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Inconceivable! 'Princess Bride' Fan Ted Cruz Criticizes Cast Support For Democrats

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, shown here on Capitol Hill in June, is known to be a super fan of the movie <em>The Princess Bride</em>.
Jonathan Newton
Getty Images
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, shown here on Capitol Hill in June, is known to be a super fan of the movie The Princess Bride.

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz has made no secret of his affection for The Princess Bride — the 1987 cult classic starring Robin Wright. But he's now making it clear he's no fan of a plan by cast members to stump for Democrats in Wisconsin next week.

On Twitter over the weekend, Cruz expressed sadness for every "Princess Bride fan who wants to see that perfect movie preserved from Hollywood politics."

According to a post by the Democratic Party of Wisconsin, several cast members including Wright, Cary Elwes, Mandy Patinkin, Billy Crystal and others will reunite for a livestreamed script reading and a question-and-answer session moderated by comedian and actor Patton Oswalt.

The donation-based event is a fundraiser for the Democratic Party of Wisconsin. The party is hoping to help Democratic nominee Joe Biden win the critical swing state, which President Trump took in a surprise victory in 2016.

"Anything you donate will be used to ensure that Trump loses Wisconsin, and thereby the White House," the event announcement says.

Cruz has a flair for the theatrical — he was active in theater in his youth and has a penchant for working movie quotes and pop culture impressions into his public appearances.

He's particularly fond of "The Princess Bride," and once drew criticism from Patinkin after publicly quoting Patinkin's character in the film, Inigo Montoya, a swordsman bent on avenging his father's death.

In 2015, while Cruz was running for the Republican presidential nomination, Patinkin told The New York Times, "This man is not putting forth ideas that are at the heart of what that movie is all about. I would love for Senator Cruz, and everyone creating fear-mongering and hatred, to consider creating hope, optimism and love."

In an email to the newspaper, Cruz's then-campaign spokeswoman said, "Having some fun with a cult classic like 'The Princess Bride' should be something we can all get behind, politics aside."

But five years later, it seems even harder to put politics aside, in a country facing deep and growing polarization.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Corrected: September 6, 2020 at 11:00 PM CDT
An earlier version of this story had a photo caption that misidentified Mandy Patinkin as Rob Reiner, reflecting a caption provided with the photo by Getty Images.
Sarah McCammon
Sarah McCammon is a National Correspondent covering the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast for NPR. Her work focuses on political, social and cultural divides in America, including abortion and reproductive rights, and the intersections of politics and religion. She's also a frequent guest host for NPR news magazines, podcasts and special coverage.