Key Words: Did Ted Cruz forget how important silicon is to Texas?

Key Words: Did Ted Cruz forget how important silicon is to Texas?

Sen. Ted Cruz, the oft-mocked Texas senator who is facing a tough re-election battle, warned over the weekend that liberals are trying to turn Texas into California.

“We are seeing tens of millions of dollars flooding into the state of Texas from liberals all over the country who desperately want to turn the state of Texas blue,” Cruz said at a Republican rally Saturday in Katy, Texas.

“They want us to be just like California, right down to tofu and silicon and dyed hair.”

Sen. Ted Cruz

Which, of course, turned into more mockery.

For one, Cruz admitted his wife is a vegetarian from California. So . . . (awkward pause). And a lot of tofu is a product of American-grown soy.

Secondly, silicon has been a big part of Texas for as long as personal computers have been around.

Dallas-based Texas Instruments Inc. TXN, -2.19%   was one of the first semiconductor giants, and while most people might know it best for its ‘80s-era calculators, it still has a market cap of about $105 billion and more than 12,000 workers in the Americas.

Then there’s Dell Inc., the Round-Rock, Texas, tech company that founder Michael Dell took private in 2013. It’s the largest non-oil company in Texas, and the third-largest PC company in the world. And its products use a lot of silicon chips.

There’s also Intel Corp. INTC, -1.71%  , the world’s second-largest maker of semiconductors, which has a major facility in Austin, and other chip giants such as Advanced Micro Devices Inc. AMD, -1.65%   and South Korea’s SK Hynix 000660, +0.40%   have Texas facilities as well.

As of 2014, Texas had 22% of the nation’s tech manufacturing jobs, topping California. For years, Texas politicians have bragged about luring tech companies from California by offering lower taxes and fewer regulations, and in 2016, Texas ranked second in the U.S. in total tech jobs.

So silicon? Texas has plenty.

And as for dyed hair, go to brunch in the Dallas suburbs and see how that’s going, said a number of eye-rolling commenters on social media.

On a completely unrelated note, White House budget chief Mick Mulvaney questioned Cruz’s likability at a Republican meeting in New York on Saturday, the Wall Street Journal reported, and warned Cruz could lose his seat to upstart Democrat Beto O’Rourke.

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