POLITICS

Ted Cruz: John Kerry, Chuck Hagel 'Less Than Ardent Fans' Of Military

FILE - This Nov. 13, 2012 file photo shows Sen.-elect Ted Cruz, R-Texas speaking to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington.
FILE - This Nov. 13, 2012 file photo shows Sen.-elect Ted Cruz, R-Texas speaking to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington. When the next Congress cranks up in January, there will be more women, many new faces and 11 fewer of the tea party-backed 2010 House GOP freshmen who sought re-election. Overriding those changes, though, is a thinning of pragmatic, centrist veterans in both parties. Among those leaving are some of the Senate’s most pragmatic lawmakers in both parties, nearly half the House’s centrist Blue Dog Democrats and several moderate House Republicans. (AP Photo/Harry Hamburg, File)

WASHINGTON -- Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) dismissed the military credentials of two of President Barack Obama's cabinet nominees Saturday despite the fact that both are veterans.

"Okay, we've got two pending nominations, John Kerry and Chuck Hagel," he said in responding to a question at the National Review Institute summit in Washington. "Both of whom are very prominently -- "

Cruz took a pregnant pause. "Anti-us?" said a moderator.

"Less than ardent fans of the U.S. military," he continued.

Hagel, a former Republican senator whom Obama nominated for secretary of defense, and Kerry, a Democratic senator and nominee for secretary of state, both served in the Vietnam War. Hagel received two Purple Hearts; Kerry received three and a Silver Star and a Bronze Star.

Cruz went on to say that former President Ronald Reagan was more deserving of a Nobel Peace Prize than every other nominee put together for his stance toward the Soviet Union. Cruz threw in a reference to the only vice president ever to resign from the office, Spiro Agnew, who served under former President Richard Nixon, saying Reagan overcame the "nattering nabobs" at the Department of State to tell Soviet Premier Mikhail Gorbachev at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, "Tear down this wall."

"My view of national security and foreign policy is exactly that of Reagan's," he said.

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