Why Everyone Is Saying Ted Cruz Just Channeled Howard Dean

Ted Cruz just can't stay out of the spotlight — and not in a good way. First, he faced fallout due to his decision to leave Texas during a major power and water crisis en route for warmer weather and modern convenience in Cancun. His wife Heidi's revealing texts about their plans would deepen the hole he had to climb out of. Then, appearing on the CPAC stage in Florida, the senator's ill-timed joke about Orlando not being as nice as his Mexican retreat didn't fly with the crowd, or social media, with one Twitter user calling him "an insensitive moron" (via New York Post).

Another commenter didn't hold back either with this comment: "Ted Cruz has jokes about abandoning his Texas constituents — leaving some to die in the freezing cold when he jetted off to Cancun last week. Guy is the absolute worst..."

But this wasn't the end of the Twitter razzing. It seems now people are comparing Cruz to Howard Dean, the former governor of Vermont who ran for president in 2004 (via Britannica). Of course, Dean is best known for a guttural yell he let loose during a speech to supporters at the Iowa caucuses (via NBC News). In fact, NBC News called the famous scream the first viral moment in political history.

Ted Cruz's CPAC speech also features a Howard Dean moment

Flash forward to 2021, with Cruz speaking at CPAC and bizarrely screaming out, "Freedom!" The comparisons to Dean immediately followed.

Commenters likened Cruz's bellow to that of Dean from 2004, and noted the potential cost of such a weird moment. "I'm old enough to remember screaming costing you a chance of being president," one Twitter user said. It is true that after Dean's odd performance in Iowa, the attention was focused far more on joking about his yell than taking his campaign seriously. Similarly, another commenter tweeted, "Howard Dean's aspirations for higher office died for less than this."

More comparisons and jokes followed, with one tweet noting, "Howard Dean was really ahead of his time, huh?" Another lamented, "Remember when the scream derailed Howard Dean? Those were simpler times. Sigh."

According to Independent, the speech overall was hailed as "embarrassing" and "unhinged." Ouch.