Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) is running for president. To do so one must know how to work a crowd, as Cruz did in Andover, Mass., at a campaign event last weekend when he boldly told the people what they wanted to hear: Tom Brady was not involved in Deflategate.
"Let me start by saying, Tom Brady was framed!" Cruz said. "Now, I'm not willing to pander on much, but on that, Tom Brady was framed. And I will say this, I have it on good authority that Hillary Clinton did it. Why do you think she deleted her emails?"
His declaration of Brady's innocence got the crowd on his side with laughter and applause and even allowed him to get in a dig on his potential Democratic opponent.
Good one, Ted.
He'll need a few more zingers like that to win the Republican nomination, but he's off to a good start in Massachusetts, though a Democrat has captured the popular vote in the state in every presidential election since 1988.
Brady is facing a four-game suspension for his role in the deflation of footballs during the AFC Championship game against the Indianapolis Colts. His appeal of the ban is scheduled to be heard by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on June 23.
The Patriots opted not to fight their punishment, which includes forfeiting a first-round pick in the 2016 draft and a fourth-rounder the following year. They were also fined $1 million.
Follow Matt Wilhalme on Twitter @mattwilhalme.