Ted Cruz challenges Hellboy actor Perlman to fight senator after feud with Matt Gaetz

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Senator Ted Cruz has challenged Ron Perlman, the actor who plays the demonic-looking sci-fi being Hellboy, to fight his Republican colleague Representative Jim Jordan after Perlman made a post referring to Jordan as ugly.

Cruz tweeted the challenge on Monday, in response to an online argument between Perlman and Florida Republican Representative Matt Gaetz that ended up involving Jordan.


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Actor Ron Perlman poses for photographers during the premiere of the movie Hellboy II The Golden Army in Los Angeles, California, June 28, 2008. (Reuters)
Actor Ron Perlman poses for photographers during the premiere of the movie Hellboy II The Golden Army in Los Angeles, California, June 28, 2008. (Reuters)

The episode began when Gaetz, a supporter of US President Donald Trump who is known for his controversial online posts, tweeted criticizing the US soccer board of directors for repealing a policy that required players to stand for the American national anthem – essentially allowing players to engage in peaceful protest through kneeling.

“I’d rather the US not have a soccer team than have a soccer team that won’t stand for the National Anthem. You shouldn’t get to play under our flag as our national team if you won’t stand when it is raised,” Gaetz tweeted.
In response, Perlman tweeted an expletive-laden criticism of Gaetz and Trump.

Gaetz responded to the tweet accusing Perlman calling him a “racial justice warrior had no problem in Hollywood portraying the White Supremacist leader of a motorcycle gang. #SOA,” referring to Perlman’s role as Clay Morrow in Sons of Anarchy – despite twitter users saying that the character was not a white supremacist.

Perlman quickly responded, suggesting that while he might play undesirable characters on TV, Gaetz was one in real life.

The feud then escalated with the two trading barbs over Hollywood and whether Gaetz was popular or had gerrymandered his district to get elected.

“Ya know what, you’re right. A guy who wins a totally gerrymandered district with daddy’s money deserves our deepest admiration. You’re right.. I only PLAY scumbags and grifters. You’re the real deal!” one of Perlman’s tweets to Gaetz read.

Many of the comments appeared to side with Perlman, referring to some of the controversial incidents from Gaetz's career including his White House invitation to alt-right Holocaust denier Charles C. "Chuck" Johnson, his arrest for drink driving in 2008, and numerous speeding fines.

Ted Cruz gets involved

The argument then dragged in Gaetz’ fellow Republicans Joe Jordan and Ted Cruz, when Perlman posted an image of Jordan captioned: “PS: You’re lucky for this guy Matt. If it weren’t for him you’d be the ugliest politician walking.”

In response, Cruz challenged Perlman to fight Jordan in a ring and offered to bet $10,000 that Jordan would win in five minutes.

“Listen Hellboy. You talk good game when you’ve got Hollywood makeup & stuntmen. But I’ll bet $10k—to the nonpolitical charity of your choice—that you couldn’t last 5 min in the wrestling ring w/ @Jim_Jordan w/o getting pinned. You up for it? Or does your publicist say too risky?” tweeted Cruz.

Perlman responded directly to Ted Cruz by accusing him of cosying up to President Trump despite Trump previously describing Cruz’s wife as a dog and his father as an assassin.

In a follow up tweet, Perlman offered to fight Cruz instead. “...just make it you & me. I’ll give 50k to Black Lives Matter and you can keep all the tax payer money you were thinking of spending,” he tweeted.

The feud takes place against the backdrop of heightened tensions in the US, where Black Lives Matters protesters have been demonstrating against racial injustice and police brutality.

While the majority of protests have been peaceful, some people have looted and burned stores, and there have been clashes between police and protesters.

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