A new political attack ad in the US Senate race in Texas from a famed filmmaker suggests that Ted Cruz should have taken President Donald Trump "out by the woodshed" if he wanted to be true to his campaign slogan, "Tough as Texas."
The ad released Monday directed by Richard Linklater, known for the films "Dazed and Confused" and "Boyhood," mirrors a notable scene in his 2011 dark comedy "Bernie" and features the same actor.
"Somebody left something on my door the other day that said, 'Ted Cruz. Tough as Texas,'" actor Sonny Carl Davis says in the campaign ad before laughing.
"I mean, come on. If somebody called my wife a dog and said my daddy was in on the Kennedy assassination, I wouldn't be kissing their ass," Davis says, shown seated in a diner.
He continues, pointing a finger and leaning into the camera, "You stick a finger in their chest and give 'em a few choice words. Or you drag their ass out by the woodshed and kick their ass, Ted. C'mon, Ted."
The ad recreates a scene in "Bernie" where Davis plays a straight-talking Texas local who explains the geography of the Lone Star State, wearing a similar outfit and hat and sitting in a diner with his coffee mug.
Cruz was locked in a brutal Republican presidential primary fight with Trump that was riddled with personal attacks in 2016.
Linklater's ad, funded by the liberal-backed Fire Ted Cruz PAC, references Trump's threat to "spill the beans" on Cruz's wife, Heidi. Trump also pushed the conspiracy theory that Cruz's father was involved with Lee Harvey Oswald, the man who assassinated John F. Kennedy.
After Trump clinched the GOP nomination, Cruz eventually supported him for the presidency, burying the hatchet and even working a phone bank for Trump. Trump has endorsed Cruz in his tough Senate re-election battle against Democrat Beto O'Rourke and plans to hold a rally for his former rival in October.
Linklater, a Texas native, has donated $1,500 this year to O'Rourke's Senate campaign.