With two weeks to go before the Iowa Caucuses, Texas Senator Ted Cruz is running neck-and-neck with Donald Trump to win the first state voting for the GOP nominee. Cruz was on FOX News Sunday to try to strengthen his position in Iowa, but he spent much of that appearance defending his campaign rhetoric and Senate record.
FOX News has been a safe harbor for the Tea Party firebrand over the years. But on Sunday, host Chris Wallace didn’t let Cruz’s talking points go by without clarification. Wallace pushed back as Cruz tried to explain Senate votes against defense spending and a recent vote change, when Cruz initially voted against a crop insurance bill only to change his vote three minutes later for the program that’s very popular in Iowa. Wallace pointed to what former Army Major General and Army War College Commandant Bob Scales said about Cruz’s promise to “carpet bomb” ISIS.
“He said, ‘Carpet bombing, that's just another one of those phrases that people with no military experience throw around.’”
“I will apologize to no one, with how vigorous I will be winning the war on terror, defeating radical Islamic terrorism,” Cruz responded. “We will start by having a president willing to acknowledge our enemy, say it by its name, which President Obama and Hillary Clinton refuse to do.” The candidate also referred to President Obama's recent State of the Union address as a "state of denial" on the topic of defeating ISIS. "We can defeat them, but we can't defeat them with a president who's unwilling to do so."
Cruz has surged to the top of the polls in Iowa over the last two months. But his recent front-runner status has also brought more attacks from the rest of the GOP field – and more scrutiny from the media. Cruz will spend this week campaigning in New Hampshire, where he’s been polling somewhere in the middle of the pack.