Ted Cruz's presidential campaign removed items from its online store Tuesday from an artist with a history of making controversial, and at times racist, statements online.
The artist, who goes by Sabo, said Tuesday morning that the Cruz campaign abruptly removed his art from its website after a critical segment on the liberal talk show "The Young Turks."
"TEAM CRUZ BENT TO THE YOUNG TURKS AND TOOK ME OFF THEIR SITE," Sabo wrote on Twitter.
The page on the Cruz website that previously sold "Sabo Gear" including posters, buttons and T-shirts, redirected to an error message Tuesday morning. Cruz's campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Sabo's Twitter and Facebook feeds includes derogatory comments about blacks, Mexicans and Muslims and repeated references to the assassination of President Barack Obama. When asked by the Tribune in September if Cruz was comfortable with some of Sabo's controversial statements on social media, the Cruz campaign declined comment.
In the "Young Turks" segment, host Cenk Uygur read a series of racist and misogynistic tweets from Sabo, comparing him to the relatively tame artists being promoted by the Democratic presidential field.
"Remember, Ted Cruz is proudly selling this guy's stuff on his website," Uygur said. "Could you imagine if a Democrat was selling stuff from a person that said one-tenth of this — one percent of anything near this offensive?"
On the campaign trail, Cruz has embraced Sabo's work as an example of Republicans not taking themselves too seriously. Sabo told the Tribune in September that he had a business partnership with the campaign, which had bought his works at a discount and sold them online for a higher price.
Sabo told the Tribune last year that he was surprised that Cruz had been willing to associate with him and “my own, non-PC, dirty mouth."
Sabo first gained the Cruz's attention in 2014 when he put up posters around Los Angeles portraying Cruz’s head atop a shirtless, muscular, tattooed torso, a cigarette dangling from his lips. The image quickly spread online, and supporters began bringing it to campaign events.