"Last I checked we don't have a rubber shortage in America," Ted Cruz said in a rant about contraception
Credit: John Raoux/AP; Cheryl Senter/AP

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz has accused Hillary Clinton of trying to scare voters by painting the GOP as the “condom police” in what he calls the Democratic party’s “made up” war on women.

At a town hall in Bettendorf, Iowa, Monday night, the GOP hopeful used a voter’s question about his stance on “making contraception available to women who want to control their own bodies” as a launchpad for an attack on Clinton.

“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 percent 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.”

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Cruz pointed to his own family life as proof that conservatives are not anti-contraceptives, saying, “As I noted, [my wife] Heidi and I, we have two little girls. I’m very glad we don’t have 17.”

He also took aim at his fellow Republicans for cowering when Democrats first suggested the GOP was waging a “war on women.” “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!” he said.

“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!” he continued, drawing some awkward laughter from the crowd. “So yes, anyone who wants contraceptives can access them, but it’s an utterly made-up nonsense issue.”

Cruz went on to accuse Clinton of falsely targeting the GOP as the “condom police” as a means of scaring voters and drawing their attention away from other policies.

“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.”

Clinton spokeswoman Christina Reynolds blasted Cruz’s rant in statement Tuesday, saying, “Ted Cruz’s colorful comments can’t hide his revisionist history on the sustained Republican effort to restrict access to women’s health care. He threatened to shut down the government to defund Planned Parenthood. He tried to roll back protections that prevent women from being fired for using contraception. He claimed that emergency birth control was an ‘abortifacient,’ which is both medically and scientifically incorrect.”

“As Cruz tries to police women’s health care decisions and deny a war on women, Hillary Clinton will fight every day to protect them against this seemingly endless Republican assault,” Reynolds added.