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Cruz apologizes to Filipino vets for Bataan Death March reference (video)

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) has apologized, on video, to Filipino World War II veterans for comparing his 21-hour speech to the Bataan Death March.

"Let me say to each of you: I apologize for causing offense," Cruz said in a meeting with Filipino veterans, video of which was posted to YouTube on Tuesday. "I should not have said what I did."

Cruz then explained that he didn't mean to compare his effort to the ordeal of those who suffered and died during the Bataan Death March, a war crime in which thousands of Filipino and American troops died while being marched to a prison camp by the Japanese.

He said he was merely thanking staff who endured the marathon speech.

"It was in the context of thanking them that I thanked them for enduring -- and that's when I used the analogy," Cruz said. "I understand that that comment caused offense, and I apologize. That was not right."

Filipino civic and veterans groups, including the American Coalition for Filipino Veterans, quickly called on Cruz to apologize following his speech last week.

Cruz said at the tail end of the speech: “I don’t want to miss the opportunity within the limited amount of time -- it is imperative that I do -- which is to thank the men and women who have endured this, this Bataan Death March."

Aaron Blake covers national politics and writes regularly for The Fix.



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