According to the most recent Federal Election Commission data, Ted Cruz’s 2016 presidential campaign has spent a cool $58 million this election cycle. This may seem like a lot, but with a full three months to go until the Wildly Entertaining GOP Convention and another four after that until the general election, the man is going to need a cash infusion, and soon. Donating your hard-earned money is easy, but why would you just give it away when you can pick up some fun, zany, and only occasionally extravagantly priced Ted Cruz campaign swag at the same time? Here, get your credit cards ready.
10. Cruzball Cruzie Combo 4-Pack
Great start! The optimal fundraising merchandise is hilariously inexpensive to produce, but also able to be marked up to obscene prices relative to cost without consumers really noticing. Koozies, which are literally cylinders of colored plastic foam chopped every five inches, fit the bill perfectly. Everyone loves to show off a koozie that makes them look unique and cool and hip, and will always err on the side of buying more. They are like shoes, but for people who are too busy drinking to worry about whether their feet are warm.
Particularly as summer looms and voters eagerly await frequent outdoor barbecue opportunities to express themselves via their choice of beer can condom, the koozie is perhaps the easiest and most obvious idea for fundraising junk that a candidate could dream up. Just slap “CRUZ 2016” on there and you’re done! Maybe a logo, if you feel like it. It doesn’t matter! Really, the only way you could possibly go wrong is to think TOO hard and end up putting some dippy slogan on th
Oh…oh no. Here is a pro tip for aspiring politicians: do not create a noun and then neglect to define it, because then the people WILL define it for you, and it will not be flattering. Here, just off the top of my head, are some good definitions for Cruzball:
- A homemade, profoundly un-fun family board game created by Ted and Heidi years ago specifically for deployment during those trying moments when the girls ask if they are allowed to watch PG-13 movies yet;
- A sport, of sorts, that at least five women other than his wife have ALLEGEDLY played with him;
- That, um, thing that he ate on national television during the March 3 debate.
Ted would be better off selling that board game, because no one is buying these stupid koozies. The most painful iteration of uncomfortable small talk is, by far, the dreaded “hey, will you explain your T-shirt” conversation, and no one wants to risk their Memorial Day picnic going like this:
ATTRACTIVE GIRL [gesturing]: “Cruzball”? Huh, what’s that?
SUDDENLY NERVOUS CRUZ SUPPORTER: Oh, this? It’s a Ted Cruz thing. Cruzball! It’s just a joke. It’s silly.
ATTRACTIVE GIRL [nonplussed]: “Are you ready for some Cruzball?” So is Cruzball like…a sport, or something?
SUDDENLY NERVOUS CRUZ SUPPORTER [sweating a little]: I mean, sure, I don’t really know? That’s what it must be. I don’t know, really.
ATTRACTIVE GIRL [pushing it, for some reason]: I guess I just don’t really get it.
SUDDENLY NERVOUS CRUZ SUPPORTER: Yeah, I’m not sure either. Haha!
ATTRACTIVE GIRL: Huh. [eats chip, looks at her phone]
SUDDENLY NERVOUS CRUZ SUPPORTER: [vows to vote for Trump]
9. Camo Long Sleeve Shirt / Camo Short Sleeve Shirt
Is there a separate category in the Ted Cruz store for “Hunter’s Gear”? Of course there is! Perfect for showing your support for your preferred presidential candidate without compromising your occasional desire to murder some animals.
Ladies, not to worry, the Cruz campaign is prepared to outfit you in very own special pink camo gear. Show it off to the next person who brings up the Liberal Media Myth that Republicans don’t care about women! Those deer stand no chance should you choose to go hunting in a forest recently flooded by a tragic accident at a nearby Pepto-Bismol factory .
8. Signed Cruz 2016 Constitution Poster
If “Schoolhouse Rock” or Ben Carson didn’t teach you the Preamble to the Constitution, let Ted Cruz do it.
DEFENSE subtly appears in giant font to remind you that as president, Ted Cruz will never hesitate to launch airstrikes at anything that would threaten our freedoms, be it North Korea, Iran, healthcare, unarmed black people, ISIS, federal income tax, Palestine, probably North Korea again, the occasional American city that allows just a few too many “peaceful immigrants,” etc.
7. Cruz “Game On” Bundle
Here is how this must have happened.
INTERIOR. Cruz HQ, a conference room that looks like a set from “Suits.”
