Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said he requested a meeting with the head of the U.S. Marine Corps after one of its units tweeted statements insulting Tucker Carlson, along with unusually bellicose comments about the Fox News host.
“Under Biden, the military is launching political attacks to intimidate Tucker Carlson & other civilians who criticize their policy decisions,” Cruz wrote on Twitter, saying he requested a meeting with the commandant of the Marines. “Officials in uniform are being used for the campaign. I’ve demanded a meeting with the Commandant of the USMC to put a stop to it.”
Over the weekend, a U.S. Marine Corps unit’s Twitter account—the II Marine Expeditionary Force Information Group—stated it “messed up” in its comments when responding to Carlson after the Fox host said the military should be focused more on adversaries like China rather than social issues.
“We are human and we messed up. What was intended as a tweet in support of our female Marines and sisters serving in uniform was clearly not aligned with our standard practices or an appropriate representation of the Marine Corps. We will do better and serve the people,” the Marines unit added.
However, Cruz made note of several seemingly unusual statements from the military, including one from the Space Force Command’s senior enlisted leader, Marine Corps Master Gunnery Sgt. Scott Stalker, who said in a video that Carlson’s opinion is “based on zero days of service in the armed forces.” Stalker appeared to be wearing his uniform. Army Sgt. Major Michael Grinston also criticized the Fox host, while Defense Department spokesman John Kirby, a retired rear admiral and former CNN analyst, wrote a statement saying, “Press Secretary Smites Fox Host That Dissed Diversity in U.S. Military.”
Cruz, in a letter to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, wrote that he is “deeply troubled” by how the Pentagon has “[mobilized] systematic, public attacks against television host Tucker Carlson that in substance, tone, and political resonance are inexplicably inappropriate.”
“Instead of allowing the debate to take its course in public among American citizens and their elected leaders,” Cruz wrote, “military officials over the last week have repeatedly launched attacks on Carlson, including through official DOD platforms and accounts while in uniform.”
Cruz then stated that this “spectacle risks politicizing the military after several centuries of efforts to keep military officials out of domestic affairs” and undermines “civil-military relations by having the military take a side in a contentious cultural dispute.” Such behavior, he added, is more akin to what occurs in a “Third World country” rather than the United States.
Last week, Carlson said on his popular nightly program that the Pentagon had effectively “declare[d] war on a domestic news operation.”
“How do sex changes in the military make this country safer? That’s not a trick question. It’s not another volley in the culture war. It’s the only question that matters—literally, the only question that matters. But no one bothered to ask it, probably because no one can remember why the U.S. military exists,” Carlson said, making note of the military’s increasing focus on identity politics.