UPDATE: This story is false. I was duped, as it appears the USA Today writer was duped. Mea culpa.
During a recent campaign stop in Iowa, Texas Senator and 2016 Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz suggested veterans should sell cookies to raise funds just like the Girl Scouts of America. Sen. Cruz’s suggestion came after he was asked by veterans in attendance what his administration would do to help veterans and how his proposed tax cuts would affect the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Unsatisfied with Cruz’s answer, the next attendee to receive the mic, Sally, who also identified herself as a veteran, asked Senator Cruz to clarify his answer, specifically asking what Cruz plans to do, as president, to help veterans while also balancing the Federal budget, to which Cruz replied with the controversial statement.
“We need to make spending cuts that not everyone will be happy with, but we need to come up with solutions that make up for those cuts, too. For instance — and I’m just thinking out loud here — but the Girl Scouts make a lot of money selling cookies each year, and it brings attention to their cause. We’re talking billions and billions of dollars here. That’s an innovative idea right there, and I just came up with it on the spot. That’s what I want to bring to the White House.”
“Something like that, selling cookies, would generate billions of dollars for veterans while also connecting them with their friends and neighbors in a new and innovative way,” Cruz later continued, responding to yet another question from an attendee. “Think about the opportunities these veterans would be exposed to. Think about the potential of meeting a new employer, for instance. This idea would raise billions of dollars for vets each year, gives veterans the sort of public attention they deserve, and could open new doors for our nation’s bravest fighting men and women. This would be a golden opportunity for veterans, and for America.”