Cruz: 'Time That We Had a President Who Will Acknowledge This Evil'

By Susan Jones | March 22, 2016 | 10:28am EDT
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) (AP File Photo)

( - "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," Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) told a news conference on Tuesday.

He spoke hours after terrorists attacked the airport and a subway station in Brussels, killing more than two dozen people and injuring hundreds.

"ISIS has declared jihad on Europe and on the United States of America," Cruz said. "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, and will call it by its name -- and utilize the full force and fury of the United States to defeat radical Islamic terrorism, to defeat ISIS."

Cruz said the attacks will continue until ISIS is destroyed.

"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."

(Speaking in Cuba a short time later, President Obama told the Cuban people "to please indulge me" as he offered Americans' "thoughts and prayers" to the people of Belgium. "We will do whatever is necessary to support our friend and ally Belgium in bringing to justice those who are responsible," Obama said. "And this is yet another reminder that the world must unite -- we must be together, regardless of nationality or race or faith, in fighting against the scourge of terrorism.")

The nation's current vetting programs are woefully insufficient, Cruz said, and there is no way to prevent terrorists from infiltrating the refugee population with the intention of attacking Americans at home.

"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 terroris(ts)," Cruz said.

"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."

Cruz said the attack in Brussels is "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 foreseen to be threats.

"When Europe’s immigration policies allow radical Islamic terrorists to make Europe their home, then we absolutely need to revisit our immigration policies across the board to prevent radical Islamic terrorists from coming to America."

Cruz said President Obama should "be back in America keeping this country safe" or he "should be planning to travel to Brussels."

Cruz reserved some of his criticism for his Republican rival Donald Trump, saying Trump is wrong to suggest that the United States should rethink its involvement in NATO.

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