POLITICS
08/21/2015 04:24 pm ET Updated Dec 28, 2016

Ted Cruz Criticizes Jimmy Carter One Day After Cancer Announcement

"I think where we are today is very, very much like the late 1970s."

Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz slammed Jimmy Carter's presidency just one day after Carter announced his cancer has spread to his brain.

Speaking at the Iowa State Fair, Cruz recited a regular part of his stump speech in which the Texas senator says that "today is very, very much like the late 1970s." 

"I think the parallels between this administration and the Carter administration are uncanny: same failed domestic policies, same misery, stagnation and malaise, same feckless and naïve foreign policy," Cruz said. "In fact, the exact same countries -- Russia and Iran -- openly laughing and mocking at the president of the United States."

On Thursday, Carter announced he is beginning radiation treatment for melanoma that spread to four spots on his brain.

Cruz even tweeted his support for Carter after the announcement.

After the speech, Cruz defended his remarks while speaking to the press.

"What I commented on was the public policy of the Carter administration in the 1970s, and it didn't work," Cruz said. "Millions of people hurt and as a result it sparked a grassroots movement to turn this country around. The same thing is happening because we’re seeing the same failed public policy."

In June, Cruz made an ill-timed joke about Vice President Joe Biden a few days after Biden's son Beau died from cancer. Cruz later apologized for the remark.

Carter's presidency has long been a punching bag for Republicans. In recent months, several other GOP presidential candidates -- including New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and former Texas Gov. Rick Perry -- have also taken shots at the 39th president.

"We had a civil war in this country. We had two world wars. We had a great depression," Perry said in February. "We even survived Jimmy Carter. We will survive the Obama years too."

This piece has been updated to clarify that Carter's cancer has spread to his brain.

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