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.