Anderson Cooper called out Senator Ted Cruz’s use of a homophobic slur in his recent criticism of the U.S. Army’s new recruitment ads, while also questioning the appropriateness of a person who didn’t serve criticizing those who did serve. In a tweet last week, Cruz quote tweeted a post criticizing the inclusion of a same-sex couple in an advertisement for the military. Cooper responded in kind.
Last Friday’s Anderson Cooper 360, the anchor noted the video Cruz retweeted allegedly originated on a Far Right dark web site. He also called out the senator for suggesting future soldiers will be turned into “pansies” by the media and Democrat politicians.
“But not content to carry water for this country’s enemies as the angry replies came in, Senator Cruz then decided to go for the old anti-gay slur,” Cooper said, reading the Cruz’s own words where he said “Dem politicians & woke media are trying to turn them into pansies.”
“When somebody doesn’t serve, I don’t know it’s a great idea to be attacking people who did serve, even if you don’t think they should be in the military or don’t think that their parents should have had them,” Cooper said, having invited retired U.S. Army Lieutenant General Mark Hertling to add his thoughts. “He’s promoting the Russian military at the expense of the American military. What do you make of this?”
“My initial thoughts: I had a visceral reaction,” General Hertling responded. “This is Senator Cruz, as you said, using a propaganda video produced on a dark website using Russian soldiers from a draft army as a model of what real soldiers look like.”
Hertling continued, noting that Cruz clearly “doesn’t understand how those young soldiers think, or how those young civilians think” who might be considering enlisting in the army.
“It’s Senator Cruz as you said who hasn’t served in uniform disparaging the military,” Hertling flatly stated.
Cooper played an old video of Senator Cruz saying he wished he had joined the military when he was younger.
“You said it right, Anderson," Hertling responded. "When I hear someone say ‘you know, I really would have liked to have joined the army, but I just didn’t get around to it’ or ‘gee, I wish I could have served there with you’ you know that’s a tell that they didn’t really even think about it when they were younger because they had better things to do. But, finally, it’s Senator Cruz insulting an active duty army soldier, Corporal Emma Malonelord.”
Hertling was referring to Corporal Emma Malonelord appeared in the video Cruz criticized. Entitled Emma – The Calling, the video tells the story of her decision to join the military, as well as how she was raised by two moms.
“This is the story of a soldier who operates your nation’s Patriot missile defense systems,” Malonelord says in the video. “It begins in California with a little girl raised by two moms.”
She goes on to explain how her upbringing grounded her beliefs, and helped her make the decision to serve her country. It was this video that Cruz mocked, comparing her and other soldiers to the Russian military.
Hertling called out Cruz, noting he was not just insulting the military, but was completely out of touch with what he called a very successful effort to recruit soldiers from a new and more progressive generation.
“It’s Senator Cruz insulting what has been a very successful Army marketing campaign to recruit new soldiers,” he observed.