White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki reacted to Republican Texas Sen. Ted Cruz calling her “Peppermint Patty” at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) Thursday.
At the conference, Cruz elicited a round of booing from the crowd after mentioning Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the conflict with the Canadian “Freedom Convoy” protest. Cruz then took shots at Psaki, encouraging the audience to give her “the Justin Trudeau treatment” and referred to her with the classic “Peanuts” character’s name.
“Come on, Jen Psaki doesn’t get the Justin Trudeau treatment?” he said, followed by a booing audience. “Alright, you know, Peppermint Patty deserves some love.”
A reporter informed Psaki of the comment and asked for her reaction on Cruz encouraging the audience to boo her. (RELATED: Peter Doocy Presses Psaki On Biden Vilifying Republicans, She Ends Response By Cheering For Football Team)
“Don’t tell him I like Peppermint Patty,” Psaki said. “So, I’m not going to take it too offensively. Senator Cruz, I like Peppermint Patty. I’m a little tougher than that, but there you go.”
Reporter: Ted Cruz called you “peppermint patty” at CPAC and encouraged people to boo you
Psaki: Don’t tell him I like “peppermint patty” … I’m a little tougher than that pic.twitter.com/tjTomjVtXd
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) February 24, 2022
In the speech, Cruz pointed to the “fundamental conflict” between power and liberty in regards to vaccine mandates and political elites. He accused Psaki of encouraging Big Tech to “silence dissent,” raising the recent attempts to cancel podcast host Joe Rogan over his alleged vaccine misinformation.
“Mask mandates vs. kids in school. Spotify vs. Joe Rogan. GoFundMe vs. Canadian truckers,” Cruz said. “Jen Psaki from the White House podium said, ‘Billionaires, oh billionaires in Silicon Valley! Please silence that pesky Rogan guy.’ There’s a pattern of government asking Big Tech to silence dissent.”
Cruz referred to the press secretary telling reporters that every platform should be “responsible” and “vigilant” by labeling certain reports as “mis- and disinformation” at a Feb. 1 press briefing.
“This disclaimer, it’s a positive step, but we want every platform to continue doing more to call out mis- and disinformation while also uplifting accurate information,” Psaki said. “Our hope is that all major tech platforms and all major news sources for that matter be responsible and be vigilant.”
Conservative talk show host Dan Bongino used the nickname back in August 2021 while criticizing the press secretary’s response to travel restrictions in compliance with COVID-19 protocols. The nickname caught on to social media users and critics of the Biden administration.
“That’s Peppermint Patty. Watch her here when Peter Doocy, at the White House, asked her a very simple question,” Bongino said in the video an Aug. 8 post. “He says, ‘Hey, Peppermint, what’s the deal with the border? You won’t let people travel in from Europe and elsewhere unless they’re vaccinated … but people allowed to come into the country illegally through the southern border unvaccinated?'”