paul cruz
Cruz, Paul spar over Iran
02:05 - Source: CNN

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Former GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney chastises Ted Cruz for his rhetoric

Romney says Cruz's Iran deal criticism 'hurts the cause'

Washington CNN  — 

Former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney said Thursday that Texas Sen. Ted Cruz’s rhetoric on Iran “hurts the cause.”

“I am opposed to the Iran deal, but @SenTedCruz is way over the line on the Obama terrorism charge. Hurts the cause,” Romney, acting in his emerging role as party elder, tweeted Thursday.

Cruz, a 2016 GOP presidential candidate, said Monday that President Barack Obama’s administration will become “the world’s leading financier of radical Islamic terrorism” if the Iran deal his administration brokered earlier this month goes into effect.

Cruz was referring to the billions of dollars in relief Iran will benefit from when international sanctions lift once Iran meets the new restrictions on its nuclear program, per the new deal.

Iran is a top state-sponsor of terrorism, financing groups like Hezbollah and Hamas, and opponents of the deal argue that Iran will use some of the financial surplus from sanctions relief to boost its support for those groups.

Cruz fired back at Romney on Thursday afternoon during an interview on the Chad Hasty radio show, in a clip flagged by Democratic rapid response group American Bridge 21st century.

“When you send billions of dollars to Jihadists trying to kill Americans, you bear responsibility for the murder that they carry out with the money you have given them,” Cruz said. “And you know one of the reasons why Republicans keep getting clobbered, we have leader like Mitt Romney and like Jeb Bush who are afraid to say that.”

Cruz is not the only Republican presidential candidate to make incendiary remarks about Obama and the Iran deal.

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee said last weekend that Obama is marching Israel “to the door of the oven” by brokering the deal with Iran.