Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzFBI investigating alleged assault on Fort Bliss soldier at Afghan refugee camp The Memo: Biden's immigration problems reach crescendo in Del Rio Matthew McConaughey on potential political run: 'I'm measuring it' MORE (R-Texas) has struck back at President ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaA simple fix can bring revolutionary change to health spending US and UK see eye to eye on ending illegal wildlife trade Top nuclear policy appointee removed from Pentagon post: report MORE’s implication that his rejection of Syrian refugees is “shameful,” telling CNN he will be introducing legislation banning Muslim Syrian refugees from entering the United States.
“What Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are proposing is that we bring to this country tens of thousands of Syrian Muslim refugees,” Cruz told CNN's Dana Bash in Charleston, S.C., on Monday.
“I have to say particularly in light of what happened in Paris, that's nothing short of lunacy.”
Asked what would have happened if his own father — a Cuban refugee who fled the island's repressive Communist regime — had been told all those years ago by political leaders that there was no place for him because of security risks, Cruz said it was a different situation.
“See that's why it's important to define what it is we're fighting,” Cruz responded.
“If my father were part of a theocratic and political movement like radical Islamism, that promotes murdering anyone who doesn't share your extreme faith, or forcibly converting them, then it would make perfect sense.”
Bash said that Cruz also told her that this week he plans to introduce legislation that would ban Muslim Syrian refugees from entering the U.S.
Cruz is applauding moves by Republican governors across the country, who are refusing to accept Syrian refugees into their states, Bash added.
The Texas senator, who is running for president, was responding Monday to Obama's press conference following the Group of 20 meeting in Antalya, Turkey.
Obama insisted that the U.S. would uphold his commitment of accepting refugees from Syria despite rising opposition from conservatives.
“The people who are fleeing Syria are the most harmed by terrorism, they are the most vulnerable as a consequence of civil war and strife,” Obama said.
Obama appeared to be directing his critiques toward presidential candidates Cruz and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R), who over the weekend called for the U.S. to focus on the Christians fleeing the Syrian chaos.
“When I hear folks say that, ‘Maybe we should just admit the Christians but not the Muslims,’ when I hear political leaders suggesting that there would be a religious test for which person who’s fleeing from a war-torn country is admitted, when some of those folks themselves come from families who benefitted from protection when they were fleeing political persecution, that’s shameful,” Obama said.