On the campaign trail, presidential candidate Ted Cruz may trade barbs with Donald Trump over foreign policy, call John Kasich’s route to the GOP nomination mathematically impossible and describe with glee the potential opportunity to debate Hillary Clinton, but he also seems to revel in something not related to the political world: quoting movies.
Cruz, a self-described movie buff who once pondered moving to Hollywood and becoming an actor, has a penchant for quoting classic cinema on the campaign trail.
"The American President"
Yesterday, Cruz emulated President Andrew Shepherd in the 1995 film "The American President” in response to Trump’s Twitter threat to “spill the beans” about his wife, Heidi.
"She is way out of his league. If he wants to get in a character fight he should stick with me,” Cruz said in an interview on “Good Morning America.”
“You want a character debate, Bob? You better stick with me 'cause Sydney Ellen Wade is way out of your league,” President Shepherd, played by Michael Douglas, says in the film.
"The Princess Bride"
“The Princess Bride” is the Texas senator’s favorite movie.
At a church service in Des Moines, Iowa, in November of last year, Cruz reenacted the scene from the 1987 film where Westley is brought to Miracle Max. Cruz acted out the parts of the four characters in the scene and he did so nearly verbatim.
"The Good, The Bad and The Ugly"
At a January stop in Boone, Iowa, Cruz was in the midst of discussing the “big money forces in Washington that want to do everything they can to turn us against each other” when the ringtone to "The Good, The Bad and The Ugly" theme song went off.
Cruz displayed some comedic timing and offered his best Eastwood.
"Wow. If only I looked something like Clint Eastwood. But I will say this, to everyone in Washington, when you hang a man, make sure to hang em high,” Cruz aid.
"The Usual Suspects"
Cruz has invoked the film during both serious foreign policy speeches and during more intimate speeches at churches.
He intentionally misquotes the line “The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing people he didn’t exist," tweaking it to use as an attack line.
“The greatest trick the devil ever played was to convince the world we didn't exist. I will suggest a corollary: the greatest trick the left ever played is to convince conservatives that Americans don't share our values,” Cruz said in Houston last August.
He also used it again last December when delivering a foreign policy speech at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C.: “It reminds me of that line from the movie 'The Usual Suspects.' It seems when it comes to President Obama and Hillary Clinton, radical Islamic terrorism is something that just doesn't exist.”
The Tom Cruise classic is one of the films the senator quotes most often.
At a stop in Lenox, Iowa, in November 2015, a voter lamented about Obamacare and Cruz quoted Jerry Maguire, saying “You had me at hello.”
Cruz often uses the film’s famous line when he gets a question he likes from a supporter or when a supporter riffs on an issue the senator is passionate about.