Cruz: 'I will rip to shreds' the Iran deal

Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzSenate Dems hold floor talk-a-thon against latest ObamaCare repeal bill Overnight Finance: CBO to release limited analysis of ObamaCare repeal bill | DOJ investigates Equifax stock sales | House weighs tougher rules for banks dealing with North Korea GOP state lawmakers meet to plan possible constitutional convention MORE pledged on Wednesday that he would “rip to shreds” President Obama's nuclear deal with Iran, and questioned the credentials of those who disagreed.

“If I am elected president, on the very first day in office I will rip to shreds this catastrophic Iranian nuclear deal,” the Texas Republican said during the second GOP presidential debate.

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“If there’s anyone up here who would be bound by this catastrophic deal with Iran, they’re giving up their core responsibility as commander in chief.”

Cruz’s comments, which were echoed by Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R), appeared to be a swipe at Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R), who have been more reluctant to pledge to tear up the deal.

“We don’t know what’s going to happen in 18 months,” Kasich said at the main-stage debate, while adding that he opposed the deal in the first place.

“We are stronger when we work with the Western civilization — our friends in Europe,” he added. “Just doing it on our own, I don’t think, is the right policy.”

“It’s not a strategy to tear up an agreement,” echoed Bush. “A strategy would be how do we confront Iran?”

The candidates’ sparring over the path forward on the Iran deal points to a growing divide in strategy about how to confront a nuclear Iran. The split has played itself out on Capitol Hill, where Republicans have debated among themselves about the best strategy to undermine the pact.