Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) is no stranger to controversy and ridicule on social media. He was famously called out on the social platforms last year for his jaunt to Cancun, and has used the platform in public spats with rival lawmakers, but this week it was Cruz’s daughter Caroline who was cast into the very public spotlight after she reportedly took aim at her father’s conservative politics in a video posted to TikTok.
In the video, Caroline Cruz said she disagrees with most of her father’s far right views, and even went so far as to accus her parents of digitally altering a photo from the family’s Christmas card to make her clothing look more conservative, LGBTQNation.com reported.
However, in promoting the story, the media outlet posted a link to its story on Twitter with the caption “Ted Cruz’s teen daughter comes out as bisexual,” implying that in the TikTok video Ms. Cruz at least suggested that fact.
For the record, Caroline Cruz is just 13-years-old – and the story from LGTQNation actually reported, “But after the video went viral, users noticed that she also included her pronouns and described herself as ‘bi’ in the profile.”
The story added, “A screenshot of a comment thread shows someone asking if her bisexuality ‘is something he [Ted Cruz] knows’ if she was comfortable talking about the subject.
‘I haven’t told him yet, I’m kinda nervous tbh but I don’t think he would be mad about it.'”
Despite her age – not to mention the fact that it seems that the teenager hasn’t actually gone public in disclosing her sexuality – she was suddenly the subject of the conversation on social media.
“‘She’s 13’ is trending cuz Ted Cruz’s daughter came out on TikTok as bisexual. Question is… does Cancun Ted choose the path of a liberal and love/accept his daughter for who she is or does he go the conservative route by declaring she’s a sinner and disowning her?,” wrote actor/writer Angela Belcamino (@AngelaBelcamino).
Many others have argued that as a minor she shouldn’t be the subject of such public scrutiny, regardless of who her father may be.
Podcaster and Daily Wire writer Cabot Phillips (@cabot_philipps) was among those who felt that Caroline Cruz didn’t deserve such public attention, even after it was the teen who publicly posted the video. He tweeted, “The same people who said stories on Obama’s college-aged daughter were off limits now have no problem reporting on Ted Cruz’s 13 year old daughter.”
“Ted Cruz’s daughter is 13 years old. This is exploitation of a minor and disgusting ethical malpractice on the part of the media. Stop this. Leave her alone,” wrote Daily Mail columnist and former co-host of The View Meghan McCain (@MeghanMcCain).
Conservative author J.D. Vance (@JDVance1) shared the sentiment, writing, “This is incredibly vile. Cruz’s daughter is 13 years old. Leave her and her family alone.”
“I despise Ted Cruz, but his daughter is 13, is not in elected office, and the normal teenage stuff she posts on TikTok is not a matter of public concern. She should absolutely be left alone,” tweeted author/attorney Jill Filipovic (@JillFilipovic).
There was a time in politics when families of elected officials were off limits. Clearly that isn’t the case in 2022.
“I wish journalists would observe the time-honored tradition of leaving politicians’ children out of the mix, no matter how much those children may try to push in,” explained Susan Campbell, University of New Haven distinguished lecturer and advisor to The Charger Bulletin.
“Look at the result of all the attention on Claudia Conway,” added Campbell. “I understand the desire to focus on children who don’t agree with their parent’s politics – in the case of Ms. Cruz and her father – but is it entirely fair to dog a 13-year old?”
The tweet from LGBTQNation.com could also be described fairly as being little more than clickbait.
“I am bothered that news outlets are running with a story about her orientation,” Campbell continued. “Is it true? I don’t see a lot of good sources for it. Does it matter if it’s true? No. Not really, but let a 13-year old have her privacy.”