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Ted Cruz not backing down from tweet criticizing ‘woke, emasculated’ US military

FILE - In this April 20, 2021, file photo, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, listens during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on voting rights, on Capitol Hill in Washington. Republicans trying to drive a wedge between Democrats and chip away at President Joe Bidens support are zeroing in on the violence in the Middle East. Cruz and Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas, both potential White House hopefuls in 2024, have focused in particular on Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and other progressives for criticizing Israel amid an escalating volley of missiles and airstrikes in Hamas-controlled Gaza that has killed hundreds of civilians over the last week. (Evelyn Hockstein/Pool via AP, File)
FILE - In this April 20, 2021, file photo, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, listens during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on voting rights, on Capitol Hill in Washington. Republicans trying to drive a wedge between Democrats and chip away at President Joe Bidens support are zeroing in on the violence in the Middle East. Cruz and Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas, both potential White House hopefuls in 2024, have focused in particular on Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and other progressives for criticizing Israel amid an escalating volley of missiles and airstrikes in Hamas-controlled Gaza that has killed hundreds of civilians over the last week. (Evelyn Hockstein/Pool via AP, File)

Ted Cruz is pointing the finger at Democrats after receiving backlash over a tweet he published on Thursday morning that said “a woke, emasculated military is not the best idea.”

Cruz retweeted a video shared by Texas real estate agent and YouTuber Pardes Seleh which compared a 2021 Russian Army recruitment ad and a U.S. Army recruitment ad.

In the first half of the video Cruz shared, you can see a grayscale Russian Army ad with men doing physical training and jumping out of airplanes with shots of guns interspersed throughout the video.

The U.S. ad starts with a colorful cartoon landscape and details one U.S. soldier’s story about being raised by two mothers and marching for equality. “I like to think I’ve been defending freedom from an early age,” U.S. Army Corporal Emma Malonelord says as she narrates her journey of how she joined the military.

Malonelord is just one of several soldiers featured in the U.S. Army’s new “animated film series that profiles the deeply emotional and diverse origin stories of five Soldiers as they make the most important decision of their lives: answering the call to serve,” according to a press release.

U.S. Army officials said “The Calling” series, which debuted in May, provides “an important and rare inside look at the lives and motivations of today’s Soldiers, turning what was once a one-dimensional view of Army service into something more relatable.”

Cut to some of the critical responses to the Texas senator’s tweet. One Twitter user suggested Cruz shouldn’t “say things like ‘boy the Russian military seems cooler than ours.’” Another said, “tell us about YOUR service, Senator, then my nieces will tell you about theirs.”

Not all Twitter responders were in disagreement, however. One Twitter respondent seemed to be like-minded and said “So you agree that cartoons are the correct recruitment strategy for our nations [sic] military? I am a veteran and it’s embarrassing.”

Cruz shared a follow-up to his tweet Thursday evening clarifying that he thinks the U.S. has the “greatest military on earth, but Dem politicians and woke media are trying to turn them into pansies. The new Dem videos are terrible,” seemingly referring to the new “Calling” series.

Senator Cruz also said as part of his follow-up tweet that he’s “enjoying lefty blue checkmarks losing their minds over this tweet, dishonestly claiming that I’m ‘attacking the military.’”

A previous senatorial candidate from Kentucky, retired US Marine Corps Lieutenant Colonel Amy McGrath, was not a fan of Cruz’s tweet and said Cruz “has no idea what being a warrior is all about.”

Cruz also received backlash from Brandon Friedman, a veteran based out of Dallas who said Cruz’s tweet “is attacking a real U.S. soldier who told her story for a recruiting ad. Twenty years ago, he’d be forced to resign over this.”

Army officials said they chose to deviate from the “traditional Army look” for the animated series to “explore unique visual approaches personal to each soldier” and indicated that animation was a creative choice that creates visual interest and Gen Z appeal.

For more information on “The Calling” series visit GoArmy.com/TheCalling.


About the Author:

Mary Claire Patton has been a journalist with KSAT 12 since 2015. She has reported on several high-profile stories during her career at KSAT and specializes in trending news and things to do around Texas and San Antonio.