PETERBOROUGH, N.H. — Unprompted and in the final days of his New Hampshire primary campaign, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz unleashed ire at the notion of drafting women into military combat.
"It was striking that three different people on that [debate] stage came out in support of drafting women into combat in the military. And I have to admit as I was sitting there listening to that conversation, my reaction was 'Are you guys nuts?'" he said.
Although unnamed, he spoke of three rivals — former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio — who endorsed women participating in the Selective Service Act at Saturday evening's Manchester debate.
"Listen, we have had enough with political correctness, especially in the military. Political correctness is dangerous," he said. "And the idea that we would draft our daughters to forcibly bring them into the military and put them in close combat, I think is wrong. It is immoral, and if I’m president, we ain’t doing it."
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The townhall audience in this small New Hampshire town roared with approval — including many women in attendance.
He further invoked his two daughters: "I love those girls with all of my heart, they are capable of doing anything in their heart’s desire, but the idea that their government would forcibly put them in a foxhole with a 220-pound psychopath trying to kill them doesn’t make any sense at all."
The comments immediately caught notice amid a rowdy political weekend. New Hampshire voters head to the polls Tuesday, and the political campaigning and exchanges between candidates are taking on a frenetic pace.
Cruz tied the issue to a larger one that is a key component to his campaign: political correctness.
"It is yet one more sign of this politically correct world, where we forget common sense," he said. "We got to get back to common sense, we’ve got to get back to a president that says, 'No, that doesn’t make any sense.'"