Ted Cruz piñata brings smiles—and sales—to a Texas party store owner

March 3, 2021

In mid-February—while most of his friends and neighbors were struggling with shortages of food and water, historically cold weather, and flooding in their homes—one Texas retailer decided to take a controversial news story and turn it into a commercial “smash hit.”

Carlos De La Fuente, the owner of ABC Party HQ in Dallas, created a piñata inspired by the viral photos of Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) walking through the Cancún International Airport after he and his family left their dog, their home—and his constituents statewide— to vacation in a warmer clime

According to a report by NBC News, the image circulated widely following the backlash over the senator’s trip to Mexico amid the state’s 100-year winter storm.

In the photo, Cruz sported a mask with the Texas flag as he rolled his suitcase. The store created the unique design as the storm forced it to close for six days starting on February 13.

“That’s the reason that I’ve gotten creative and made some piñatas, so that people can come and support,” De La Fuente told NBC News. “I’m always looking for something positive out of negative things so that we can all get a laugh out of it.”

Cruz’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The 3 1/2 foot piñata sells for $100 and—although they are only sold at the one store—they had already resulted in about $2,000 in sales as of March 2.

As for the papier-mâché creations they make themselves, this isn’t the first time the store has highlighted a politician. For example, the store made piñatas of Senator Bernie Sanders’ inauguration meme, which went viral across social media.

“I’m always keeping up with news trends and what’s going on in the world, both positive and negative,” he said.

De La Fuente says he’s received a positive reaction on the piñatas from his community members, whom, he says, are especially supportive of local businesses.

“We’re now getting back to opening up,” said De La Fuente, “because the temperatures are there and [we] are ready to get back to work.”

Research contact: @NBCNews

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