"Pirates threaten the open seas and the same is possible in space," Cruz said during an aviation and subcommittee hearing on Wednesday. "In this same way, I believe we too must now recognize the necessity of a Space Force to defend the nation and to protect space commerce and civil space exploration."
The "Meet The Press" moderator had some fun at the expense of the GOP senator, insisting that space pirates "don't exist."
"So Ted Cruz says we need a Space Force to stop space pirates, you know, those celestial swashbucklers, intergalactic planet pillagers, buccaneers of the great beyond," Todd said, chucking "Space pirates don't exist."
Todd added that "putting 'space' in front of anything does make it sound a whole lot better," like "driving your 'space car' to the 'space store' to get some 'space milk.'"
Cruz offered a sharp response on Twitter, accusing Todd's network of omitting the threats of "piracy, espionage, & violence" from rival countries and stressed how China has the capacity to "destroy satellites in space."
"Sure, a frigate w/ skull & crossbones in space is unlikely anytime soon, but what MSNBC conveniently omits is the threat of piracy, espionage & violence from rogue & rival NATIONS is very real," Cruz tweeted. "Indeed, China has already developed & tested weapons to destroy satellites in space."
President Trump was hoping to add the space-based branch to the U.S. military, joining the U.S. Army, the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, the U.S. Coast Guard, and the U.S. Air Force.