Ted Cruz and Tom Brady

Ted Cruz infuriated a city of 8 million people when he criticized "New York values" during last week's GOP debate. Meanwhile, the candidate is going full steam ahead appealing to New England values.

On his campaign trail in New Hampshire, Cruz is trying to curry favor by saying Tom Brady was framed in the Deflategate scandal. Within the first minute of his first stop at a diner Sunday, Cruz praised the Patriots' quarterback, who won a divisional-round playoff game Saturday.

But wait: there's more. Cruz isn't blaming Roger Goodell or the Patriots' locker room attendant for those deflated footballs. He blames, rather, a political opponent.

Aligning himself with Brady and the Patriots seems like a simple, temporary bid for connection with the common voters. This is not Carly Fiorina rooting against her alma mater, but it also isn't Chris Christie sticking to his Cowboys fandom, even while governing the home state of the Giants.

Astute voters know this situation is more complicated. Trump has been campaigning for months in New England on grounds that he is close friends with Tom Brady. He has joked (is it a joke?) of Brady being his potential running mate. The four-time Super Bowl champion even has a "Make America Great Again" hat in his locker.

After his first three Super Bowl victories, Brady went to the White House and hung with George W. Bush. After the Patriots' Super Bowl win last season, he skipped the team's Obama White House visit.

Brady will play next Sunday at Denver, regardless of what politicians support him, in the AFC Championship Game. The New Hampshire Primary is scheduled for Feb. 9, two days after Super Bowl 50.

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-- Follow Jeffrey Eisenband on Twitter @JeffEisenband.