ICYMI: Ted Cruz on Brussels attack: “Until Isis is utterly destroyed they will continue to carry out acts of terror.”
HOUSTON, Texas – Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz addressed the media today in Washington D.C. in response to the deadly terror attacks in Brussels.
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The following is a transcript of Ted Cruz’ remarks:
Today’s attacks in Brussels underscores that this is a war. This is not an isolated incident. This is not a lone wolf. This is a war with radical Islamic terrorism. ISIS has declared jihad on Europe and on the United States of America. They have declared their intention to murder as many innocents as possible and it is long past time that we had a President who will acknowledge this evil, will call it by its name and will utilize the full force and fury of the United States to defeat radical Islamic terrorism, to defeat ISIS. Until they are defeated these attacks will continue. Until Isis is utterly destroyed they will continue to carry out acts of terror, continue to murder. Whether at a subway station, whether at an airport, whether at an opera house in Paris, whether at a community center in San Bernardino.
Their target is each and every one of us. And we need a President who sets aside political correctness in the wake of Brussels. We don’t need another lecture from President Obama on Islamophobia. We need a Commander in Chief who does everything necessary to defeat the enemy and we need to immediately halt the President’s ill-advised plan to bring in tens of thousands of Syrian Muslim refugees.
Our vetting programs are woefully insufficient. This administration has no means of preventing those refugees from being ISIS terrorists. ISIS has stated its intention to infiltrate those terrorists, those refugees, with terrorists coming to America to commit acts of jihad. And the time for the President’s political correctness has passed. The first priority of the Commander in Chief should be keeping America safe.
Q: Beyond Syrian refugees, is it time for a ban on all Muslims, as Donald Trump has called for?
CRUZ: It is time for us to implement serious vetting and we should not be allowing anyone to come to this country that we cannot vet to make sure that they are not radical Islamic terrorists. That’s part of the problem of not defining the enemy. When you don’t define the enemy, then you don’t have screening programs designed to keep them out. And I would note if you look at the San Bernardino terrorists, the female terrorist had publically posted on social media calls to jihad. And yet the Obama administration in yet another nod to political correctness refused to even to look to social media. That is an example of the myopia of this administration. It’s politically driven. It’s not that they cannot see the threats of terrorism, it’s that they refuse to look at, acknowledge or name the threats of terrorism because it is inconsistent with their political objectives.
Q: What makes you the guy? (inaudible)
CRUZ: Well I will say it is striking that the day after Donald Trump called for America weakening NATO, withdrawing from NATO, that we see Brussels, where NATO is headquartered the subject of a radical Islamic terrorist attack. Donald Trump is wrong that America should withdraw from the world and abandon our allies. Donald Trump is wrong that America should retreat from Europe, retreat from NATO, hand Putin a major victory, and while he’s at it hand ISIS a major a victory.
Q: What should NATO do?
CRUZ: NATO should join with the United States in utterly destroying ISIS. And I would note that NATO is ready to act in a way that our President is not. Donald Trump’s proposal to withdraw from the world, to withdraw from NATO, to withdraw from Europe is sadly consistent with his statement that he intends to be neutral between Israel and the Palestinians. We have seen for seven years a President that cannot distinguish between our friends and our enemies– a President that cannot distinguish between the nation of Israel and Islamic terrorists who seek to murder us. And it would be a mistake to elect another President who buys into the same left-wing moral relativism that equates the terrorist blowing himself up and murdering innocent civilians to the brave soldiers and law enforcement officers risking everything to keep us safe.
Donald Trump’s proposal to withdraw from the world, to withdraw from NATO, to withdraw from Europe is sadly consistent with his statement that he intends to be neutral between Israel and the Palestinians. We have seen for seven years a President that cannot distinguish between our friends and our enemies– a President that cannot distinguish between the nation of Israel and Islamic terrorists who seek to murder us. And it would be a mistake to elect another President who buys into the same left-wing moral relativism that equates the terrorist blowing himself up and murdering innocent civilians to the brave soldiers and law enforcement officers risking everything to keep us safe.
Q: Trump said this morning that he would suspend the visa waiver program. Do you agree with him on that?
CRUZ: There’s no doubt that we need serious scrutiny to the visa waiver program. The attack in Brussels is in many ways the fruit of a failed immigration policy in Europe that has allowed a massive influx of radical Islamic terrorists into Europe.
Europe is in the process of allowing policies to fundamentally threaten the safety and security of its citizens. That is a mistake. And the visa waiver program was designed for a different era when those from Europe were not perceived to be threats.
When Europe’s immigration policies allow radical Islamic terrorists to make Europe their home– we absolutely need to revisit our immigration policies across the board to prevent radical Islamic terrorists from coming to America.
Q: Should President Obama cut short his trip to Cuba and come back to the US?
CRUZ: While our friends and allies are attacked by radical Islamic terrorists, President Obama is spending his time going to baseball games with the Castro’s. And standing at a press conference with Raul Castro, (inaudible) while Castro denies there are any political prisoners in Cuba. And then even worse, President Obama goes out of his way to agree with Castro’s attacks on America.
I recognize President Obama began his presidency with a worldwide apology tour. But the people of America deserve a President who doesn’t grovel before a communist dictator who hates America; is attacking our nation. And instead of the President enthusiastically agreeing with the Castro’s on his attacks with America, we need a President who will stand up and defend America as the greatest light of freedom the world has ever seen.
No other nation has spilled more blood, has spent more treasure, has lost the lives of more children preserving liberty, preserving the lives of others than has the United States of America. And President Obama should be back in America keeping this country safe or President Obama should be planning to travel to Brussels.
You know in the wake of the Paris terrorist attacks, world leaders came together in solidarity with the people of Paris. And yet strikingly absent was Barack Obama. A visual manifestation of President Obama and Hillary Clinton’s retreat from the world– abdication of leadership in the world.
And I would note that retreat from the world– that Obama-Clinton retreat from the world– is very much the retreat from the world that Donald Trump is advocating. Even Barack Obama hasn’t gone so far as arguing from withdrawing from NATO.
And the way to respond to terrorist attacks is not weakness– is not unilateral and preemptive surrender. Abandoning Europe, withdrawing from NATO as Trump suggests, is preemptive surrender.
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