when The Washington Post published an editorial cartoon that featured Cruz’s daughters as an organ grinder’s monkeys. The Post subsequently pulled the cartoon, which was created by Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist Ann Telnaes.
In place of the cartoon, the paper now has a statement from editorial page editor Fred Hiatt that reads:
“It’s generally been the policy of our editorial section to leave children out of it. I failed to look at this cartoon before it was published. I understand why Ann thought an exception to the policy was warranted in this case, but I do not agree.”
The Post also published a piece rehashing the incident, under the headline “Why that now-retracted Washington Post cartoon is a gift to Ted Cruz.”
The Post’s actions followed a series of angry statements by Cruz in reaction to the cartoon. Cruz said at a campaign event in Oklahoma: “If folks want to attack me, knock yourself out. … I signed up for that, that’s fine. But my girls didn’t sign up for that. It used to be, for a long time, the rules across the board: the kids are off limits. That should be the rules. Don’t mess with our kids.”
Cruz also commented on Twitter, writing: “Classy. @washingtonpost makes fun of my girls. Stick w/ attacking me — Caroline & Catherine are out of your league.”
Reuters notes: “Cruz responded to the cartoon on Tuesday with an email to supporters that, according to NBC’s website, featured the cartoon. He sought $1 million in contributions in 24 hours in order to ‘send a message to the Washington Post.'”
Telnaes, the cartoonist, also commented about the incident Tuesday on Twitter, referring to a political ad released last week by Cruz that featured the candidate reading parody holiday stories with his wife and daughters. (See below.) Telnaes tweeted: “Ted Cruz has put his children in a political ad — don’t start screaming when editorial cartoonists draw them as well.”