CNN host calls out Ted Cruz for name-calling jingle: 'Your name is Rafael'

Lissa Cosgrove
Video Producer, Yahoo Entertainment

Nothing like a good ol’ political name-calling jingle!

On Wednesday, CNN’S Chris Cuomo confronted Texas Sen. Ted Cruz about a jingle his campaign released on Tuesday night that mocks his Democratic rival, Beto O’Rourke, for going by the nickname Beto instead of his real name, Robert.

It goes a little something like this: “I remember reading stories liberal Robert wanted to fit in, so he changed his name to Bet and hid it with a grin.”

“You go after Beto for his name. Beto is obviously a nickname — why?” Cruz was confronted by his own hypocrisy when Cuomo reminded him that he’s actually done the same exact thing he’s slamming his rival for.

“And you know what, your name is Rafael; you go by Ted but your middle name is Edward — that’s a more Anglicized version of it. He went the other way and has a more ethnic version of his name — why go after him? You’re both doing the same thing.”

But, of course, Cruz was ready at his defense. He said, “You’re absolutely right. My name is Rafael Edward Cruz. I am the son of my father, Rafael Cruz, an immigrant from Cuba who came to Texas from nothing.” Cruz continued on about his father’s journey to America seeking freedom, calling it “the American story.” Although Cruz didn’t have much reasoning for going by Ted and not Rafael; when commenting on his jingle, he decided to convey its overall message.

“Some of it is just have a sense of humor. You actually missed the central title of the song, which is ‘If you’re going to run in Texas, you can’t be liberal, man.’”

O’Rourke made an appearance on CNN’s New Day on Wednesday and dodged the host’s question about composing a punk rock song to counter Cruz’s jingle. He clearly doesn’t have much to say about the new tune that completely mocks him. Instead, he chose the mature route and deferred from commenting.

“I just don’t think that’s what folks in Texas want us to focus on. We can get into name calling or talk about why the other person’s such an awful guy, or we can focus on the big things we want to do for the future of our country.”