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John McCain Pokes Fun at Ted Cruz Over Campaign Statement

Image: John McCain Pokes Fun at Ted Cruz Over Campaign Statement
(Nancy Wiechec/Reuters/Landov)

By    |   Tuesday, 21 Apr 2015 10:30 AM

Sen. John McCain told reporters on Monday that he was "fascinated to hear" that his colleague, Ted Cruz, had told an audience during a recent campaign speech that he was "pressing" the Arizona Republican to hold hearings on allowing troops to carry concealed weapons on military bases.

"I was fascinated to hear that because I haven’t heard a thing about it from him … I’d be glad to discuss the issue and see if we need a hearing, but it came as a complete surprise to me that he had been pressing me," the chairman of the Senate Armed Services said when asked about Cruz' reported remarks, according to The Hill.

During a campaign stop Sunday at the Londonderry Fish & Game Club in Litchfield, New Hampshire, Cruz, a Texas Republican, told a group of gun owners of his concerns about Defense Department policy that prevents service members from carrying private firearms while on military bases.

"I am very concerned about that policy. I think it’s very important to have a public discussion about why we’re denying our soldiers the ability to exercise their Second Amendment rights," said Cruz, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, according to Politico.

When asked how Cruz might have made the request, according to The Hill, McCain mockingly responded, "Maybe it was through some medium that I’m not familiar with. Maybe bouncing it off the ozone layer, for all I know."

"There’s a lot of holes in the ozone layer, so maybe it wasn’t the ozone layer that he bounced it off of. Maybe it was through hand telegraph, maybe sign language, who knows?" joked McCain.

Monday's exchange was not the first time that Republican Party's 2008 presidential nominee has poked fun at Cruz.

In 2013, McCain characterized Cruz and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul as "wacko birds" during an interview with The Huffington Post.

Efforts to change Pentagon policy concerning concealed carry on military bases emerged after three service members were killed in an April 2, 2014, attack on the Fort Hood military base in Texas. Shortly after the assault, which was the second rampage shooting on a base in five years, a spokesman for Cruz said the senator was seeking a hearing on the issue.

"He thinks this is an important issue that needs to be discussed and explored, and has called for a hearing in the Senate Armed Services Committee to discuss what actions could possibly be taken to expand concealed carry at military bases. He wants a hearing so that we can fully understand all aspects of the issue," Cruz spokeswoman Catherine Frazier told The Houston Chronicle.

The Pentagon has repeatedly turned down requests to change the policy, according to The Hill.

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Sen. John McCain told reporters on Monday that he was "fascinated to hear" that his colleague, Ted Cruz, had told an audience that he was "pressing" the McCain to hold hearings on allowing troops to carry concealed weapons on military bases.
John McCain, Ted Cruz, concealed weapons, military
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2015-30-21
Tuesday, 21 Apr 2015 10:30 AM
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