Cruz pledges GOP Senate will be a 'check' on Obama foreign policy

Story highlights

  • Texas Sen. Ted Cruz said the release of the torture report will affect U.S. relations with its allies
  • Cruz also said the GOP-led Senate will act as a "check" on Obama's foreign policy
  • The potential presidential contender took aim at what he called the "Obama-Clinton" foreign policy
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz warned on Wednesday that the release of the Senate Intelligence Committee's report on the use of torture is causing the United States' allies to "rethink" their cooperation with the country.
He also pledged that when Republicans take over the Senate next month and have control over both chambers of Congress, they'll take steps to be a "check" on President Barack Obama's "ill-advised foreign policy."
In remarks at the conservative Heritage Foundation, Cruz declared, "Torture is wrong, unambiguously." But he decried the release of what he called a "partisan Democrat" report as "reckless and irresponsible."
"The international repercussions of this partisan report are just beginning," he said, adding that even "friends and allies across the globe are rethinking" their relationship with the U.S.
Cruz centered his remarks on an indictment of the "Obama-Clinton" foreign policy, a term he's used before in criticizing the current administration's policies and a nod to the fact that he's contemplating a potential presidential run — which could pit him against former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who is seen as Democrats' likely nominee.
"The consequences of the Obama-Clinton foreign policy is that our friends no longer trust us, and our enemies no longer fear us," Cruz said. "That is profoundly dangerous for America and is profoundly dangerous for the world."
In particular, he took issue with Obama's handling of Russian aggression against Ukraine, and he argued that the U.S. should offer military support to the country to help it ward off Russia's attempts at annexation.
And he slammed the developing Iranian nuclear deal as "the Obamacare of [the President's] second term."
The criticism was reference to Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes' recent comparison of a deal with Iran to health care reform, the crowning achievement of Obama's first term that has faced fierce opposition from Republicans and remains unpopular with the public.
Cruz argued the U.S. should drop those negotiations immediately and reinstate tougher sanctions, and that any further negotiations should have "more stick and a whole lot less carrot."
He also made reference to Clinton's recent remarks that Americans should try to "empathize" with the nation's enemies, which Republicans seized on as evidence Clinton has a lack of understanding of the challenges facing the nation abroad.
"In the Obama-Clinton foreign policy, all members of the international community are equal, be they nations are not, and should be dealt with respectfully and with empathy," he said, with a laugh.
"Let me be very clear: When it comes to radical Islamic terrorists who are crucifying Christians, who are beheading children, what our foreign policy needs is not additional empathy. It needs clarity and force and resolve to defend the United States of America," he said.
Cruz concluded by declaring, "We will see some check, I believe, in the next two years on the President's ill-advised foreign policy" from the new Congress.
"There is agreement, and in many ways bipartisan agreement, in the Senate that the Obama-Clinton foreign policy is disastrous and is undermining America in the world. And I hope, and expect, the Senate, without Harry Reid as majority leader, will begin to take up commonsense legislation to strengthen our alliances and stand against our enemies," he said.