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A Ted Cruz piñata brings smiles —and sales — to a Texas party store owner

"I’m always looking for something positive out of negative things so that we can all get a laugh out of it," says Latino business owner Carlos De La Fuente, who created the item at his Dallas store.
Image: pi?atas of Sen. Ted Cruz
ABC Party HQ in Dallas has piñatas of Sen. Ted Cruz, Sen. Bernie Sanders and former President Donald Trump.Courtesy Carlos De La Fuente

One store owner decided to take a controversy on the news and make it into a party item.

Carlos De La Fuente, the owner of ABC Party HQ in Dallas, created a piñata inspired by the viral photos of Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, walking through the Cancún International Airport. The image circulated widely following the backlash over the senator's recent trip to Mexico amid the state's historic winter storm.

In the photo, Cruz sported a mask with the Texas flag as he rolled his suitcase.

The store created the unique design as the storm forced it to close for six days starting Feb. 13.

“That’s the reason that I’ve gotten creative and made some piñatas, so that people can come and support,” De La Fuente told NBC News. “I’m always looking for something positive out of negative things so that we can all get a laugh out of it.”

Carlos De La Fuente created a pinata of Sen. Ted Cruz after he was spotted heading to Cancun while Texas struggled with extreme temperatures.Courtesy Carlos De La Fuente

Cruz's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The 3 1/2 foot piñata sells for $100 and though they are only sold at the store, it has already led to around $2,000 in sales as of Tuesday.

As for the papier-mâché creations they make themselves, this isn’t the first time the store has highlighted a politician.

The store made piñatas of Sen. Bernie Sanders’ inauguration meme that went viral across social media and of former President Donald Trump.

“I’m always keeping up with news trends and what’s going on in the world, both positive and negative,” he said.

De La Fuente, who is from the northern Mexican state of Tamaulipas, says it's been a spot of good news amid the weather emergency's setbacks. The store had counted on the sale of fresh roses for Valentine's Day, and they couldn't sell a single one as residents wrestled with the disastrous cold snap.

The pandemic has also set back ABC Party HQ sales; it closed down starting last March for 10 weeks and it has seen business drop amid increased social distancing rules for the state.

Texas has recorded over 2.6 million Covid-19 cases, according to NBC News' count.

Yet, De La Fuente says he’s received a positive reaction on the piñatas from his community, who he says is especially supportive of local businesses.

“We’re now getting back to opening up," said De La Fuente, "because the temperatures are there and are ready to get back to work."

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