Presidential candidate Ted Cruz is taking on the Washington Post over a now-deleted cartoon, which depicted his young daughters as dancing monkeys.

Ann Telnaes' controversial cartoon showed 4-year-old Catherine and 7-year-old Caroline as monkeys dressed in Santa costumes. Telnaes tweeted -- and later deleted -- the cartoon, along with the words, "Ted Cruz uses his kids as political props."

Cruz fired back at the editorial cartoon on Twitter.

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"Classy. @washingtonpost makes fun of my girls. Stick w/ attacking me--Caroline & Catherine are out of your league," he wrote.

Later, Cruz sent a fundraising email which called on his supporters to raise $1 million in 24 hours to "help [him] fight back," NBC News reported.

"I'm sickened ... I knew I'd be facing attacks from day one of my campaign, but I never expected anything like this," Cruz wrote.

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The Washington Post has since removed the cartoon and replaced it with an editor's note from Fred Hiatt.

"It's generally been the policy of our editorial section to leave children out of it. I failed to look at this cartoon before it was published. I understand why Ann thought an exception to the policy was warranted in this case, but I do not agree,” Hiatt wrote.

Telneas defended the cartoon on Twitter, writing, "Ted Cruz has put his children in a political ad- don't start screaming when editorial cartoonists draw them as well."

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Telneas was referring to Cruz's recent ad, posted to YouTube, which shows him and his family reading Christmas stories with a political twist; titles include "How Obamacare Stole Christmas" and "Rudolph the Underemployed Reindeer." The video had been viewed more than 1.5 million times as of Wednesday afternoon.

Cruz's GOP opponents were quick to speak out against the Washington Post, calling the cartoon "disgusting" and "nasty."

"The @washingtonpost, which is the lobbyist (power) for not imposing taxes on #Amazon, today did a nasty cartoon attacking @tedcruz kids. Bad,” Donald Trump tweeted.

"Wash Post cartoon featuring @tedcruz's children is disgusting. The Post saying the kids are 'fair game' is even worse," Marco Rubio said on Twitter.