Sen. Ted Cruz on Thursday linked the shootings in San Bernardino, Calif., to the attacks in Paris, telling donors and activists with the Republican Jewish Coalition that America needed a "war president" who would take such events more seriously.
"At this point, the details of what happened in San Bernardino are still unclear," the Texas Republican said, referring to the shooting Wednesday that left at least 14 people dead. "But our prayers are with the families of those who were murdered and those who were shot. And all of us are deeply concerned that this is yet another manifestation of terrorism, radical Islamic terrorism here at home. Coming on the wake of a terror attack in Paris, this horrific murder underscores that we are in a time of war."
Authorities have identified two suspects in the shooting as Syed Farook, 28, and Tashfeen Malik, 27, who were both killed in the aftermath. Farook was an American Muslim; it was unclear whether Malik, who was born in Pakistan, was a U.S. citizen. The Council for American-Islamic Relations held a Wednesday night press conference to condemn the attacks. To date, law enforcement have neither ruled out terrorism nor linked the attack to terrorist groups.
But Cruz is the first Republican presidential candidate to directly suggest that the San Bernardino shootings could be considered "radical Islamic terrorism." That marked a contrast with his reaction to a shooting last week outside a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs, Colo. After it was reported that the suspect, Robert Louis Dear, had said "no more baby parts," Cruz condemned the media for trying "to blame him on the pro-life movement when at this point there's very little evidence to indicate that," and pointed to an Internet rumor that he was a "transgendered leftist activist."