The cartoon was published in response to an ad from the Cruz campaign that featured the presidential candidate reading politically-themed Christmas stories.
Seemingly expecting outcry, Telnaes published an explanation of why she felt her cartoon would be alright. She said that if the campaign was comfortable using them for political gain, it was alright to include them.
The cartoon depicts the children as trained monkeys who dance to Cruz’s music box.
After outcry from readers, the cartoon was pulled and replaced with an editor’s note from Fred Hiatt, editorial page editor:
It’s generally been the policy of our editorial section to leave children out of it. I failed to look at this cartoon before it was published. I understand why Ann thought an exception to the policy was warranted in this case, but I do not agree.
Cruz blasted the cartoon himself, tweeting, “Classy. @washingtonpost makes fun of my girls. Stick w/ attacking me–Caroline & Catherine are out of your league.”
However, Cruz then emailed supporters, asking for an “instant, emergency donation” in response to the publication.
The incident even united Senators Cruz and Rubio, who have been trading shots for the past few weeks.
Rubio tweeted in support of Cruz, “Wash [sic] Post cartoon featuring @tedcruz’s children is disgusting. The Post saying the kids are “fair game” is even worse.”
Cruz then thanked Rubio on Twitter, “Thank you, @marcorubio Appreciate the kind support. We’re both Dads of young kids, and it’s hard enough on them.”