Ted Cruz has a curious way of taking a situation he has every right to be mad about and responding to it so bombastically that it’s almost impossible to feel sympathetic to him. Today, he continued this trend by implying he’d happily fuck a rat, as long as the rat wasn’t Donald Trump.

Cruz is doing some damage control after a National Enquirer story dropped this morning alleging he’s had affairs with at least five women who are not his wife. Cruz says he believes Donald Trump is behind the story, which isn’t totally implausible. But for some reason, his response—which he had valid reasons to make—ended in a garbled metaphor about a ratfucker, a term he uses first to refer to someone playing dirty tricks during an election, and then uses... literally.

“It is a story that quoted one source on the record: Roger Stone, Donald Trump’s chief political adviser,” Cruz said, unprompted, during a press conference Friday. “It is attacking my family. And what is striking is Donald’s henchman, Roger Stone, had for months been foreshadowing that this attack was coming. It’s not surprising that Donald’s tweet occurs the day before the attack comes out. And I would note that Mr. Stone is a man who has 50 years of dirty tricks behind him. He’s a man for whom a term was coined for copulating with a rodent. Well, let me be clear: Donald Trump may be a rat, but I have no desire to copulate with him.”

Ignoring the fact that fucking Donald Trump the rat would actually make Ted Cruz the ratfucker, one thing is clear: Ted Cruz has definitely spent time thinking about fucking a rat. A strong message, indeed.