Richard Linklater takes on the weird Whataburger vs. White Castle political proxy war in new 'Fire Ted Cruz' ad

Sonny Carl Davis returns with more complaints

Published On
Oct 16, 2018

Editor's Pick

In August, the Ted Cruz campaign issued one of the weirdest soundbites of the entire midterm-election season when Emily Miller, the spokesperson for the U.S. Senator from Texas, said that his Democratic opponent, Beto O'Rourke, is "like a Triple Meat Whataburger liberal who is out of touch with Texas values." That line had Texans scratching their heads, to say the least (see: "Ted Cruz campaign baffles Texas by calling Beto O'Rourke a 'Triple Meat Whataburger liberal'," per The Week).

Now Houston-based filmmaker Richard Linklater ("Slacker," "Dazed and Confused," "Boyhood," etc.) is reviving the weirdness in a new Fire Ted Cruz PAC ad (below)—a sequel to last week's "Is Ted Cruz 'Tough As Texas'?" spot ("Watch the strangely delightful Richard Linklater-directed 'Fire Ted Cruz' ad that's gone viral"). In it, the same elderly Texas coffeeshop patron—Sonny Carl Davis, reprising his character from Linklater's 2011 film "Bernie"—mocks Cruz. He repeats the "Triple Meat Whataburger liberal" line, then says, "What does that even mean, Ted? I mean, everybody I know in Texas likes Whataburger."

Cue a clip of Cruz declaring that "I'm a big fan of eating White Castle burgers." Back to Davis, who says "I don't even know what that is. There's not a White Castle within 900 miles of Texas, Ted. Uh, maybe up in Canada, huh? But not in Texas." (Cruz was born in Calgary. And for the record, as of May of this year, frozen White Castle mini burgers—aka sliders—have been available at Walmart stores across Canada.)

So there you have it: In a little over 30 seconds, Linklater mocks Cruz for his common-man posturing and supposed love of a burger most Texans have barely even heard of, and reminds everyone that the Cruz campaign bizarrely tried to deride a beloved Texas fast-food success story. (San Antonio-based Whataburger was founded 68 years ago in Corpus Christi and now has more than 800 locatiions across the South.)

Anyway, how about a nice cobb salad for lunch?


Oct 16, 2018
Client :
Fire Ted Cruz PAC
Director :
Richard Linklater

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