Actor Sonny Carl Davis appears in Richard Linklater's new anti-Ted Cruz ad.
If Beto O'Rourke won't go on the attack, looks like Austin movie director Richard Linklater and a Dallas-based PAC are more than happy to do it for him.
A new commercial directed by Linklater rips on the "Tough as Texas" slogan of O'Rourke's opponent, Sen. Ted Cruz, pointing out how the Republican incumbent is clinging to Donald Trump's pants leg after the president repeatedly insulted him on the 2016 campaign trail.
The ad, funded by the Fire Ted Cruz PAC, features Sonny Carl Davis, the down-home actor who explained Texas culture in Linklater's film 2011 film Bernie. (You may remember that one as the black comedy where Jack Black played an East Texas undertaker with a nasty secret.)
"I mean, come on," Davis deadpans to the camera as he clutches a coffee cup. "If somebody called my wife a dog, and said my daddy was in on the Kennedy assassination, I wouldn't be kissing their ass. You stick a finger in their chest and give 'em a few choice words. Or you drag their ass out by the woodshed and kick their ass, Ted. Come on, Ted."
The Fire Ted Cruz PAC has raised $500,000 to promote the ad through social media, according to the Dallas Morning News.
"Sonny's character really captures what most Texans understand about Cruz: he's a spineless liar who puts his own ambition ahead of doing his job for the people of Texas," PAC founder and Democratic donor Marc Stanley told the paper.
So far, O'Rourke, a Democratic El Paso congressman, has avoided mentioning Cruz in his media buys or going on the attack. In his latest TV ad, he speaks directly to the camera, seeking to deflect the growing number of attack ads targeting his campaign.
Recent polls suggest O'Rourke may need all the help he can get.
Separately, aNew York Times live poll is placing the contest at 54-42 in Cruz's favor. However, as of 10 a.m. Tuesday, that tally only included 200 people and the Times warns "don't take this poll seriously" until it reaches 250.