The Presidential race for 2016 is gearing up and candidates are preparing themselves for the upcoming campaign. Senator Ted Cruz is the first to announce his bid for the Republican presidential nomination.
As each candidate announces their intention to run, Clarion Project will provide a summary of each candidate’s positions on issues relating to Islamic extremism, in order to help our readers make the most informed
possible choice come voting day. Should there be any significant changes, we intend to update our readers on the positions of any given candidate.
As Clarion is a bipartisan organization, we will not be endorsing any party or any candidate. All information provided is intended as informative only and should not be taken as evidence of Clarion’s preference for any given candidate.
Senator Ted Cruz announced his bid for the Republican presidential nomination on March 23, 2015.
The following is the Clarion Project's compilation of Senator Cruz's positions on Islamist extremism. It will be updated as the campaign develops.
- Single-term Republican Senator from Texas (2012-Current). Serves on Senate Committee on Armed Services. Serves on Subcommittees on Emerging Threats and Capabilities, Strategic Forces and Seapower.
View of Islamist Extremism
- Sharia Law is an "enormous problem" in the U.S.
- Domestic Islamist Extremism
- Introduced legislation to strip the citizenship of Americans who go overseas to join the Islamic State to prevent them from returning home.
Introduced legislation that explicitly named the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) and the North American Islamic Trust (NAIT) as entities established by the Muslim Brotherhood in America to support Hamas. The legislation calls on the Secretary of State to ban the Brotherhood (and therefore its U.S. affiliates) as a terrorist group.
- A nuclear-armed Iran is "the single greatest national security threat" today.
- Current nuclear talks with Iran are the "worst negotiation in the history of mankind." He says he would "rip to shreds" the "catastrophic" nuclear deal upon taking office.
- The U.S. should have "vigorously" supported the Green Revolution in 2009.
- The U.S. should not partner with Iran or its proxies in fighting the Islamic State (ISIS).
- Sanctions on Iran and North Korea will "ideally overthrow their current regimes."
Iraq and ISIS
- The U.S. invasion of Iraq to topple Saddam Hussein was a mistake. Cruz says he does not know if he would have voted for it in 2002 because he was not a Senator and therefore did not have access to the intelligence.
- The U.S. should not deploy ground troops to Iraq to fight the Islamic State if they must rely on the Iraqi government or Iran-linked militias for security.
- The U.S. should first increase support for the Kurdish Peshmerga troops instead of sending additional ground troops to Iraq.
- The citizenships of Americans that have joined terrorist groups like the Islamic State overseas should be revoked so they cannot reenter the country or receive constitutional protections.
Muslim Brotherhood & Egypt
Introduced legislation to require the Secretary of State to designate the Muslim Brotherhood as a Foreign Terrorist Organization or to explain in detail why the group does not meet the criteria.
- The U.S. should have successfully pressured Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to oversee a democratic transition but should not have supported his removal because he was an ally.
- Criticism of Mubarak's human rights abuses was acceptable but "[President Obama] went further than that to topple him and replace him with the Muslim Brotherhood, whose interest and animus was rabidly anti-American.”
- The U.S. should have demanded concessions from the Muslim Brotherhood-led government of Egypt in return for pledges of additional foreign aid.
- The U.S. "failed to support those calling for more inclusive and tolerant leadership" during the reign of the elected Muslim Brotherhood government. He said, "One of the saddest things to see was posters among the people that said: ‘Obama supports the Muslim Brotherhood,’ ‘America supports terrorists.’”
- He said the U.S. should have severed aid to Egypt once the protests against the Muslim Brotherhood began. The lack of support for the opposition made the U.S. —“in both perception and reality — entrenched as the partner of a repressive, Islamist regime and the enemy of the secular, pro-democracy opposition," he wrote.
- The Egyptian military's popularly supported overthrow of the Muslim Brotherhood is a "coup" and all U.S. aid to Egypt should have been suspended. Sen. Cruz’s position was even more hostile to the new Egyptian military's overthrow of the Brotherhood than that of the Obama Administration.
- The Egyptian military's crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood is responsible for provoking the Islamist group into violence and attacking Coptic Christians.
- The U.S. should only provide aid to Egypt if it advances the creation of a secular and inclusive government that honors the peace treaty with Israel.
- He praised Egyptian President El-Sisi for calling on the Muslim world to stand against terrorists who act in the name of Islam.
- The U.S. should have swiftly called for the removal of Syrian President Bashar Assad in 2011 "when there was a unified, peaceful and secular opposition to him." However, on March 24, 2015, Cruz appeared to disavow a policy supporting Assad's removal by saying he's a "monster" but does not "pose a clear and present danger to America."
- The U.S. must not arm Syrian rebels because of the inability to determine which rebels are a threat to the West and the likelihood that U.S. supplies will fall into the hands of terrorists.
- The U.S. must take the lead in developing a plan to "go in" and eliminate Syrian stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction to prevent them from falling into the hands of terrorists. This was stated in June 2013.
- In September 2013, he opposed the Obama Administration's proposal for airstrikes on Syrian WMD capabilities and other regime targets after it ignored U.S. warnings against using chemical weapons in the civil war. Cruz says that vital national security interests were not at stake and that the administration did not answer his questions about the possibility of WMD falling into the hands of the Islamic State and Al-Qaeda.
- Military Spending
- Opposes cuts to the defense budget
Ryan Mauro is ClarionProject.org’s national security analyst, a fellow with Clarion Project and an adjunct professor of homeland security. Mauro is frequently interviewed on top-tier television and radio. Read more, contact or arrange a speaking engagement.