Cruz says Chinese balloon should have been shot down sooner

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas)
Annabelle Gordon
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) discusses the Debt Ceiling at a press conference in the Capitol in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, January 25th, 2023.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said on Sunday that President Biden should have ordered the suspected Chinese spy balloon shot down sooner than Saturday.

“I want to start by doing something that I don’t do very often, which is commending Joe Biden for actually having the guts to shoot this down,” Cruz told Margaret Brennan on CBS’s “Face the Nation. “That was the right thing to do. That is absolutely what the president should have done. Unfortunately, he didn’t do that until a week after it entered us airspace.”

“He allowed a full week for the Chinese to conduct spying operations over the United States, over sensitive military installations, exposing not just photographs but the potential of intercepted communications,” he continued.

The “high-altitude surveillance balloon” first entered U.S. airspace in Alaska on Jan. 28, and briefly traveled through Canada before reentering the U.S. through Idaho on Jan. 31. U.S. defense officials confirmed the presence of the balloon on Thursday after it was reportedly spotted in Montana on Wednesday.

Biden said on Saturday that he ordered the military to take down the aircraft “as soon as possible” on Wednesday. The military shot down the balloon on Saturday near the South Carolina coast.

Cruz said on Sunday that the Biden administration only acted on the balloon because people in Montana spotted it. He said that Biden administration was “forced” to take action based on politics, not national security.

“When the Biden administration knew about the balloon, they said nothing. They did nothing. They didn’t shoot it down. And at the end of the day, I think the only reason they shot it down is because it made it into the news,” he said.

Tags chinese ballloon Chinese surveillance balloon Joe Biden Joe Biden Ted Cruz Ted Cruz

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