Republican presidential candidate weighs in on terror threats, talks increasingly personal attacks from Trump on ‘Fox News Sunday’
Cruz has particularly stepped up his criticism of Obama’s plans to allows refugees from war-torn Syria into the U.S. after Tuesday’s fatal attacks on a Brussels airport and subway station that killed 31 and wounded 270 others.
He’s also argued that U.S. law enforcement should have more authority to “patrol and secure” Muslim neighborhoods before their residents become radicalized.
“Enough is enough,” Cruz told “Fox News Sunday.” “We need a commander-in-chief who will protect this nation…This is a policy of weakness and appeasement.”
Cruz’s original comments were quickly criticized by Obama, Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton, the New York
City police department and others.
NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton wrote an op-ed in the New York Daily News on Sunday in which he said the department already patrols and secures Muslim neighborhoods but doesn’t engage in “selective enforcement” based on race or religion.
“Nor will we use the police and an occupying force to intimidate a populace or a religion to appease the provocative chatter of politicians seeking to exploit fear,” he wrote.“We already patrol and secure Muslim neighborhoods, the same way we patrol and secure other neighborhoods.”
Authorities have linked one of the Brussels attackers to the deadly Paris bombings in November, with ISIS claiming responsibility for both strikes.
Cruz pointed out the terror group has vowed to try to slip its fighters into the Syrian refugee program, which could increase the risk of a terror attacks on U.S. soil.
Cruz also said Europe’s immigration policies, which have allowed millions of Muslim refugees to enter the region, has created a “hotbed of racialization.”
“We cannot become Europe,” he said.
Last week, Cruz called for “proactive law enforcement,” including contributions from the U.S. military abroad and the U.S. intelligence and national security communities.
He said allowing police to go into Islamic communities, like the NYPD has done, will “prevent Muslims from getting radicalized.”
Also Sunday, Cruz again condemned GOP rival Donald Trump’s attack on Cruz’s wife, Heidi, and a tabloid story suggesting Cruz might have had extramarital affairs.
“Attacks on a spouse have no place in politics,” Cruz said.
He added that Trump’s recent suggestion that the U.S. withdraw from NATO would be a huge mistake and shows his “lack of understanding” of foreign policy. He claimed such a move would be a “massive victory” for both Russian President Vladimir Putin and ISIS.