Republican presidential candidate U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) speaks during the CNN Republican presidential debate on December 15, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Justin Sullivan—Getty Images
December 15, 2015 8:11 PM EST

Sen. Lindsey Graham used a line from the classic 1980s film The Princess Bride to deliver a zinger against rival presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz.

The movie came up when Graham criticized Cruz for saying he would keep Bashar al-Assad in power as the dictator in Syria.

Cruz has said The Princess Bride is his favorite movie and quotes it often.

“To my good friend Ted Cruz: please ask him the following question,” said Graham. “You say you would keep Assad in power. I can tell you that is the worst possible thing that could come out of an American leader’s mouth. It would be disastrous.”

“His favorite movie is apparently The Princess Bride,” Graham continued. “Ted, getting in bed with Iran and Russia to save Assad… is inconceivable! Princess Buttercup would not like this!”

His use of the word ‘inconceivable” was a reference to an outlaw in the movie, Vizzini, who speaks with a slight lisp.

Cruz argues that that removing al-Assad would be “materially worse for U.S. national security interests.” Graham and Cruz were not on the same debate stage on Tuesday night, as Cruz is far ahead in the polls.

The 1987 movie has become something of an issue in recent days. Internet users have Photoshopped Cruz into the movie, while actor Mandy Patinkin has argued Cruz misunderstands its message.

Debate watchers were led to look up the movie online, according to Google.

Contact us at letters@time.com.

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