- Ted Cruz tackled a question on contraceptives in Iowa on Monday
- He accused Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton of falsely attacking the GOP as "the condom police."
Bettendorf, Iowa (CNN)Iowans at a town hall waded into awkward territory on Monday evening as Ted Cruz tackled a question on contraceptives.
During a question and answer session at the final stop of a three-day Iowa campaign swing, an attendee asked Cruz about "making contraception available to women who want to control their own bodies."
The Texas senator began by attacking what he called the Democratic Party's "(concocted) war on women" and accused Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton of falsely attacking the GOP as "the condom police."
"Hillary Clinton embraces abortion on demand in all circumstances up until the moment of birth. Partial-birth abortion with taxpayer funding, with no notification for parents in any circumstances -- 91% of Americans say that's nuts," he said. "So what do they do, they try to shift it. The war on women wasn't that, it was contraceptives. Now listen, I have been a conservative my entire life. I have never met anybody, any conservative who wants to ban contraceptives."
Cruz said the charge that conservatives are anti-contraceptives is a "made-up, nonsense example."
"As I noted, Heidi and I, we have two little girls. I'm very glad we don't have 17," he told the hundreds of people in the audience. "And it's a great example when the war on women came up, Republicans would curl up in a ball, they'd say, 'Don't hurt me.' Jiminy Cricket!"
"Last I checked we don't have a rubber shortage in America. When I was in college we had a machine in the bathroom, you put .50 cents in and voila!" Cruz continued, receiving some uncomfortable laughter from the audience. "So yes, anyone who wants contraceptives can access them, but it's an utterly made-up nonsense issue."
Cruz said Clinton is running as the "condom police" to distract from other policies and "scare" voters.
"Imagine for a second you're Hillary Clinton," he said. "You're trying to think, 'How do I run?' Well you can't run on the economy because we have the lowest percentage of Americans working any year since 1977. You can't run on Obamacare because millions of people have lost their jobs, lost their health care, lost their doctors, seen their premiums skyrocket. You certainly can't run on foreign policy because every country you touched as secretary of state is a disaster."
"So what do you do? You go, 'Ah, ha! Condom police. I'm gonna make up a completely made up threat and try to scare a bunch of folks into thinking someone's going to steal their birth control,'" Cruz said. "What nonsense."