Cruz focuses on military, not Trump

Credit: Jamie Dupree

Credit: Jamie Dupree

From Columbia, South Carolina -

After tangling repeatedly with Donald Trump in recent days here in the Palmetto State, Ted Cruz switched gears on Tuesday, detailing new plans to rebuild the military and focusing his attacks on the defense policies of President Obama and his administration.

"We are not going to repeat the mistakes of the last seven years," Cruz said to strong applause at a National Guard Armory near the University of South Carolina football stadium.

"No longer will the focus be on gluten-free M.R.E.'s Cruz said to laughter.

Credit: Jamie Dupree

Credit: Jamie Dupree

Labeling the Obama Administration a "manifest disaster," Cruz started his day by announcing his military buildup plans on the deck of the U.S.S. Yorktown, a World War Two aircraft carrier, and then came here to Columbia.

"The answer is to declare the holy wrath of the United States on anyone who would declare war on this country," Cruz said to cheers.

Cruz said his idea for building up the military is simple - "more tooth, less tail" - in other words, get rid of excess in areas that aren't important in defending the nation.

"We're going to focus on the war fighters," Cruz said. "You know, at the Pentagon, there are 12,000 accountants?"

While it is nothing new for Cruz to go after the record of President Obama, it was notable that his stump speech did not include even the slightest reference to Trump, who just yesterday labeled Cruz an "unstable individual" and accused him of lying repeatedly.

But today was a day for reinforcing change from the current administration.

"It is photo op foreign policy," Cruz declared of President Obama's plans on the Islamic State.

"America is ready for change," Cruz said to a rumble of approval in the crowd.

Cruz though still has an uphill fight here against Donald Trump to set that agenda for the Republicans, as Trump on Tuesday did not end his attacks on Cruz, again labeling him a liar, and more.