Ted Cruz uses dolls to call Donald Trump liberal. Will that work?

The Texas Senator's latest ad campaign is amusing, but it seems his line of attack on the billionaire as a closet liberal is wearing thin.

John Bazemore/AP
An example of the Donald Trump action figure used in Ted Cruz's latest attack ad. Feb. 10, 2016.

Ted Cruz uses dolls to call Donald Trump liberal. Will that work?

Senator Cruz has a new ad out that uses kids and dolls to attack Mr. Trump as a fake conservative.

Called “Playing Trump,” it begins with a young boy excitedly telling playmates that he’s just acquired a Donald Trump action figure. He then waves around his new toy, which looks pretty accurate, down to its wavy molded polystyrene hair.

“What does he do?” asks a friend.

“He pretends to be a Republican!” says the proud owner. Everybody laughs.

“I like bailouts for banks!” the owner continues.

“Too big to fail!” his friend chants.

“I gave money to Pelosi, Reid, and Anthony Weiner! Hey Hillary, I’ll give you money to be my friend!” says the owner.

Long story short, they then use the Trump figure to smash a girl’s dollhouse for limo parking, citing “eminent domain.”

The ad is both funny and kind of creepy, especially after multiple viewings. Would this kind of thing really dent the Donald’s appeal?

Well, we have no real idea how voters will react, but there is this to say: after all this time, attacking Trump as a liberal in disguise does not seem to hurt him much. Yet Cruz persists. There’s evidence he’s wasting his money, even if he pays to put this on the air in right-leaning South Carolina.

It’s true that Cruz has based much of his own campaign on establishing himself as the true conservative in the race. He uses the word constantly, especially in fund-raising mailers. In that sense it may be about defending his turf.

But it appears many GOP voters don’t have an ideological definition of “conservative.” Or at least, their definition is not as ideological as that held by an Ivy League graduate who once clerked for a Supreme Court justice.

Instead, they see a conservative as somebody liberals loathe. Trump sure fits that bill. His proposal to ban Muslims from entering the US sends the left into a rage. How could someone like that be a RINO squish?

“Their definition of conservatism is thin and consists in great part of opposition to the left,” writes right-leaning Allahpundit of Hot Air, making this point about Trump voters.

Scrolling through the data of a recent CBS poll of South Carolina, we found a surprising finding that backs this up. The question put to GOP voters in the state was this: “In trying to achieve their goals, do you feel each candidate’s approach would probably be too extreme, about right, or too moderate?”

Only 3 percent answered that Trump would be “too moderate.” However, 16 percent judged that Ted Cruz is “too moderate” in his approach. It’s not like they’re calling Cruz “Leon Trotsky” here, but does that mean South Carolinians think the Texas senator is actually a bit to the left of Trump, ideologically-speaking?

By the way, the RealClearPolitics rolling average of major surveys has Trump way ahead in the Palmetto State, with 36 percent of likely Republican voters. Cruz is second, with 19.7 percent. That’s a pretty big gap to overcome prior to the Feb. 20 GOP South Carolina primary.

of stories this month > Get unlimited stories
You've read  of 5 free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Unlimited digital access $11/month.

Get unlimited Monitor journalism.