Cruz shared a video of a Russian military recruitment ad featuring muscular men doing pushups and jumping out of planes, comparing it to an animated U.S. Military ad that presented a daughter of two moms, touting the military as a way to find her "inner-strength."
The recent effort to recruit Gen Z has emphasized activism and personal stories designed to frame the Military as a means for self-actualization.
The Senator said the United States was promoting a "woke, emasculated Military" and turning soldiers into "pansies."
But in a recent interview with CNN, President Joe Biden's Secretary of Defense—Lloyd Austin—made it clear he doesn't share Cruz's concerns.
Insisting that the U.S. Military would never be "too soft," Austin said:
"I think our adversaries would like to capitalize on talking points like that, you know, the Chinese, the Russians."
"I will not lose one minute of sleep about what the Chinese leadership is saying, or what Vladimir Putin is saying. What I will focus on, and what I am focused on, is the defense of this nation, and making sure that we have what's needed to be successful."
"I think we're doing a great job in terms of recruiting the right kinds of people, providing access to people from every corner, every walk of life in this country. As long as you're fit and you can qualify, there's a place for you on this team."
People were pleased with his response.
I must say I have known women who served in the US military. I would not describe any of these women as "soft." The idea that men are strong and women are "soft" is nothing but a stereotype. Also, strength is not determined by how many push ups you can do or how much you lift.https://twitter.com/CNN/status/1399376395336310787\u00a0\u2026— Manyak Saakyan #Free POWs (@Manyak Saakyan #Free POWs) 1622472542
Austin said US military is "best military in the world today," not only because of the technology, but people that "populate our ranks"-- from every corner, every walk of life\n "As long as you're fit and you can qualify, there's a place for you on this team."— \ud83c\udf0a\ud83c\udf0a\ud83c\udf0a\ud83c\uddfa\ud83c\uddf8Jane Moore\ud83c\uddfa\ud83c\uddf8\ud83c\udf0a\ud83c\udf0a\ud83c\udf0a (@\ud83c\udf0a\ud83c\udf0a\ud83c\udf0a\ud83c\uddfa\ud83c\uddf8Jane Moore\ud83c\uddfa\ud83c\uddf8\ud83c\udf0a\ud83c\udf0a\ud83c\udf0a) 1622560021
From before the founding of our republic adversaries believed that our diversity made our military weak. In each instance the enemy was proven wrong by citizen soldiers with diverse backgrounds who had only our democracy in common.https://twitter.com/kylegriffin1/status/1399712343387410433\u00a0\u2026— George Suggs (@George Suggs) 1622554903
Perfect response to @SenTedCruz Dismissed. He can\u2019t even defend his household. He can\u2019t even stand in the shadows of those who have worn the US military service uniform.https://twitter.com/kylegriffin1/status/1399712343387410433\u00a0\u2026— Barbara Patterson (@Barbara Patterson) 1622553614
Now that's what I'm talking about. \nThese Republicans are the pinnacle of treachery.https://twitter.com/kylegriffin1/status/1399712343387410433\u00a0\u2026— \ud83d\udd73\u26aa\ufe0f (@\ud83d\udd73\u26aa\ufe0f) 1622552830
People took the opportunity to further dunk on Cruz, reminding their followers of his subservience to former President Donald Trump, even after Trump berated Cruz's wife during the 2016 Republican primaries and implied Cruz's father killed John F. Kennedy.
I mean, look at Secretary Austin, then look at Cancun Cruz, and tell us who is the softie here : the former General or the guy who couldn't even stand up for his wife and father?— \ud83c\udf77\ud83d\udc1d\ud83d\ude84Auntie Ouakam\ud83d\ude84\ud83d\udc1d\ud83c\udf77 (@\ud83c\udf77\ud83d\udc1d\ud83d\ude84Auntie Ouakam\ud83d\ude84\ud83d\udc1d\ud83c\udf77) 1622560936
Ted Cruz the coward can\u2019t stand up to another coward to defend his own wife and his father reputation has the nerve to call the military who protects his butt everyday and after the terrorist attacked on our capital soft well at least the military isn\u2019t a coward like him.https://twitter.com/kylegriffin1/status/1399712343387410433\u00a0\u2026— THOINAH (@THOINAH) 1622555082
He's absolutely right. Cruz is aiding the enemy by spreading such rhetoric. And the thing is he knows that. He just doesn't care about that tradeoff to what he thinks will get him ahead.https://twitter.com/kylegriffin1/status/1399712343387410433\u00a0\u2026— Derek Brown (@Derek Brown) 1622570429
And THIS is why we call him #KremlinCruz https://twitter.com/kylegriffin1/status/1399712343387410433\u00a0\u2026— \u2728Dianne The History Teacher\u2728 (@\u2728Dianne The History Teacher\u2728) 1622577318
Cruz hasn't addressed Austin's comments.