Sen. Ted Cruz on Wednesday blasted a Washington Post editorial cartoon that portrayed his two young daughters as monkeys on leashes, stating that children should be off-limits.
"Not much ticks me off, but making fun of my girls, that will do it," Cruz told reporters in Tulsa, Okla. His daughters Caroline and Catherine are 7 and 5, respectively.
"Don't mess with my kids. Don't mess with Marco's kids. Don't mess with Hillary's kids. Don't mess with anybody's kids. Leave kids alone," Cruz said.
The Post has since taken down the online animated cartoon, by Pulitzer Prize winner Ann Telnaes, which depicted Cruz holding two dancing monkeys on leashes. The headline was, "Ted Cruz uses his kids as political props."
Cruz recently featured his daughters in a Christmas infomercial spoof where he reads them fake Christmas stories, including "How Obamacare Stole Christmas." In it Caroline reads a passage from a pretend book about Hillary Clinton's emails, and Caroline asks her father to read a book titled "The Senator Who Saved Christmas."
The Texas Republican fired off a tweet last night — he composed it on his iPhone, he said — slamming the cartoon.
Other candidates came to Cruz's defense on Twitter.
Cruz said he was reminded of a lesson he learned in kindergarten: "Don't hit little girls," he said.
Cruz's campaign sent a fundraising email Wednesday titled, "They attacked my children!"
"You see, there is something that rises up inside a man when his children are attacked — something fierce and unstoppable," the email read. "It is this same unstoppable force that makes me more determined than ever to fight for you, your family, and American families everywhere. Can I count on you to stand with me?"