Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, is rarely shy when it comes to highlighting and condemning what he sees as government overreach or hyper liberalism. On Monday, Cruz took to Twitter with a new target in mind: Big Bird. 

On Saturday, an account for the iconic "Sesame Street" muppet character tweeted that Big Bird received a dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, saying that his “wing was a little sore” but was otherwise fine. That same day, CNN hosted a segment involving "Sesame Street" characters called “ABCs of COVID Vaccines," aimed at educating kids about the vaccines.

Cruz was having none of it. Not long after the CNN segment, the former presidential candidate retweeted Big Bird's tweet, calling it "government propaganda...for your 5 year old!" He did not stop there, tweeting five more times about Big Bird by the end of the weekend.

Cruz, like many Republican elected officials, is an opponent of vaccine mandates and has actively positioned himself as one of the most ardent critics of the Biden administration. Along with six other GOP senators, he opposed the certification of the November presidential election on Jan. 6 and was criticized by members of his own party for  fundraising emails that were sent during the attack on the Capitol by a pro-Trump mob. 

Twitter users pounced on Cruz for picking a fight with Big Bird. Many pointed out that "Sesame Street" has been encouraging children to receive vaccines. The official account for the show appeared to indirectly respond to Cruz’s mocking by posting a clip from 1972 of Big Bird receiving a vaccine for measles in 1972.

“Big Bird may have just received his COVID-19 vaccine, but as many of you pointed out, he was learning how to keep himself and his neighbors healthy long before that!” read a tweet from the "Sesame Street" official account. 

Comedian Seth McFarlane, the creator of animated sitcoms "Family Guy" and "American Dad," also jumped in to mock Cruz. 

“No surprise Big Bird is smarter than Ted Cruz,” McFarlane tweeted on Sunday.

Democratic politicians also joined in on the response. Rep. Rashida Talib, D-Mich., said Cruz is "just jealous that birds can fly south for the winter," referencing the senator's aborted vacation to Cancun during a snowstorm that blanketed Texas at the start of the year.

Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., chided Cruz for taking a harsher tone with Big Bird than on former President Donald Trump, who had mocked Cruz's wife's appearance and made the unfounded accusation that Cruz's father aided in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in 1963.

Others noted the timing of the attacks on Big Bird by pointing out that President Joe Biden’s Democratic Party had just passed a $1.2 trillion infrastructure deal on Friday. They contrasted this legislative victory with Cruz’s apparent outrage over Big Bird.

“In the meantime, Democrats passed an infrastructure bill,” said one user. “But Teddy is preoccupied with Big Bird.” 

Twitter users continued to attack Cruz. On Sunday, the hashtags #CancunCruz, which derided Cruz's trip to Mexico, and #Rafael, the first name of Cruz's father, were trending.

Cruz is no stranger to controversy like the Big Bird episode. In 2013, he invoked the Dr. Seuss’ children’s book “Green Eggs And Ham” during a filibuster before that year’s government shutdown over the Affordable Care Act. Eight years later, Cruz appeared to suggest President Biden was responsible for a decision by the publisher of Dr. Seuss for pulling six books that it felt utilized offensive racial stereotypes.

Cruz, usually unflappable in the face of criticism by liberals, did appear to take some slight umbrage at McFarlane’s criticism. In a response to the comedian’s tweet, he said McFarlane was  one “of the funniest souls on the planet” before adding that he is “sorry to see him shilling for petty authoritarians who would deny you the right to make your own medical choices.”