Withdrawn 2016 Republican Presidential Candidate

U.S. Senator from Texas

Rafael Edward Cruz
Born: December 22nd, 1970  (age 46)

Ted Cruz Profile

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    Candidates' Positions on Terrorism

Ted Cruz on Terrorism

Cruz opposes allowing Muslim Syrian refugees to enter the country, advocating instead for resettling them within the Middle East. He supports the use of American military power against ISIS, as directed by military commanders and not political leaders, and arming Kurdish fighters. He is sharply critical of President Obama's handling of terrorism, calling his policies “lunacy” and “nonsense”.

DANA BASH: “Senator, President Obama called you out when he was speaking in Turkey, and he said it was shameful for saying that there should be effectively a religious test for refugees, especially since you come from a family where there was political persecution, and your family benefited from the policies of America allowing refugees in.”

TED CRUZ: “Well, you know, look, it's not surprising that President Obama is attacking me personally. I'll tell you what's shameful: Is that we have a president who after seven years still refuses to utter the words 'radical Islamic terrorism”. What Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are proposing is that we bring to this country tens of thousands of Syrian Muslim refugees. I have to say, particularly in light of what happened in Paris, that's nothing short of lunacy.”

BASH: “What would have happened if your father was trying to get from Cuba to the United States, and the political leaders here said, 'nope, we don't think so. Because, who knows? Maybe you could be somebody who could, you know, commit crimes against America'?”

CRUZ: “Well, see, that's why it's important to define what it is we're fighting. If my father were part of a theocratic and political movement like radical Islamism that promotes murdering anyone who doesn't share your extreme faith or forcibly converting them, then it would make perfect sense.”

BASH: “Okay, but what about Muslims who are victims of the radical Islamic terrorists who, you know, are taking their religion and are hijacking it? What about protecting those people?”

CRUZ: “There is no doubt that millions of people are suffering from the rise of radical Islamic terrorism. Christians are suffering, Jews are suffering, and other Muslims are suffering – they're being persecuted.”

BASH: “Are you saying Muslims shouldn't be allowed in the US?”

CRUZ: “What I'm saying is, Syrian Muslim refugees should be resettled in the Middle East in majority Muslim countries.”

BASH: “You wanted to, and want to continue to arm the Kurds and increase military strikes along with coalition partners. Is that enough?”

CRUZ: “Well, we need to start with a president that sets out a clear objective. We need a Commander-in-Chief who says 'we will defeat -'”

BASH: “But if you were Commander-in-Chief right now, what would be your 'clear objective'?”

CRUZ: ”If I were Commander-in-Chief, or if I'm elected president, as Commander-in-Chief, I will say 'we will defeat radical Islamic terrorism'. President Obama is launching between 15 and 30 air strikes a day. I've described this as 'photo-op foreign policy'. Actually, you'll like this, what I've said is, 'they're launching bombs for CNN's credit.' To show 'em on TV, but not actually designed to take out ISIS. We need to use overwhelming air power -”

BASH: “What about American boots on the ground in Syria?”

CRUZ: “You know, I think there are far too many politicians, when it comes to boots on the ground, that are eager just to commit to boots on the ground to show how tough they are. I think the objective should be destroying ISIS and the question of the military tactics and strategy should be driven heavily by the expert judgment of our commanders and generals and admirals. I've met with a great many both active-duty commanders and also retired commanders, and I believe that overwhelming air power plus arming the Kurds is sufficient to take out ISIS.

Now it may well take some embedded special forces to direct some of that air power. But I don't think you should have politicians basically playing Risk and saying 'I want to send in so many troops to show how tough I am'. That's not how we should make these decisions.”

BASH: “Some of your competitors have said the best thing to do right now is to invoke Article V of NATO. To convene NATO allies and deal with it as an act of war on the coalition. Do you agree with that?”

CRUZ: “Well, listen, NATO may well go down that road. You know, President Obama recently said 'we don't need American leadership. We don't need to talk about America winning.' What utter nonsense. Look, that sentence sums up everything that is wrong with the Obama-Clinton foreign policy.”

17 November, 2015: Cruz is interviewed by CNN journalist Dana Bash (0:39 – 4:38)

Other Candidates on Terrorism

Hillary Clinton
Gary Johnson
Jill Stein
Donald Trump

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