ABC News reports that Ellen Page confronted Ted Cruz at the Iowa State Fair, vehemently questioning him about LGBT issues. Apparently, he was partaking in the everyday-kinda-guy task of grilling pork chops when Page decided to harsh his grassroots media-courting mellow, which looked something like:
Page’s publicist told The Hollywood Reporter that her seemingly random appearance at this particular Iowa fair was actually planned as part of her upcoming Vice Media series, Gaycation With Ellen Page.
Cruz, meanwhile, was surrounded by fellow grillers, just trying to blend into the fair scene in an apron that read, “Pork, be inspired” (and a camera crew) when Page interrupted and launched into a line of questioning, beginning with the issue of “LGBT people being fired for strictly being gay or trans.”
“Well, what we’re seeing right now is Bible-believing Christians being persecuted for living according to their faith,” the Republican presidential hopeful replied.
Page, who came out as gay last year and has been a vocal LGBT activist, quickly jumped on his focus-shifting response: “For discriminating against LGBT people.”
Cruz seemed aware that Page aimed to start a discussion, which clearly turned him off, as he told her he’d gladly answer her question, but didn’t want to engage in a debate. (Apparently, throughout the exchange, during which Page wore a baseball hat and sunglasses, Cruz didn’t know he was speaking to a celebrity; who knows how this would have changed his behavior if he’d been aware.)
From there, Cruz started pontificating about needing to uphold America’s respect for pluralism, and how the “liberal intolerance” for other people’s views threatens that. Page emphasized that, exactly, she was advocating for more tolerance for historically persecuted LGBT people. Of course, Cruz once again deflected, this time saying that ISIS is executing gay people.
And so the conversation went, with Cruz ending by trying to one-up everything else Page mentioned with statements about ISIS. It was a convenient tie-in to his foreign/domestic policy-hybrid ideas about dealing with the extremist group. After Page frustratedly left, a reporter asked Cruz the truly baffling question, “What does it say about America that you can have pork chop in one hand and have a conversation about gay discrimination in the workplace?” (Really, what does this mean??)
Of course, Cruz even twisted this inexplicable question back to meet his agenda as well, saying, “It’s interesting what that conversation’s about — I think that conversation is about the persecution of religious liberty, and she didn’t want to have that particular conversation.”
And here’s the actual conversation: