Cruz blasts media after cartoon takes aim at his children – Reuters

WASHINGTON Republican Ted Cruz on Wednesday blasted the media and called for the children of presidential candidates to remain off-limits in campaign coverage after an editorial cartoon depicted his daughters as an organ grinder’s monkeys.

The cartoonist, Pulitzer Prize winner Ann Telnaes, said Cruz had used the girls in a campaign ad video so she was justified in putting them in her cartoon, which was on the Washington Post’s website on Tuesday before editors removed it.

The Texas senator, who has been rising in polls ahead of the November 2016 election, said at a campaign event in Oklahoma that he expected to be attacked but not his daughters.

“If folks want to attack me, knock yourself out,” he said. “… 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.”

The Telnaes cartoon portrayed Cruz as an organ grinder street entertainer in a Santa suit with two small dancing monkeys also in Santa suits.

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.”

“Classy. @washingtonpost makes fun of my girls,” he said on Twitter. “Stick w/ attacking me–Caroline & Catherine are out of your league.”

The Post said its policy generally is to avoid children in its editorial section.

“I failed to look at this cartoon before it was published,” Post editorial page editor Fred Hiatt said. “I understand why Ann thought an exception to the policy was warranted in this case, but I do not agree.”

Washington Post spokeswoman Jennifer Lee said the newspaper had no other comment.

Cruz featured his wife and two daughters in a political ad released last week that shows him reading holiday stories parodying U.S. President Barack Obama’s policies. As of Wednesday, it had more than 1.5 million views on (

Cruz, who once read bedtime stories to his children from the floor of the Senate, also included his daughters in another video posted online by his Senate campaign five months ago.

“Ted Cruz has put his children in a political ad- don’t start screaming when editorial cartoonists draw them as well,” Telnaes said on Twitter on Tuesday.

Florida Senator Marco Rubio, another Republican presidential candidate, backed Cruz, calling the cartoon “disgusting” in a tweet.

For more on the 2016 presidential race, see the Reuters blog, “Tales from the Trail” (here).

(Additional reporting by Erin McPike and Susan Heavey; Editing by Bill Trott)


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