Critics of Ted Cruz (R) were treated to rare video this week of the Texas senator groveling before Filipino War World II veterans who had confronted him in his office after he recently compared one of his speeches to the 1942 Bataan Death March, which is considered to be one of the greatest atrocities of modern wartime.
At the conclusion of his marathon 21-hour Senate floor speech opposing President Barack Obama’s health care reform law last week, Cruz had thanked those “who have endured this Bataan Death March.”
Surviving Filipino War World II veterans quickly demanded an apology on behalf of the more than 10,000 men who were killed by Japanese forces after being captured and forced to march 65 miles down the Bataan peninsula.
“On behalf of our elderly Filipino American World War II veterans and members of our national advocacy organization, we demand your prompt apology and actions to remedy your ill-advised, and insulting televised statement last Wednesday,” the veterans wrote in a letter to Cruz. “You compared yourself, senate colleagues and staff as ‘Bataan Death March’ survivors for having endured your 21-hour talk-athon on the floor of the Senate.”
Filipino American Veterans national coordinator Art Garcia told the Philippine Daily Inquirer that the “heroism of the joint US and Filipino Forces in Bataan cannot be compared to the foolish filibuster of Ted Cruz.”
On Monday, some of those surviving Filipino veterans came face-to-face with Cruz in his Senate office.
“I apologize for causing offense,” Cruz said in a near whisper. “I should not have said what I did.”
“It was in the context of thanking them that I thanked them for enduring and that’s when I used the analogy,” he insisted. “I was trying to say they endured a long period of their suffering not of their choosing.”
Cruz went on to tell the men that his family had also been tortured and experienced atrocities in Cuba.
“And so it was not my intention to cause offense, and so I want you to hear from me, personally and directly, that apology.”
Watch this video from the American Coalition for Filipino Veterans, uploaded on Oct. 1, 2013.