Ted Cruz Partners with Street Artist for Campaign Merchandise
Sen. Ted Cruz is adding a bit of street cred to his presidential campaign store by adding merchandise designed by a controversial artist named Sabo. According to the Houston Chronicle, Sabo made a poster depicting Cruz's head on a heavily-tattooed torso in 2014. Now, the poster, along with other Sabo-Cruz items, is available on Cruz's campaign store in a "Sabo Gear" section.
The poster, titled "Blacklisted and Loving It," is listed for $50. Customers can also buy Cruz "Blacklisted and Loving It" T-shirts, tank tops, hats and buttons. Cruz also added a poster based on N.W.A.'s "Straight Outta Compton" album—showing Cruz walking in front of the U.S. Capitol, with "Ted Cruz A Conservative With Attitute" and "Straight Outta Congress" written above.
Sabo has built a reputation for shocking pieces of art, usually using his medium to mock liberal politicians through provocative creations. He has also made waves on social media with comments about Barack Obama.
"I honestly don't believe my name is on that site," Sabo told The Texas Tribune via email, referring to Cruz's campaign website. "I've been a political junky [sic] all of my life, and to see this is like being included in the Super Bowl."
He added that he was surprised Cruz was willing to associate his campaign with his art, and his "non-PC, dirty mouth," as he put it.
Cruz told a crowd in New Hampshire that he had nothing to do with the original posters that sprouted up in Los Angeles last year, but found humor in them.
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) March 15, 2014
"This is a local street artist in LA who started putting these up," he said. "But again, we decided to have some fun with it. So we put it up on Facebook, a story about it, and we said, 'For whatever reason, these posters have begun appearing all over Hollywood.'"
Cruz also said that he sees the posters as an opportunity to laugh and try not to take himself too seriously.
He did show concern in one error in Sabo's poster—he's not actually a smoker.