U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, son of a Longhorn, took a swipe at the beleaguered University of Texas football team — and junior high female athletes — during a campaign stop in Iowa on Friday.
At an event in Sioux City, he took a sheepish demeanor when an audience member taunted the team.
“I was with [U.S. Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa] physically, not too far away, when y’all whipped the Longhorns, and I didn’t even have anything to defend myself,” he joked. "I think they canceled their football program and they brought in a girls' junior high team instead."
Video of the comment almost immediately surfaced online.
The Republican presidential hopeful, a Princeton graduate but a Texas fan, is on a campaign blitz through Iowa this weekend.
The senator whom Cruz succeeded was unamused.
Hutchison is a former president of the Texas Exes alumni association and was a Texas cheerleader during her undergraduate years.
But a Cruz aide stressed to The Texas Tribune that he was only kidding around.
"It was a joke," said Cruz spokeswoman Catherine Frazier, herself a University of Texas graduate.
The Longhorns, a historical football powerhouse, are in an uphill climb to qualify for a bowl game this year.
Patrick Svitek contributed to this report from Sioux City, Iowa.
Disclosure: The University of Texas at Austin is a corporate sponsor of The Texas Tribune. A complete list of Tribune donors and sponsors can be viewed here.