Wednesday, October 28, 2015

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Ted Cruz Proposes Three-Year Ban on Refugees From Islamic State- and Al Qaeda-Controlled Countries, Refuses to Attack Trump

Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz outlined Tuesday three pieces of legislation he thinks will keep Americans safe from threats by the Islamic State exploiting an influx of Syrian refugees — and dodged every opportunity to attack Donald Trump over GOP front-runner’s widely derided plan to ban Muslims from entry to the U.S.
When asked about Trump’s statement Monday calling for a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States,” the Texas senator said that he disagreed with that proposal but that he won’t be an “ongoing theater critic” for every comment made by another presidential candidate.
“A lot of our friends here have encouraged me to criticize and attack Donald Trump, I’m not interested in doing so,” Cruz said. “But I believe we need a plan that is focused on the direct threat, and the threat we’re facing is radical Islamic terrorism.”
When asked whether he thinks Trump’s call to exclude a people group based on their religion is constitutional, Cruz dodged the question, saying instead that he’s focused on his own policies and solutions.
“Certainly in the media there’s been no shortage of criticism of Donald Trump,” Cruz said. “I do not believe the world needs my voice added to that chorus of critics.”
Republican presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, speaks during a town hall meeting at Furman University on Monday, Dec. 7, 2015, in Greenville, S.C. (AP/Rainier Ehrhardt)
Republican presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz (Texas) speaks during a town hall meeting at Furman University Monday in Greenville, S.C. (AP/Rainier Ehrhardt)
When asked if he would support Trump if he wins the Republican primary, Cruz said that he’d support any Republican nominee — but he hopes to be the nominee himself.
“I recognize that a great many folks in the media would prefer that anyone running for president would engage as an ongoing theater critic, criticizing the proposals of others,” he said. “I do not agree with his proposal. I do not think it is the right solution. And the right solution I believe is the legislation that I’ve introduced.”
Earlier in the press conference, Cruz introduced a bill to impose a three-year moratorium on refugees from countries where the Islamic State or Al Qaeda controls a “substantial amount” of territory.
“The reason is simple: We have been told by the FBI they cannot vet these refugees, and our first obligation should be protecting our national security,” Cruz said at a news conference Tuesday morning on Capitol Hill.
A second new provision Cruz urged leaders in Congress to “pass immediately” is an opt-out option for state governors to decide not to allow refugees into their states, despite President Barack Obama’s executive direction that they do so. Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott joined Cruz at the press conference and said that Cruz’s legislation will make it possible for him to protect his state’s citizens.
About 30 governors — Democrats and Republicans — have said they don’t want to resettle Syrian refugees in their states, Cruz said. “Those officials are doing their jobs. They’re honoring their commitments to the men and women who elected them. We need a president who will do the same.”
Cruz also touted his Expatriate Terrorist Act, which he introduced last month but was blocked by Democrats on Capitol Hill. The bill would change current law to say that Americans who join forces with terrorists overseas will forfeit their U.S. citizenship.
“We should not be allowing ISIS terrorists to come into America with a U.S. passport and wage jihad against innocent citizens,” he said. Cruz called his legislative proposals “reasonable, common-sense steps” to keep Americans safe.
“We know our top obligation is doing everything possible to prevent another terrorist attack, to prevent another San Bernardino attack,” he said. “Because as long as the federal government is not doing its job, we know there will be another and another and another.”

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Ted Cruz Unexpectedly Goes Off on CNBC Debate Moderator Over Phrasing of Question: ‘I’m Not Finished Yet’

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) sparked one of the more contentious moments of Wednesday night’s GOP debate when he took issue with the way CNBC’s Carl Quintanilla phrased a question on the budget deal struck by President Barack Obama and Congress.

“Congressional Republicans, Democrats and the White House are about to strike a compromise that would raise the debt limit, prevent a government shutdown and calm financial markets that fear another Washington-created crisis is on the way,” Quintanilla said. “Does your opposition to it show that you’re not the kind of problem solver American voters want?”
Cruz declined to immediately answer the question and instead addressed the questions that had been asked during the debate.
“The questions that have been asked so far in this debate illustrate why the American people don’t trust the media,” Cruz said. “This is not a cage match. And you look at the questions: ‘Donald Trump, are you a comic book villain?,’ ‘Ben Carson, can you do math?,’ ‘John Kasich, will you insult two people over here?,’ ‘Marco Rubio, why don’t you resign?,’ ‘Jeb Bush, why have your numbers fallen?’”
He then added for emphasis, “How about talking about the substantive issues people care about?”
The debate audience responded to Cruz’s attack on the CNBC debate moderators with a strong round of applause.
Cruz cut off Quintanilla when he claimed his budget question was about a substantive issue, pointing out the “contrast” between how moderators treat Democrats versus Republicans during debates.
“Carl, I’m not finished yet,” he said. “The contrast of the Democratic debate, where every fawning question from the media was, ‘Which of you is more handsome and wise?’”
The Texas senator also argued that the field of GOP candidates have “more ideas, more experience, more common sense” than all of the Democratic candidates.
“And nobody watching at home believes that any of the moderators have any intention of voting in a Republican primary,” he added. “The questions that are being asked shouldn’t be trying to get people to tear into each other.”

 Watch the exchange below:


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