For the second time in two weeks, one of Texas' biggest political names has decided there's no error like an unforced Twitter error to get people talking. Last week, Sen. Ted Cruz chose to mock Disney for its $5 million offer to help rebuild fire-damaged Notre Dame Cathedral Paris. Tuesday, Cruz's fellow senator, John Cornyn, stepped up to the plate.
Here's some background: Cornyn's up for reelection in 2020. Tuesday morning, former U.S. House candidate and Air Force helicopter pilot MJ Hegar became the first Democrat to officially join the race. In 2018, Hegar came within three points of knocking off Round Rock Republican John Carter in a strongly Republican district, thanks in part to her viral campaign ads.
In her Senate announcement video, Hegar tries to strike a similar chord, pairing sharp editing with a slew of celebrity cameos. At one point, comedian Patton Oswalt endorses her candidacy, leading to Team Cornyn's Twitter meltdown.
It didn't have to be this way. Cornyn heads into the 2020 silly season as an overwhelming favorite against any Democratic candidate, be it Hegar, or in a far more likely scenario, Joaquin Castro. His campaign could've just sat on the $6 million it's got in its campaign coffers and waited for the race to really get going this fall. Instead, Cornyn, or whoever's running his Twitter, decided to go looking for naughty words in Oswalt's archive.
Hollywood Hegar supporter and video guest star, Patton Oswalt, has tweeted some offensive comments over the years, reply A or B to let us know which one is more offensive to you: pic.twitter.com/gXgPvstK6V— Team Cornyn (@TeamCornyn) April 23, 2019
Notice that some poor intern was forced to censor the word "penis" in Tweet A. The tweets continued.
But wait… there’s more! Another reminder that Hollywood Hegar embraces this celebrity: pic.twitter.com/wHgyVNeLUO— Team Cornyn (@TeamCornyn) April 23, 2019
Hollywood Hegar & Vulgar Patton. The dynamic duo: pic.twitter.com/JTh00ozKkR— Team Cornyn (@TeamCornyn) April 23, 2019
Looks like someone skipped a few days of vetting classes. pic.twitter.com/Kp9heJQHAM— Team Cornyn (@TeamCornyn) April 23, 2019
Vulgar Patton is the best political nickname since "Dangerous Donald."
In an outcome that had to be totally unexpected for the Cornyn team, Twitter, including Oswalt himself, threw down harder than mid-'90s Shawn Kemp on the thread.
If you're wondering why I'm being gummed by @TeamCornyn, it's because I'm in this ad for the extraordinary @mjhegar. @JohnCornyn is scared shitless -- he won't even debate her -- so this is the straw he's grasping at. Good luck, Pop-Pop! https://t.co/6JTYt9bNJT https://t.co/oEzrhhLr86— Patton Oswalt (@pattonoswalt) April 23, 2019
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Irony dead as offensive tweets emerge as top campaign issue for Republican senator https://t.co/bTg40Q4m3r— Ryan Lizza (@RyanLizza) April 23, 2019
John, stop being such a little bitch. (Sorry: bi*ch)— Bill Corbett (@BillCorbett) April 23, 2019
does your office have enough fainting couches— waterslide enthusiast (@KrangTNelson) April 23, 2019
As of Tuesday afternoon, replies to Cornyn's first Oswalt tweet were outpacing retweets by about 100-1. Maybe some of his younger staff members will teach him about The Ratio.