updated 1/29/2013 8:20:43 PM ET 2013-01-30T01:20:43

John Kerry and Chuck Hagel aren’t fans of the armed forces? With personal experience of combat, they are appropriately wary of starting wars, but that's a view shared by many who served.

Do you ever feel like the only reason some Republicans are against something is because President Obama came up with the idea?

This time it’s Tea Party Senator Ted Cruz of Texas. Cruz spoke at the National Review Institute Summit over the weekend, and among other things, lamented the president’s picks for both Secretary of State and Secretary of Defense, John Kerry and Chuck Hagel, respectively. Kerry was confirmed for the post earlier on Tuesday, though Cruz was one of three senators to vote against the appointment.

Cruz expressed skepticism that Kerry and Hagel hold the U.S. military in the high regard necessary for such Cabinet posts. “We’ve got two pending nominations, John Kerry and Chuck Hagel. Both of whom are very prominently…less than ardent fans of the U.S. military,” Cruz said, perhaps referring to both men’s history of speaking out against wasteful Pentagon spending and the unnecessary use of U.S. troops.

Still, John Kerry and Chuck Hagel aren’t fans of the armed forces? There’s a pile of evidence to contradict that assertion. Between the two of them, Kerry and Hagel have five Purple Hearts for injuries sustained during their voluntary service in the Vietnam War. Hagel still carries the effects of a 1968 mine explosion in Saigon; shrapnel remains lodged in his chest. Senator Cruz has no military experience.

Still, he offered his view on how combat should unfold, saying that Ronald Reagan set the standard.  “We should go in with defined objectives and overwhelming force and then when we’re done, get the heck out,” Cruz said.

It’s unlikely that Ronald Reagan and Ted Cruz would be political allies if Reagan was a part of today’s Republican Party. Under Reagan, the federal payroll increased, and taxes were increased several time over the course of his time in office. Reagan also supported gun limits. “I do not believe in taking away the right of the citizen for sporting, for hunting and so forth, or for home defense. But I do believe that an AK-47, a machine gun, is not a sporting weapon or needed for defense of a home,” he said in 1989.

Bottom line: Tea Party Republicans are kidding themselves if they think Reagan would have been welcomed in the GOP primary debates.

Take a look at Hardball’s Sideshow for Chris’s take on the recent remarks from Texas Senator Ted Cruz.

Video: Sideshow: Cruz disses war veterans Hagel, Kerry for being anti-military

  1. Closed captioning of: Sideshow: Cruz disses war veterans Hagel, Kerry for being anti-military

    >>> back to "hardball." first up, texas senator ted cruz is pushing the idea that if president obama supports something, it means a weaker america. he's talking about the nominations of john kerry and chuck hagel . here is cruz speaking at an event put on by the conservative national review institute over the weekend.

    >> okay. we've got two pending nominations, john kerry , chuck hagel . both of whom are very prominent ly anti-us, less than ardent fans of the u.s. military . my view of the military and foreign policy is exactly that of reagan's, that it should be driven by the national security interests of the united states , that we should go in with clear, defined objectives, overwhelming force, and then when we're done, get the heck out.

    >> does anyone believe paul ryan would have taken us into a hawkish war like iraq? by the way, john kerry and chuck hagel aren't fans of the u.s. military ? oh? someone remind the president or remind the senator from texas that both hagel and kerry volunteered to serve in vietnam and have been awarded five purple hearts between them. senator cruz has no experience personally in the u.s. military and, as i said earlier, was one of the three senators who voted against confirming john kerry earlier today.

    >>> also, hillary clinton reunited with australian comedy duo hamish and andy. she first met them back in 2010 during a visit to australia and today they popped up at what's being called a global town interview or town-terview with the secretary of state.

    >> madam secretary, obviously a lot of good questions we had were taken earlier tonight by some of the wonderful participants around the world but luckily we still have a few. probably the big question on everyone's lips is when you step back from being secretary of state --

    >> well, she won't be able to be called madam secretary.

    >> you're no longer madam secretary. i think on behalf of all the global citizens which of these three names would you like to adopt.

    >> we spent three or four months on this.

    >> incredible hillary? the artist formerly known as the secretary? or just hill clinton but it does sound a bit like your husband?

    >> i think we're going to have to work on that list.

    >> none.

    >> none?

    >> okay.

    >> we will need another four or five months then.

    >> secretary clinton took questions from young people around the world over the course of that event.

    >>> up next, a strange alliance of neocons and gay groups trying to kill chuck hagel 's nomination later this week. that's ahead, and you're watching "hardball,"


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