Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz speaks to potential supporters Sunday during a town hall event at the Peterborough Town House in Peterborough, N.H. New Hampshire will hold the first primary in the nation Tuesday. Photo by Ryan McBride/UPI | License Photo
PETERBOROUGH, N.H., Feb. 8 (UPI) -- Texas Sen. Ted Cruz said the idea of requiring women to sign up for the draft for potential military combat is "nuts" ahead of a heated Republican showdown in the New Hampshire primaries.
Cruz made the comment Sunday during a town hall speech in the small town of Peterborough, N.H. He referenced rivals former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Florida U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, who, during Saturday's Republican debate, said or suggested they supported women being required to enroll in the U.S. Selective Service program, which allows for draft eligibility.
"It was striking that three different people on that stage came out in support of drafting women into combat in the military," Cruz said. "I have to admit, as I was sitting there listening to that conversation, my reaction was: 'Are you guys nuts?'"
"We have had enough with political correctness -- especially in the military," Cruz added, receiving large applause from within the building, including from some women in the audience. "Political correctness is dangerous, and the idea that we would draft our daughters, to forcibly bring them into the military and put them in close contact -- I think is wrong, it is immoral, and if I am president, we ain't doing it."
Cruz also brought up his to daughters to further present his argument.
"I'm the father of two little girls. I love those girls with all my heart," Cruz said. "They are capable of doing anything in their hearts' desire, but the idea that their government would forcibly put them in the foxhole with a 220-pound psychopath trying to kill them, doesn't make any sense at all."
In December, Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter announced all military combat positions would be opened to women, prompting a push back from the Marine Corps, which fought to restrict from women positions that included infantry, machine gunner and fire support.
Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI
"We have to take full advantage of every individual who can meet our standards," Carter previously said. "In the 21st century, that requires drawing strength from the broadest possible pool of talent. This includes women, because they make up over 50 percent of America's population."
Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook recently said the addition of women to U.S. Special Forces troops will be delayed for until "no later than" April 1 to give authorities "the time to collaborate thoroughly with the services."