Cruz continued to call for the United States not to take in Syrian refugees because he says intelligence agencies cannot determine which of them may be aligned with the Islamic State, the militant group that has claimed credit for the Paris attacks.
“President Obama and Hillary Clinton’s idea that we should bring tens of thousands of Syrian Muslim refugees to America is nothing less than lunacy,” he said.
Cruz said that Muslim refugees should "be resettled in the Middle East, in majority Muslim countries." But he said Christians should be provided a safe haven in the United States because he said they are subject to "genocide." Cruz said Obama does not want to do this and has "antipathy" toward Christians.
Speaking at a religious liberty rally at Bob Jones University on Saturday, Cruz offered prayers for the victims of the Paris attacks, as well as President Obama and world leaders.
“We ask that our leaders understand this is not some random, ill-defined random extremism, this evil, radical Islamic terrorism needs to be called out what it is, and it needs to be defeated,” he said. Cruz has, and continues to, criticize the president for being “unwilling to call radical Islamic terrorism by its name.”
Cruz said “radical Islamic terrorism “ is “a malevolent force that right now, as we speak, is persecuting Christians, is persecuting Jews, is even persecuting fellow Muslims. … This is an evil that must be confronted.”
Cruz said on Fox that he would defeat the Islamic State by “using overwhelming military power, particularly air power.”
In a Republican Party that showcases a spectrum of foreign policy views, Cruz stands in the middle, between the hawkish stance of Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and the more libertarian leanings of Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.)
“That doesn’t mean we should be sending our sons and daughters to invade foreign countries and stay there forever and engage in nation building trying to turn Iraq into Switzerland,” he said. “That’s not what our objective should be.”
Cruz said last month that there is “no reason” America should “get in the middle of the Syrian civil war,” and has said that American troops should not be sent in. Cruz also opposes arming Syrian rebels.
“We have boots on the ground. The Kurds are our boots on the ground,” he said. “We ought to be arming the Kurds and using overwhelming air power,” hitting Obama for “not wanting to upset Baghdad” and doing that.
The Kurds, which populate parts of northern Iraq and Syria, are an ethnic group that has tried to seek independence. Both Iraq and Turkey have gone to war to against Kurdish separatists.