WASHINGTON -- It's hard to believe freshman Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) caused such a stir in the Senate with his letter to Iran even before his maiden floor speech. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), who led an unsuccessful fight against Obamacare, couldn't even do that.
But Cotton -- now famous for orchestrating the controversial letter to Iran with the signatures of 46 of his GOP colleagues -- finally got the chance to do just that on Monday evening. Cotton began, as one does, with Adolf Hitler.
"The world is growing ever more dangerous, and our defense spending is wholly inadequate to confront the danger," Cotton said. "To be exact, during the last four or five years, the world has grown gravely darker. We have steadily disarmed, partly with a sincere desire to give a lead to other countries and partly due to the severe financial pressure of the time. But a change must now be made. We must not continue longer on a course in which we alone are growing weaker while every other nation is growing stronger."
He continued: "I wish I could take credit for those eloquent but ominous words, but I cannot. Winston Churchill sounded that warning in 1933 as Adolf Hitler had taken power in Germany. Tragically, Great Britain and the West didn't heed this warning, when they might have strangled that monster in his crib. Rather they let the locust continue to eat away at the common defense."
Cotton lamented that President Barack Obama was apologizing for America's actions, and accused the administration of being "harsh and unyielding to our friends" and "soothing and suffocating to our enemies."
Cotton's speech came as congressional Republicans begin to craft their annual budget blueprint for the next fiscal year. War hawks like Cotton are pushing to increase defense spending, putting them at odds with fiscal conservatives, who would rather stick within spending limits set by both parties in 2011.
Watch video of Cotton's speech above.