There is only one Republican presidential candidate that has a proven, courageous, and conservative record on national security: Marco Rubio. Contrast him with Senator Ted Cruz who says he is prepared to defend America, but repeatedly finds a way to vote against that very goal. When we need leadership, Cruz plays politics with America’s national security. Put another way: Cruz is pro-military when he passes a soldier in uniform, but he abandons that same soldier when he does not vote to raise active-duty pay or provide our warriors with the tools they need to accomplish their critical missions.
I am a West Point graduate and an Army veteran. In Congress, I represent South Central Kansas, home to McConnell Air Force Base. I am proud to serve on the House Intelligence Committee and every day I see the lifesaving work of our men and women in uniform. I serve with Representative Trey Gowdy of South Carolina on the Benghazi Committee and came to Congress alongside Trey and South Carolina senator Tim Scott. All three of us believe in Marco’s ability to keep our families safe and have endorsed him.
I am supporting Marco Rubio for President.
What candidates say and do today matters immensely. So, when another Republican candidate says he will pursue “a policy of containment” towards the fanatical Iranian regime, Rubio’s commitment to cancel the horrible nuclear deal with Iran on day one is all the more critical.
I also serve with Senator Cruz in Congress. I attended law school with him and was a member of the Harvard Law Review alongside him. I am supporting Marco Rubio for President. Here is why:
While in the Senate, Cruz has voted for only one budget — a budget that contained less money for our military than President Obama’s left-wing plan to emaciate the military. America is already on track to have the oldest and smallest Air Force in the history of our country, the smallest Army we have had since World War II, and the smallest and oldest Navy we have had since 1915. Yet Cruz supported these cuts and even tried to deepen them.
While in Columbia, S.C., recently, I had the chance to visit Fort Jackson. I saw firsthand the training of America’s young warriors. I saw the base that trained many of the soldiers that served with me in my tank platoon. I am proud that Marco Rubio voted to make that training possible.
Every Year, Cruz Has Voted against the Most Important Defense Bill
While Ted Cruz barnstorms South Carolina saying that he cares about our military and our veterans, his actions tell a different tale. Every year, Congress passes an important bill — the National Defense Authorization Act — that provides for the American military. Senator Cruz has never voted for that law. On the other hand, you have Senator Rubio voting for this law and supporting our soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines. If your father, sister, cousin, or neighbor defends America, you cannot vote for a man who refuses to vote for them.
Cruz joined none other than socialist presidential candidate Bernie Sanders in opposing this same bill — and joined Bernie three years in a row. Senator John McCain described Cruz’s multiple votes against the bill “as a slap in the face to the men and women who are serving.” He is right. In the last three years, this bill has authorized approximately $215 million in necessary funding for military facilities in South Carolina: in Beaufort, Charleston, Columbia, and Greenville. Every time, Cruz opposed the bill.
Cruz Voted against Bills that Make It Illegal to Bring Terrorists from Guantanamo Bay to South Carolina
South Carolina and Kansas have rich military heritages and proudly host the Consolidated Naval Brig and Fort Leavenworth, respectively, which each house military prisons. President Obama wants to bring terrorists detained at Guantanamo Bay to the U.S. and is considering these two locations to house the radical Islamist detainees. Today, bringing these terrorists to American soil is illegal, but no thanks to Senator Cruz. He recklessly voted against making Obama’s moves illegal. So, while Cruz says he wants to keep Guantanamo detainees out of South Carolina, when he had the chance to do something about it, he joined with Nancy Pelosi and Bernie Sanders to vote against it.
It is easy to pay lip service to national security.
It is easy to pay lip service to national security. Too many politicians do. Voters have the right to demand that their leaders walk the walk and truly make a difference. Senator Cruz has not done that. He has balked and squirmed and fallen prey to the political pressures of the moment and voted repeatedly in ways that do not support those serving our country.
Marco Rubio stands tall for our servicemen and women and for a strong America. He always will and that is why I am supporting him to be the next president of the United States.
— Mike Pompeo represents Kansas’s Fourth Congressional District and serves on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and the Select Committee on Benghazi. He is a graduate of West Point and an Army veteran.