Cruz calls Princeton activists ‘pampered teenagers’

Inside Ted Cruz's appeal to voters

Washington (CNN)Ted Cruz blasted Princeton University student activists fighting to remove Woodrow Wilson’s name from campus buildings as “essentially pampered teenagers.”

“You see at universities, these essentially pampered teenagers, many of them from very wealthy homes, who complain that they don’t want to hear anything that they disagree with, that it is a ‘micro-aggression.’ And it is the most bizarre and anti-academic notion you can have,” Cruz said Thursday on The Adam Carolla Show.

Some students believe that having the former U.S. president’s name on campus buildings celebrates a politician called racial segregation “a benefit” and who had defended the enslavement of blacks by saying slaves “were happy and well-cared for.”

Cruz, a Princeton grad, said college students shouldn’t be shielded from everything that’s offensive.

“We shouldn’t be raising a generation of young people that are so pampered that they’ve never heard anything that offends them,” he said. “We don’t have a right not to be offended. We have a moral obligation to speak the truth and confront evil.”

Cruz said removing Wilson’s name from Princeton — including from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs — because it “offends our ears” would whitewash history.

“Was Woodrow Wilson an unabashed racist? Yes. Should we talk about that, should we condemn it? Yes,” Cruz said. “But we shouldn’t be involved in this bizarre process of erasing our history because it offends our ears. This is something the media pushes, but I think the American people are fed up with it. There is a reservoir of common sense that recognizes this is dumb.”

Princeton University President Christopher Eisgruber agreed in November to open a debate about Wilson’s legacy at the school following after his office had been taken over by student demonstrators.

Activists at universities across the country have argued that naming buildings after people with known discriminatory pasts celebrates and honors discrimination.

Cruz said it is “ironic” that leftist activists are protesting Wilson, who Cruz called “a big government progressive liberal Democrat.”

“I am not a fan of Woodrow Wilson. He did a lot of damage to this country. And it’s more than ironic that the protestors are going after leftist big government liberals,” he said