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Ted Cruz, a critic of government data collection, is using Santa Claus to get personal information from supporters.

Ethan Miller / Getty

As Cruz embarks on a campaigning blitz through 12 cities during the days leading up to Christmas, a Santa Claus will accompany him wherever he goes.

This is the latest, creative technique the Cruz campaign is using to amass data from supporters. According to the New York Times, attendees at Cruz campaign events must enter their names, emails, and ZIP codes before retrieving any photos taken with Santa.  

While the the campaign hopes to have a Santa at every event going forward, it has run into a few hiccups in their attempts to spread Christmas cheer. Campaign manager Jeff Roe explains that the “The Santa market is a little bumpy.” He had to vet the Santa candidates thoroughly before welcoming them to campaign events.

Good thing too. After all, Cruz supporters would have you believe that their candidate is himself like Santa Claus. Red Bartholomew, the Santa impersonator at a Cruz event yesterday, outlined the similarities. “I have no fear,” Bartholomew told the Times. “Some people call me Liberty Claus.”