Texas Sen. Ted Cruz skipped a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on countering the Islamic State and instead traveled to New York City for a fundraiser and an appearance on Fox News during the hearing.

Cruz's absence is noteworthy as he has made fighting 'Islamism' a top talking point on the campaign trail. The senator has pledged to "utterly destroy ISIS" and said that the San Bernardino slaughter "underscores that we are at a time of war."

Defense Secretary Ash Carter testified Wednesday at the Senate hearing titled, "U.S. Strategy to Counter the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant and U.S. Policy Toward Iraq and Syria." But Cruz, who sits on the Senate Armed Services Committee, appeared in studio at Fox News as video of the hearing played in the background.

On Fox News, Cruz disputed the notion that he said he would not send ground troops into Syria as president. The Texas senator told Fox News that "we need to do whatever is necessary to defeat ISIS," and he has previously advocated carpet-bombing the Islamic State.

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