Cruz: Obama's Paris absence 'dangerous'

Sen. Ted CruzTed CruzCommerce official will hit critics of domain name transition The media is rigging the election by reporting WikiLeaks emails The Trail 2016: An important lesson in geography MORE (R-Texas) on Monday blasted President Obama for not joining dozens of world leaders at Sunday's unity rally in Paris protesting terrorism, calling the lack of high-profile U.S. representation "dangerous."

"Many of our allies gathered together in Paris yesterday in an admirable display of determination. Our President should have been there, because we must never hesitate to stand with our allies," the potential presidential candidate wrote in an op-ed in Time magazine.

"The attack on Paris, just like previous assaults on Israel and other allies, is an attack on our shared values. And, we are stronger when we stand together, as French President François Hollande said, for 'liberty, equality, and fraternity,'" Cruz wrote.

Hollande and a number of prominent world leaders locked arms in Paris on Sunday during the march. British Prime Minister David Cameron, Israeli Prime Minster Benjamin Netanyahu, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas were among the more than 40 world leaders reportedly at the rally. 

Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry were both absent from the rally, as was Attorney General Eric Holder, who was in Paris discussing counterterrorism efforts. America was represented by U.S. Ambassador to France Jane Hartley. 

"As far as public signs of French solidarity from the U.S. — don't forget several public statements from the president, his call to Hollande and a condolence stop to the French embassy," a senior Obama administration official told CNN on Sunday.

An unnamed White House official added to CNN: "It is worth noting that the security requirements for both the president and [vice president] can be distracting from events like this — for once this event is not about us!" 

Cruz said someone from the White House should have been there.

"The absence is symbolic of the lack of American leadership on the world stage, and it is dangerous," Cruz wrote.

Another potential 2016 candidate, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), said on "CBS This Morning" that it was a "mistake" for the Obama administration not to have any high-level officials at the rally.

The march, which drew more than a million people in Paris according to multiple reports, came after gunmen killed a dozen people at the offices of the satirical Parisian newspaper Charlie Hebdo, which was previously targeted for publishing cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad. Another four were killed two days later during a hostage standoff at a kosher supermarket.

"In the last year alone, the world has become a much more dangerous place for Westerners, as terrorists have deliberately aimed their campaign of murder against those, most notably innocent civilians, who represent a free and open society," Cruz wrote. 

The lawmaker mentioned a slew of recent violence, including the execution of several Western citizens by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), an attack on the Canadian parliament and the ambush killing of two New York police officers. 

"And, now we have all watched, horrified, as a pair of al Qaeda terrorists attacked a satirical newspaper in Paris and executed 10 members of its staff and two of the policemen who came to their defense," Cruz said.

"Aid workers, members of the media, government, cafés, law enforcement, Christians, Jews, and even other Muslims—these are the targets of radical Islamists. They want to destroy civil society," Cruz continued.

"The scourge of radical Islamic terrorism is the exclusive fault of those who launch the attacks. We must, as Americans, demand that our nation summon the will to stand up and lead the effort," he said. "We should never hesitate to speak the truth. In Paris or anywhere else in the world."