Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz added to his reputation for juvenile insensitivity on August 21. Just one day after Jimmy Carter spoke with the national media about his recent diagnosis of brain cancer, the Texas senator didn’t think twice about hurling insults at the former president.
Speaking from the soapbox at the Iowa State Fair, Cruz made the comparison of the Obama Administration’s recent nuclear agreement with Iran to the 1979 capture of the U.S. embassy in that same country.
I think where we are today is very, very much like the late 1970s. I think the parallels between this administration and the Carter administration are uncanny: same failed domestic policies, same misery, stagnation and malaise, same feckless and naïve foreign policy. In fact, the exact same countries—Russia and Iran—(are) openly laughing and mocking at the president of the United States. Why is it that that analogy gives me so much hope and encouragement?
Less than 24 hours earlier did Carter speak about his recent cancer diagnosis at a national press conference. But to Cruz, Carter was still fair game, he told press after being questioned about the insensitivity of his remarks.
Apparently, Cruz overlooked the nationwide criticism of others’ insults to Carter over a week ago, when news of his dire diagnosis was first made public. This juvenile insensitivity is typical of Cruz, though. In June, he made insulting comments about Joe Biden, and just four days after the vice president’s son, Beau Biden, died of brain cancer and only one day before the funeral.
Even worse, Cruz’s assessment of the Iran nuclear deal is not only wrong, but also seems to be just an attempt to build up support for his campaign. And that is not only based on fear, but on false premises, too.
The official agreement actually restricts Iran from nuclear development, requiring the country to phase out of centrifuges and preventing it from accumulating enriched uranium. In addition, rejection of the treaty could leave the U.S. completely alone in any following conflict with Iran.
In November 1979, and after the former shah of Iran was allowed to enter the U.S. for medical treatment, Iranian revolutionaries who supported then-leader Ayatollah Khomeini protested by capturing the U.S. embassy in Tehran. Fifty-two Americans employed at the embassy were held hostage, and were only released when Carter ended his sole term as president in January 1981.