Just minutes before polls closed on the East Coast and it became clear that Donald Trump had swept all five states up for grabs during Tuesday’s GOP primaries, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz pandered to an Indiana crowd with an awkward Hoosiers reference. As a confused crowd looked on, he had one of his traveling aides measure the height of a basketball hoop in the gym where he was speaking.
“How tall is that basketball rim?” Cruz asked. Ten feet, the aide shouted. “The amazing thing is,” Cruz continued, “that basketball rim here in Indiana, it’s the same height as it is in New York City and every other place in this country. And there is nothing that Hoosiers cannot do.” (Gawker reports that Cruz called the rim a “ring,” but it’s hard to tell.)
In the movie, the coach (played by Gene Hackman) uses a tape measure before the big game to show his players the basket is the same height as it is in their home gym. Of course, his underdog team goes on to a dramatic upset victory.
But it’s hard to see how Cruz was applying that scene to his own campaign. After all, he was wiped out in New York City (where the rims are the same height), and he has lost in most states (where the rims are the same height). Maybe he should watch Rudy?
Update: On Wednesday morning Cruz confirmed that he had, in fact, used the term “ring,” and noted that his high school basketball coach would have been disappointed.)