(AP Photo/Nati Harnik, File)

If you’re a Republican presidential candidate making a campaign appearance in Massachusetts, you make a Tom Brady/Hillary Clinton joke. You just do.

Not straying from the campaign handbook, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) did exactly that Saturday during a campaign stop at the home of Massachusetts state Rep. Jim Lyons in Andover.

Jesse Byrnes of the Hill has the laff-filled details:

“Let me start by saying — Tom Brady was framed,” the presidential candidate said during a weekend stop in Massachusetts. “Now I’m not willing to pander on much, but on that … Tom Brady was framed.”

“And I will say this: I have it on good authority that Hillary Clinton did it. Why do you think she deleted her emails?” Cruz joked.

Clinton, the 2016 Democratic presidential front-runner, has been dogged by questions about her use of a private email account for official business during her four-year tenure as secretary of State.

She announced in March that she turned over around 30,000 emails for archiving, while deleting another 31,000 deemed personal. Republicans have seized on her use of the private email account to question her honesty and truthfulness.

Massachusetts last went Republican in the presidential election in 1984. This is why.