The Washington Post published a political cartoon mocking Republican Presidential hopeful Ted Cruz for using his children as puppets at his campaign trail. The cartoon triggered a debate over the role of children in American Presidential campaigns.
The political cartoon was done by Pulitzer Prize winner Ann Telnaes who portrayed Senator Cruz as an organ grinder and his two daughters as monkeys. The cartoon was done after Cruz issued a new campaign TV ad in which he and his wife along with his two young daughters featured in a Christmas story ad with two titles “How Obamacare Stole Christmas” and “The Grinch Who Lost Her Emails”, taking a dig at Democratic Presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton and her email controversy while being Secretary of State.
According to Reuters, Ann Telnaes stated that she did nothing wrong portraying Cruz’s children in such a way, because he was first to use them in his campaign video. The cartoon that was published on the Washington post’s website was later removed by the editors.
However, Senator Ted Cruz did not take the cartoon lightly and said that he had been expecting attacks on his personality and policies, but never expected that his daughters would be a target. According to Reuters, he said “If folks want to attack me, knock yourself out. I signed up for that, that is fine. But my girls did not sign up for that.”
Using children in politics, especially during Presidential elections campaigns has been a long lasting debate on whether it is moral to use them and expose them to the public eyes in such a manner that destroys their private lives. Almost always they become a sensationalist topic, from their clothing, physical appearance, underage drinking and love life.
According to Reuters, Meghan McCain, the daughter of Senator John McCain, a Republican who had an unsuccessful run for President in 2008 against President Barack Obama, made an appearance on FOX News and urged the Washington post to apologize for the political cartoon. She said “There is a complete double standard for daughters and sons of Republicans,” referencing her treatment by the media when her father ran for President, as opposed to the treatment Chelsea Clinton received, the daughter of former President Bill Clinton and Presidential contender Hillary Clinton.
The Washington Post removed the cartoon from its website and stated that they have a general policy of avoiding the use of children in its editorial section.