Fact Check: Did Ted Cruz Ask Veterans To Sell Cookies For Funding?

A fake news story shared on social media claims that Ted Cruz wants veterans to sell cookies to fund their government programs.

A fake news story shared on social media claims that Ted Cruz wants veterans to sell cookies to fund their government programs.

There’s not a lot that Ted Cruz would say that would honestly surprise me. It wouldn’t be that much of a shock for him to say that the world is only 6,000 years old because his father, a former Castro supporter and evangelical preacher, said so. Or perhaps that Jesus Christ himself penned the Constitution, or that liberals secretly worship Adolf Hitler – because nothing beats invoking Godwin’s Law in a political argument.

Needless to say, there is a lot of campaign rhetoric going on within the rapidly-expanding Republican field ahead of the 2016 primaries, and Ted Cruz has been making his fair share of inflammatory statements.

Ted Cruz is currently running for president as the most viable candidate the right-wing fringe has to offer as an alternative to the inevitable coronation of Jeb Bush in 2016 as the GOP’s contender. Part of his campaign involves throwing political red meat and conspiracy stories like Jade Helm to the base and constantly criticizing President Obama in order to keep candidates like Mike Huckabee from cutting into his field of supporters.

The latest story circulated by the liberal website Occupy Democrats (which is owned by Omar Rivero, a one-time candidate for Florida’s House of Representatives) allegedly comes from Iowa. The story claims that Senator Ted Cruz wants to slash benefits for veterans and have them fund the remaining spending by selling cookies like Girl Scouts do.

Ted Cruz’s longshot campaign for the presidency continues to drive itself further off the rails in a desperate pursuit of relevancy. His latest attention grab came at a Des Moines, Iowa, town hall meeting, where he has some special words for veterans in need- that he plans to slash veteran benefits and that our brave vets should make up the difference selling cookies like Girl Scouts.

Somehow Cruz had the gall to say this to the face of a man who lost his leg fighting for his country. For all the tearful  celebrations of our veterans in his speeches and talking points, Cruz is quick to take an axe to their benefits and healthcare. He told the wounded man that “we need to be innovative if we want to help veterans. We need to be practical and pragmatic. But we also need to remain vigilant with our government’s out-of-control spending, and find ways of mitigating expenses wherever possible…So we need a president whose willing to tackle the hard issues, and come up with innovative solutions to these problems, head-on.” (Source)

That sounds absolutely OUTRAGEOUS, right? There’s no way that he could be this stupid and say something so heartless to someone who lost a limb fighting for his country – even Ted Cruz can’t be that insane. Well, it turns out that the author of this story, Colin Taylor (who is also listed as a managing editor for Occupy Democrats), failed to do some basic fact checking before hitting the “publish” button. The entire story is based on this article at USAToday.com.co, which is all fake news posing as the real USA Today, and it is also rehosted from NationalReport.net, which is a website that has this disclaimer at the bottom.

National Report is a news and political satire web publication, which may or may not use real names, often in semi-real or mostly fictitious ways. All news articles contained within National Report are fiction, and presumably fake news. Any resemblance to the truth is purely coincidental. Advice given is NOT to be construed as professional. If you are in need of professional help, please consult a professional. National Report is not intended for children under the age of 18. (Source)

If something sounds too outrageous to be true, it doesn’t hurt to stop and take some time to research a story before passing it along as legitimate – especially if you’re someone who is a managing editor for a political website owned by a politician, and you have a degree in political science.

Think about it for a minute. Ted Cruz is a politician and he’s made his career so far by catering to the radical right which claims to love the military and jumps at a chance for war whenever possible. He also represents Texas, which has a ton of military bases – including Fort Hood which is the largest military base in the country in terms of population. Making a statement like this wouldn’t go over with his base of support, and in fact, it would be career suicide. These are all factors that anyone with a little political knowledge and critical thinking skills would take into consideration instead of blindly passing on stories like this as proof that Republicans are insane or hateful hypocrites.

Ahead of a crucial presidential election, we here at Forward Progressives still subscribe to the belief that the truth matters. If we can’t expect “our side” to tell the truth and get the facts right – and call them out on it when they don’t – then we’re nothing more than hypocrites for complaining about lies coming from the “other side.”


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