Ted Cruz Liked A Porn Video On Twitter & The Internet Is Losing Its Mind

Just when Twitter users were getting ready for bed a little over midnight on Tuesday, an ill-advised move on the social media website kept them awake, at least for a little while more. According to several sharp-eyed Twitter users, Sen. Ted Cruz "liked" a pornographic video from @SexuallPosts in the wee hours of the morning, sending the internet into an overnight frenzy. According to Cruz's communication director, his staff has since "removed" the tweet and reported it to Twitter. There is no official statement yet from Cruz or his staff, and Bustle has reached out to his office for comment.

Sen. Ted Cruz built his reputation as a real-deal disruptor willing to take on the so-called "Washington establishment." Part of that brand included overtly appealing to evangelicals, a reliably Republican voting bloc, and Cruz's Christian beliefs were a staple of his campaign talking points. He even announced his presidential bid from the conservative Christian campus of Liberty University — and that's all on top of a squeaky clean voting record when it comes to "family values" voter issues.

And thus, the tweet responses to what has become the epic Cruz "like" scandal of 2017 have been plentiful and plenty amusing.

It's doubtful this controversy will die down quietly. The account to which the fateful Cruz "like" was directed has since included the Texas senator in its own Twitter bio: "Follow the Same Porn @TedCruz Watches."

The old adage that all publicity is good publicity just cannot apply here. And @SexuallPosts hasn't stopped there — capitalizing off this unexpected attention is the obvious smart business move. So when a Twitter user suggested maybe Cruz himself runs @SexuallPosts, they went ahead and responded:

Any political figure would be embarrassed by the situation Cruz now finds himself in, but the particulars of this incident are especially bad for the former 2016 Republican presidential candidate — this is the same guy who was on board in 2007 to make sex toys illegal in Texas.

Some specific quotes from the brief filed by then-Solicitor General Cruz's office will be of heightened interest to those following Monday night's tweet "Like" news. Back in '07, Cruz's legal team argued:

There is no substantive-due-process right to stimulate one's genitals for non-medical purposes unrelated to procreation or outside of an interpersonal relationship.

The juxtaposition of that argument next to the PR nightmare awaiting Cruz's communications team speaks for itself, no further comment required.

Timing is also an issue. Yesterday marked the 16-year anniversary of 9/11, a day marking the greatest American tragedy of the 21st century to date. Of course, there's never a good time for a senator's Twitter account to get publicly busted for liking pornography. But it's hard to think of a worse day for that kind of exposure than Sept. 11.

Cruz's reputation as someone proud of his willingness to take such extreme measures as shutting down the government and turning on even his closest political allies leaves little sympathy for the senator. Cruz seems to like being despised, and plenty of people are happy to oblige. Also, Twitter is a notoriously merciless neighborhood — the rebellious, obnoxious teen in the social media family.

The confluence of Cruz's brand, the timing of his Twitter account "like," and the reality of Twitter itself creates ideal conditions for a viral scandal.

It's safe to say Tuesday will not be a great day for Cruz. But if politics in the 21st century has taught us anything, it's that sexual scandals aren't what they once were. While President Clinton found himself impeached over lying about the details of his Monica Lewinsky encounter, President Trump discovered himself elected despite bragging about sexual assault. Anthony Weiner weathered more controversies involving the internet and his man parts than is worth delineating here.

So my unsolicited advice to Cruz is (assuming this was not a Twitter hack or the fault of an intern) to just own up to the "like." Honesty is rare in D.C. these days. If claims of hacking or other subterfuge are left out of it, Cruz just might find a more subdued response awaiting his inevitable press conference on his Twitter scandal of '17.