By his own admission, Ted Cruz is not cool. “If you want someone to grab a beer with, I may not be that guy,” the junior U.S. Senator from Texas said during the third GOP debate last October. “But if you want someone who will drive you home, I will get the job done, and I will get you home.”
That's great, Ted. But the creative class of this great nation, at least, is looking for something more than an Uber-In-Chief. Hillary Clinton and especially Bernie Sanders could stock a Coachella or Lollapalooza-level festival with the musicians in their corner, and even folks like Kid Rock and Loretta Lynn have lined up behind Donald Trump. Cruz's famous musical supporters couldn't even fill up a bill at Firehouse Saloon, save perhaps the cast of Duck Dynasty, who only qualify as recording artists thanks to the instant holiday classic Duck the Halls: A Robertson Family Christmas back in 2013.
But that's not the half of it. Not only have there been crickets when it comes to Cruz's musician endorsements; a few artists whose music has shown up in his campaign ads have asked him to please knock it off. Actually, they've seldom used the word “please.” There have been enough, plus a few others whose names have careened into the Cruz narrative this election season, to make an excellent mixtape. So while Cruz ponders his post-Super Tuesday strategy, enjoy.
Nothing excuses bad behavior like blockbuster success, and thanks to Justin Bieber’s monster hits “Sorry” and “Where Are U Now?” suddenly his music is the only thing that matters again. How long it will last is anyone's guess, but it's a path Cruz can only hope to follow, because Bieber’s post-Purpose hot streak has gone a long way toward making the senator America’s least favorite person born on Canadian soil. The senator — who, whatever else you want to say about him, seems to have something of a sense of humor about himself — seems to acknowledge as much in the above video, where he tells a group of conservative supporters, “There are more than a few of my colleagues who wish the both of us would self-deport.” In fact, Cruz does have at least one endorsement from Bieber, in the pages of the satirical site nationalreport.net last year. It's no less funny for being completely false, trust us:
Yo, y’all can make a difference by helping out my boy Ted win the election next year. Us Canadians gotta stick together, eh. Rock the vote y’all and make it rain in the private booth for my boy, Ted, ya hear? I better see all my Bieliebers come through those polls in 2016. Turn up for Ted Cruz and show me that love, squad!
You know I'm not a big fan of Ted Cruz, but I gotta say...I'm kind of liking his new facial hair. pic.twitter.com/VIC8JWXNKx— Natalie Maines (@1NatalieMaines) January 27, 2016
If you thought Natalie Maines couldn't stand George W. Bush, wait until you get a load of what she thinks of Senator Cruz. Her comments about the shame she felt to share a home state with the 43rd president made her a hero to many on the left, and a pariah to most of the country-music establishment, yet pale in comparison to what she thinks of someone who could be our next Commander In Chief. Recently Maines has expressed her displeasure in a series of anti-Cruz tweets.
Just so you know....I'm ashamed Ted Cruz is from America;) pic.twitter.com/QU39ERnAzN— Natalie Maines (@1NatalieMaines) January 24, 2016
I stand corrected...Just so you know, I'm ashamed Ted Cruz claims to be American. pic.twitter.com/JUltNImOXH— Natalie Maines (@1NatalieMaines) January 24, 2016
EXPLOSIONS IN THE SKY
The Austin instrumental rockers’ music is pretty dang inspirational, so on one level it’s understandable why the Cruz campaign would want to use one of their songs, as it in fact did with “Your Hand In Mine,” a track from the band’s 2003 breakthrough album The Earth Is Not a Cold Dead Place, in a spot touting Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s endorsement of Cruz. On the level a little closer to reality, though, it’s still a total dick move. After Explosions totally called the Cruz campaign on it last week, to the never-ending amusement of music-media outlets from Pitchfork to Rolling Stone, Cruz’s people did the right thing and took it down. EITS fans have something else to celebrate, too: Their first non-sound-track album in five years, The Wilderness, will be released on April 1.
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THE GETO BOYS
We went over this last week, but it's totally worth popping back in the microwave. Temporarily forgetting about Donald Trump, in mid-February the Cruz campaign went after Hillary Clinton with an ad spoofing the “printer scene” in Texas filmmaker Mike Judge’s 1999 white-collar comedy classic Office Space. As in the film, a HRC lookalike and a couple of her goons go after a copier-like office machine obviously meant to represent Clinton’s infamous email server; almost immediately, the Geto Boys put out an official statement avowing, “We do not support Ted Cruz or his super lame ad using our music.” Better still is the subsequent interview Willie D did with Yahoo! News Live, wherein he called Cruz a “self-aggrandizing, insufferable douchebag.” The offending clip remains on the Internet (as you can see), but appears to have been withdrawn from widespread TV circulation. Note that, ever the evangelical, Cruz dropped the “Damn” from the GB song’s title.
This guy is back at Ted Cruz events in Iowa, now dressed as a Mountie pic.twitter.com/Fyb3qzAc5z— Katie Zezima (@katiezez) January 23, 2016
It’s still six months until the general election, and of course this campaign is so wretched Nickelback had to be involved somehow. In the weeks leading up to January’s Iowa caucus, one man who kept popping up at Cruz’s events was particularly easy to recognize: He was the one holding the sign that said, “Ted Cruz Likes Nickelback.” Also, sometimes he dressed up like a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. "I just don’t want, really, a Canadian in office,” this man, who declined to give his name, told the Washington Post. “It seems like he’s got a lot of controversy behind him whether he’s a U.S.-born citizen or not, and I’m just out here making a statement.” Cruz is on a short list for the least likable people in politics, but we’re not sure anyone deserves that. The band responded by naming this man — who told the Post, “I don’t like Nickelback" — their “Employee of the Month.”