{{show_title_date || "Hey Ted Cruz, that's not a machine gun you're cooking with, 8/3/15, 9:54 PM ET"}}

I’ll see your chainsaw and raise you a semi-automatic

Updated
Two weeks ago, Sen. Rand Paul’s (R-Ky.) presidential campaign, eager to generate some interest in its message, released an unfortunate video. The 51-second clip showed Paul, looking and sounding a bit like a used-car salesman, setting fire to large stacks of paper, putting the paper through a wood-chipper, and literally using the chainsaw.
 
It was supposed to have something to do with federal tax policy.
 
That, of course, set a fairly high bar for presidential candidates doing silly things to generate attention for themselves. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), do you have a rebuttal?
“There are few things I enjoy more than on weekends cooking breakfast with the family,” Cruz opens the video. Raw bacon and aluminum foil are then wrapped around the barrel of a machine gun at a firing range.
 
“Of course in Texas, we cook bacon a little differently than most folks,” Cruz says.
The far-right senator appears to have partnered with IJReivew, a conservative site, for the video called, “Making Machine-Gun Bacon with Ted Cruz.” The minute-long clip in online here.
 
The video proceeds roughly as one might expect: the raw bacon “cooks” as Cruz fires the gun. When he’s done with target practice, the senator removes the foil, takes a bite with a fork, and laughs. “Mmm, machine-gun bacon,” he says.
 
For the record, I’m not entirely sure if this actually is a “machine gun.” More knowledgeable sources can (and should) check me on this, but I was under the impression that machine guns are fully automatic, firing bullets quickly. The far-right senator appears to be firing one bullet with each pull of the trigger. It seems like a relevant detail – if Cruz doesn’t know what a machine gun is, this video may prove to be more embarrassing than intended. [Update: we checked and that’s not a machine gun.]
 
Regardless, whether or not this video is better than Cruz’s tryout for “The Simpsons” is a matter of taste.
 
As for the larger context, this is apparently what it means to run for the Republican presidential nomination in 2015.
 
In a massive field of 17 candidates, which is currently led by a former reality-show host who has never sought or held public office, GOP candidates are finding it increasingly difficult to capture the spotlight. Looking “presidential” is nice, but it’s also evidently dull.
 
And so we’ve reached the curious combination of candidates, chainsaws, and raw meat on gun barrels.
 
What’s more, it’s only early August. What the YouTube clips will look like in, say, November, is anybody’s guess.
 

Ted Cruz

I'll see your chainsaw and raise you a semi-automatic

Updated