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Ted Cruz, Looking to Play the Part

The drama club alum infuses his presidential campaign with pop culture references

Most of Cruz's references are in response to front-runner Trump. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images file photo)
Most of Cruz's references are in response to front-runner Trump. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images file photo)

When Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, defended his wife Heidi from business mogul Donald Trump’s comments on her appearance, he used a Michael Douglas line from the 1995 movie “The American President” to do so.  

Cruz was president of his drama club at Second Baptist High School so clearly likes to keep the actor within him alive.  

HOH has compiled a list of the best of Cruz’s pop culture references throughout his candidacy.


The senator filmed a mock video, which he opened, “I’m auditioning for any part I can get in ‘The Simpsons’.” In this Buzzfeed video , Cruz does impressions of characters Mr. Burns, Ned Flanders, Lisa, Homer and Kang and Kodos, who ran for president in the series.


Cruz has said his favorite movie is the 1987 classic “Princess Bride” and every now and then will quote a line from it. In Des Moines, Iowa , Cruz was asked by a pastor of Christian Life Assembly of God if he had thoughts about the movie. He said one of his favorite scenes is when the characters are discussing true love and, complete with the theatrical back-and-forth: “Liar!” “Shut up, witch! “I’m not a witch, I’m your wife!”  

Also in Iowa , Cruz was asked about the 10th Amendment. In expressing his support for it, he took on Tom Cruise’s character in “Jerry McGuire,” and said, “You had me at hello.” Someone in the town hall crowd replied with another line from the movie, “Show me the money!”


Cruz paid homage to the ’80s classic dance flick “Flashdance” in response to Trump calling him a “maniac.” He tweeted, “In honor of my friend @realDonaldTrump and good-hearted #Maniacs everywhere,” with the link to the YouTube video of the “Flashdance” dance sequence to the Michael Sembello song “Maniac.”


Early in 2016, Trump said Cruz has a double passport, one in the U.S. and one in Canada. Cruz then tweeted out a 1977 clip from the television show “Happy Days” titled “Fonzie Jumps the Shark on Happy Days,” in which the character Fonzie jumps over a shark while waterskiing. Cruz used the expression as a euphemism for Trump going over the top.


And the latest impersonation was of Douglas in “The American President.” After Trump re-tweeted a comparison of an unflattering image of Heidi Cruz with his wife Melania, Cruz responded on multiple outlets including Fox Business.  

“If Donald wants to get in a character fight, he’s better off sticking with me, ’cause Heidi is way out of his league.” In the movie, Douglas says, “Do you want a character debate, Bob? You better stick with me because Sydney Ellen Wade is way out of your league.”  

Wade is an environmental lobbyist who Douglas, who plays President Andrew Shepherd, is pursuing, and Sen. Bob Rumson, played by Richard Dreyfuss, criticizes the relationship.  

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