The Washington Post has retracted a political cartoon featuring Ted Cruz's two daughters that caused the Republican candidate to warn his kids "are not fair game." The image, seen here, from Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist Ann Telnaes showed Cruz as an organ grinder dressed as Santa, led by two dancing monkeys, representing his daughters Catherine, 4, and Caroline, 7. "Ted Cruz uses his kids as political props," the caption read, per CBS News. Not long after it was published online, however, it was replaced by a note from editorial page editor Fred Hiatt. "It's generally been the policy of our editorial section to leave children out of it," he wrote. "I failed to look at this cartoon before it was published. I understand why Ann thought an exception to the policy was warranted in this case, but I do not agree."
By late Tuesday, Cruz had launched an "emergency" fundraising appeal hoping to raise $1 million in 24 hours so he could "fight back," reports NBC News. He called the cartoon a "tasteless attack" on his children. "I knew I'd be facing attacks from day one of my campaign, but I never expected anything like this," he added, arguing the "liberal media" is trying to "attack and destroy me (and my family) by any means necessary." He was backed by Marco Rubio, who called the cartoon "disgusting." Telnaes, however, defended the cartoon on Twitter. "Ted Cruz has put his children in a political ad," she wrote. "Don't start screaming when editorial cartoonists draw them as well." NBC reports Cruz's daughters were spotted waving to the crowd from a stage at a campaign event last weekend. (Read more Washington Post stories.)