Sen. Ted Cruz, who is locked in a close race for his seat with Democratic challenger Beto O’Rourke, jokingly told his supporters over the weekend that barbecue would be banned across Texas if his rival wins the upcoming election, the Austin American-Stateman reports.
The Texas Republican was meeting supporters at a campaign event in the south Texas town of Columbus on Saturday as People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) protested his event.
The activists reportedly served tofu next to the Schobels restaurant where Cruz was speaking. The animal rights group was hoping to gather bipartisan support for Texas tofu because soybeans are a big cash crop for the farmers in the state.
“When I got here someone told me that even PETA was protesting and giving out barbecued tofu, so I got to say, they summed up the entire election: If Texas elects a Democrat, they’re going to ban barbecue across the state of Texas,” the senator said.
On Sunday, the day after making the remarks at the rally, he doubled down on his charge against his opponent on Twitter. The emojis in the tweet were supposed to signify that Cruz was joking.
PETA protested our town hall yesterday, handing out barbecued tofu. We were glad to welcome them, but it illustrates the stakes of the election: if Beto wins, BBQ will be illegal!— Ted Cruz
In a release following the campaign event, PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman said:” Tofu is the most versatile food in on the planet, and it’s grown right in the Lone Star State. PETA is confident that once Ted Cruz tastes how delicious tofu can be, he’ll want to see it in every Texas pot.”