Ted Cruz is out with a new ad today featuring reality TV star Phil Robertson, including footage of the two hunting together.
The “Duck Dynasty” patriarch turned into a conservative hero when he made a series of racist and anti-gay statements in an interview with GQ magazine, causing A&E to briefly suspend him from his family’s show on the network.
Robertson told GQ that black people were better off under Jim Crow — “singing and happy,” “pre-entitlement, pre-welfare” — than they are today. He also likened gay people to people who have sex with animals, saying that gay people’s minds must be warped by sin, because how else would they not be attracted to vaginas.
This controversy helped launch Robertson’s career in the conservative speaking circuit, where he went on to attack transgender and gay people; falsely claim that “110 million Americans now have a sexually transmitted illness,” which he blamed on hippies; blame Nazism on the lack of Christianity in Germany; and lay out his plans to fight ISIS: “Either convert them or kill them.”
In one speech, Robertson fantasized about an atheist family being brutally raped, dismembered and murdered in order to prove a point about how Americans need to follow God’s laws.
Robertson also believes that liberals in the U.S. are pawns of Satan who are worse than the Nazis because “they champion perversion, they champion murder, aborting their children and they are champions of lies.”
And now he is just one of the many far-right extremists whose endorsement has been welcomed by Cruz’s presidential campaign.