Ted Cruz is determined to make his re-election campaign not about policy but about identity politics. His favorite attack against his challenger, Beto O'Rourke, is that the Democrat sides with NFL athletes who've chosen to kneel during the national anthem in protest of police brutality.
In fact, Cruz is obsessed with the topic, constantly tweet about the controversy.
Beto raising big $$ from Hollywood by supporting NFL protests of the national anthem. But in Texas? Vast majority of Texans stand for the flag, honor our veterans, and support the brave men & women of law enforcement. People can protest without disrespecting the flag. https://t.co/edvin6ButL
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) August 23, 2018
WATCH: My opponent was asked his thoughts about burning or desecrating the American flag.
Let's just say his response was not a response I would have given. 🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸 #TXSen
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) September 4, 2018
Beto makes a big step forward in his campaign to represent the Golden State Warriors. Only thing is, it’s Texans who will decide. Maybe disrespecting the flag and protesting the national anthem is not what most Texans support.... https://t.co/FdOmHxDYhK
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) August 24, 2018
It's obvious that Cruz believes the Senate seat will be won by stoking outrage in the Republican base. The tried and tested way to accomplish that is playing the identity politics game.
During a slate of speeches in Texas this week, Cruz told supporters that the Democratic Party wants "us to be just like California — right down to tofu and silicone and dyed hair," the Texas Tribune reported.
Cruz is not the only Republican who has relied on identity politics for the upcoming 2018 elections.
Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin has also adopted the national anthem controversy as his No. 1 concern in the lead up to November.
Tony Evers’ running mate says “Take a knee.” Does Evers share that belief or does he believe that everyone should STAND UP for the national anthem out of respect for our Veterans and service members? pic.twitter.com/0zT9X4tO7H
— Scott Walker (@ScottWalker) September 6, 2018
As Slate's Jamelle Bouie noted, Republicans are the candidates who have embraced identity politics, while Democrats have mostly been campaign on serious policy issues such as health care and education.
Walker is a prominent example. But there's also Brian Kemp in Georgia, Corey Stewart in Virginia, Ron DeSantis in Florida, Marsha Blackburn in Tennessee, Ted Cruz in Texas, etc.
— b-boy bouiebaisse (@jbouie) September 6, 2018
Cruz's latest comments about how Democrats want to turn the country into California only demonstrate how little his policy wins have been the past six years in Congress.