Most of the political ad wars are prosecuted in broad daylight by professional media consultants. But late in a campaign season, the darker underbelly of anonymous political warfare begins to be exposed.

Years ago, "dirty tricks" were only played with windshield fliers or phone calls. Now they can be executed by viral video.

An early victim in the 2016 Republican presidential primaries is Ted Cruz.

Ted Cruz's Youthful "Aspirations" May (Or May Not) Surprise You

Some unknown person had been sitting on a 27-year old video of Ted Cruz in high school. And some unknown person got a hold of it and posted it to YouTube under the account name "Young Ted Cruz," labeling the video "The aspirations of a 18-year old Ted Cruz."

In the clip, Cruz sits in front of a fountain. A chyron informs us it was filmed at Houston's Second Baptist School in 1988.

Cruz responds to an unheard question about his "aspirations." "Aspirations? Is that like sweat on my butt?" Cruz crudely begins, seemingly pausing for laughter that never comes. His attempts at humor are not done. He then suggests his dream is to act in a teen sex comedy with half-naked girls.

Then he concludes with what was perhaps not a joke: "Well, other than that, take over the world. World domination, you know, rule everything. Rich, powerful – that sort of stuff."

"Young Ted Cruz" then tacks on Ted Cruz's official 2016 campaign logo, to make the video seem like a real Ted Cruz ad. With triumphant orchestral music in the background, the video maker turns Cruz's riffing into a slogan: "RICH. POWERFUL. WORLD DOMINATION."

What Did Ted Cruz's Dad Say About His Son's Aspirations?

For the final kicker, we see another 1988 clip featuring Cruz's father Rafael. "Mr. Cruz," asks someone off-screen, "you think Ted's going to rule the world one day?" His dad chuckles, "I hope not!"

Will this matter? At minimum, the video is getting seen, with more than 400,000 YouTube views in just 48 hours – more than most official campaign videos. The remaining question is if Republican voters will treat this as harmless teenage goofing, or a window into Cruz's soul.

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