News & Politics

Ted Cruz's Twitter Smackdown of Stephen King Is Hilarious, Clever, and Brutal

Republican presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, speaks during a rally at the Hoosier Gym in Knightstown, Ind., Tuesday, April 26, 2016. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

On Tuesday, bestselling author Stephen King attacked Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and effectively endorsed his opponent, Democrat Beto O’Rourke. King attacked Cruz’s looks. On Wednesday, Cruz fired back with three allusions to King’s novels and a smackdown on socialism.

“Hey, Texas! I suppose you’re going to re-elect Ted Cruz, but I hope you don’t,” King tweeted. “Beto O’Rourke is mega-cool. Smart, too. Also, jeez, do we have to look at Ted for another six years? The mind reels.”

King may have thought this tweet clever, but it essentially boils down to a playground diss: “Beto O’Rourke is cool and smart, and Ted Cruz is ugly.”

Cruz cut back with an intelligent smackdown. “Limousine liberal [Stephen King] preaching socialism (but not his millions!) to Texas is pretty scary, kinda like Carrie riding Cujo, chopping through a door with an ax and saying ‘heeeeeeeeere’s……..Johnny!'” the senator tweeted.

For the uninitiated, “Carrie” refers to Carrietta White, the protagonist of King’s first horror novel, “Carrie.” A misunderstood and bullied girl with strange powers, Carrie causes the death of 440 people and the destruction of a town in her quest for revenge.

“Cujo” refers to a rabid dog who kills his owner and terrorizes others in the later King novel, “Cujo.”

“heeeeeeeeere’s……..Johnny!” is an iconic line delivered by Jack Nicholson in “The Shining,” a 1980 horror film based on an iconic King novel by the same name from 1977. In this horror story, father Jack Torrance loses his sanity due to supernatural forces, threatening the lives of his wife and son.

In other words, Stephen King urging Texas to embrace socialism isn’t just a horror story, it’s three horror stories in one. King, a successful novelist who earned millions by his own work, has advocated for Beto O’Rourke, a Democrat who favors Bernie Sanders-style single-payer health care.

Cruz said that King’s urging socialism on Texas is scary — far scarier than looking at Ted Cruz’s face could ever be. Indeed, it is as scary as a misunderstood girl with psychic powers and a thirst for revenge, riding a rabid dog who has terrorized people, bursting in on her family with the crazed psychotic desire to murder them in cold blood.

King, who made his millions by entertaining people and adding value to the economy, wants to derail the very free market system that allowed him to rise. Ted Cruz doesn’t just think that’s scary — he thinks it’s horrific, perhaps excellent fodder for Stephen King’s next novel.