Politics

Why Did This CIA Recruitment Ad Break U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz’s Brain?

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz loves Jason Bourne.
U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz loves Jason Bourne. Gage Skidmore
U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz took time out of his busy congressional schedule to let his Twitter followers know that he hates the latest CIA recruitment ad — a lot.

The ad highlights a Latina employee’s career arc within the CIA. The daughter of immigrants, she says she broke barriers by joining the agency, steadfastly rejecting “misguided patriarchal ideas of what a woman can or should be.”

“I am a woman of color. I am a mom,” the officer says. “I am a cisgender millennial who’s been diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder. I am intersectional, but my existence is not a box-checking exercise.”

It’s the latest in a series of CIA recruitment videos aiming to attract greater diversity among job candidates. The Guardian reported that other videos in the ongoing campaign have included a gay librarian and a blind receptionist.

Some have applauded the Latina protagonist for her well-earned accomplishments. Others have mocked the CIA for using anti-racist language, you know, given its history.

But Cruz took a different tack. In fact, the ad apparently bothered him so much that he felt the need to tweet about it two days in a row.

On Monday, Cruz shared the recruitment video along with the caption: “If you’re a Chinese communist, or an Iranian Mullah, or Kim Jong Un…would this scare you? We’ve come a long way from Jason Bourne.”

From there, many of his followers countered that Jason Bourne is a film character from the thriller franchise The Bourne Identity. Some speculated as to whether Cruz realizes that Bourne isn’t an actual spy.

The Lincoln Project Executive Director Fred Wellman also took the opportunity to point out the flaws in Cruz’s Bourne adulation.

“Jason Bourne is a fictional character who illegally assassinated people after being programmed to do so through torture,” he wrote.
But on Tuesday, Cruz responded to insist he does, in fact, know that Bourne is a fictional character, joking, “Next, these angry scolds are going to tell me Jack Ryan & James Bond aren’t real either....

“My point is that CIA agents should be bad-asses — not woke, fragile flowers needing safe spaces,” he continued.

Naturally, implying that the ad’s CIA female agent is a “fragile flower” prompted many to accuse Cruz of harboring “toxic masculinity.” And others reminded him that when a deadly winter storm hit his home state in February, he was all too ready to hop on a plane to vacation in Cancún.

“Woke, fragile flowers needing safe spaces take off to Mexico and stay at the Ritz when it gets too cold and leaves his voters literally freezing to death, but go on...” wrote user @ImJacksDejaVu.
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Simone Carter, a staff news reporter at the Dallas Observer, graduated from the University of North Texas' Mayborn School of Journalism. Her favorite color is red, but she digs Miles Davis' Kind of Blue.
Contact: Simone Carter