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Newspaper retracts political cartoon that skewered Ted Cruz and his little daughters

Ted Cruz hugs his young daughters Catherine and Caroline at the first Republican debate in Cleveland, Ohio. (REUTERS/Brian Snyder)

The Washington Post issued an apology on Tuesday and retracted an editorial cartoon that triggered a heated controversy. The cartoon depicted GOP candidate and U.S. Senator from Texas, Ted Cruz, wearing a Santa Claus outfits and his two young girls — Caroline, 7, and Catherine, 5 — as trained monkeys wearing similar Christmas-themed outfits. The cartoon drew sharp criticism from Cruz, who urged the paper to “stick w/ attacking me,” and other GOP candidates. However, within hours Cruz seemed OK with using the paper’s depiction of his daughters in an “emergency” fundraising email.

The sketch in question was drawn by Ann Telnaes, a Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist. Telnaes defended her decision to depict Cruz’s children (candidates’ kids are typically considered off-limits during political campaigns unless they’re adults or otherwise involved in the campaign) saying that since Cruz had included the girls in a Christmas-themed campaign ad that aired on TV during the most recent episode of SNL, she considered them to be “fair game.” Tenaes asserted that Cruz had used the girls as “political props.”

Fred Hiatt, the editor of the paper’s editorial page, after the controversy erupted, did not agree with Telnaes and explained the oversight in a brief statement. “It’s generally been the policy of our editorial section to leave children out of it. I failed to look at this cartoon before it was published, ” Hiatt wrote. He added, “I understand why Ann thought an exception to the policy was warranted in this case, but I do not agree.”

Read the full story at Mashable.

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