MARKETING GURU #2: …guys, as I was saying, I don’t want to be a naysayer here, but I still really think that “Are you ready for some Cruzball?” might be a little much!
MARKETING GURU #1: Nonsense! Everyone wants to play Cruzball!
CRUZ [suddenly bursting through conference room doors]: Melinda! Melinda, listen. I saw on television the other day some sort of high-profile competition. Personally, I found it childish, violent, and disgusting, but the plebeians seemed VERY interested in this spectacle. I want to capitalize on that energy with some trinkets that the people will love! But I simply cannot remember what this grotesque performance was called. Please, can you help me?
MARKETING GURU #1 [resolute, voice quavering only slightly]: Sir, I appreciate your willingness to take initiative with the marketing team, but I cannot recommend that this campaign take any course of action that draws MORE attention to the Republican primary debates.
CRUZ [furrowing brow]: What? No, no, it was some sort of sporting event! Sports! There were helmets, and an oblong ball, and a 100-yard field, I think.
MARKETING GURU #2 [beyond relieved]: Oh, alright, okay then. That’s football. Sure, we can slap your name on some tailgate-y shit. Consider it done.
CRUZ [tentatively]: Wait…do people not like me in these debates?
6. Reignite Baby One-Piece
Perfect for raising your child to one day become a consistent conservative and/or go down in history as a tragic victim of spontaneous human combustion.
It’s not clear whether the federal government has given the go-ahead to this deeply unfortunately named product, since that the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission regulations require that children’s sleepwear feature one of these:
Then again, perhaps the CPSC is the forgotten fifth federal agency that Cruz would do away with.
5. Cruz 2016 Navy Fleece Vest
Bad value. If you want a light piece of outerwear that also signals your support for a disingenuous ideologue with a working knowledge of neither reality nor morality, Rick Santorum’s sweater vests are like half that price on eBay. Admittedly, they don’t zip.
Sure, Trump might TALK a big game about how he supports the Second Amendment. But only Ted Cruz brings you the right to bear arms with bare arms!
(I’m so sorry. I’ll show myself out).
4. Cruz 2016 Grill Spatula and Cruz 2016 Plates
Smart. This combination allows you to move smoothly between incinerating every last bit of taste from your steak and enjoying your meal without compromising for one moment your ability to tout your conservative bona fides.
3. Conservative Sweetheart Mug Set
For the couple that laughs together, cries together, and shamelessly race-baits together. This item is currently on a 3-5 week backorder because I ordered every available set and plan to give them away as wedding presents for the rest of my life.
2. Ted Cruz Fan Jersey
The pet project of MARKETING GURU #1, who clearly repurposed a TJ Maxxx-bound batch of last season’s FUBU jerseys and managed to make them even LESS desirable to consumers. These look like the uniforms for one of those scary racist teams that the Dillon Panthers occasionally faced off with in Friday Night Lights. (Also: the Buffalo Bills). I get that this is not an authentic sports jersey, but if Ted Cruz were to actually play for Team USA in Rio, I’d cheer for Russia, because better Red than Ted.
They couldn’t decide what to do with the numbering scheme (45, for the next president, or 2016, for the election year?), so they threw up their hands and opted for “all of the above.” The result features different numbers on the body and on each shoulder, which is deeply confusing and almost certainly a violation of NFL uniform protocol. Cruz supporters, this is the shitty birthday present that you get for the kid from whichever of your dissolved marriages you care about the LEAST.
1. Cruz “Limited Edition” Christmas Sweater
And don’t you DARE call it “ugly”!
Although the intricate detailing makes this piece worth every cent of its $65 price tag (add $2 for size XL), it is the non sequitur inclusion of twin “Don’t Tread on Me” snakes from the famous Gadsden flag that transforms this into a timeless piece of conservative movement art. It is notable that Ted Cruz, a man who to this day has never publicly DENIED that he is the Antichrist, apparently decided that the image that best encapsulates his holiday spirit is…two gigantic serpents screaming into his ears. (What, you’re surprised that Ted Cruz speaks Parseltongue?).
Don’t buy this sweater. For now, murderous reptilian White House sentries exist in your darkest, most terrifying nightmares of a post-apocalyptic Cruz presidency. You do not need to remind yourself of this scenario, which inches perilously closer to reality with each passing primary contest, by displaying this vision on a 100% cotton novelty pullover.
As a matter of fact, don’t buy ANY of this stuff. Shop around! These days, if you look hard, you can often get much better bang for your buck…elsewhere.