(Editor’s note: This is part one of a four-part interview with Republican presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz.)
WASHINGTON – “This is why we keep losing,” the man who would be president told WND.
And then he sighed.
That was the response of Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, to Mitt Romney’s personal attack on him Thursday, and, although it was a searing observation, he said it softly, sounding as though it were more of a regret than an accusation.
Romney tweeted on Thursday that Cruz’s stinging criticism of President Obama’s Iran deal was “way over the line.”
What was so over the line?
On Tuesday, Cruz pointed out, “If this deal is consummated, it will make the Obama administration the world’s leading financier of radical Islamic terrorism.
“Billions of dollars under control of this administration will flow into the hands of jihadists who will use that money to murder Americans, to murder Israelis, to murder Europeans.”
That is a charge the administration has been unable to refute.
In fact, the administration has confirmed it is powerless to stop Cruz’s prediction from becoming a reality.
National Security Adviser Susan Rice admitted to CNN on July 15 that once Iran receives up to $150 billion in unfrozen assets for signing the deal, nothing will prevent it from sending as much money as it wants to its terrorist clients and proxies in the Middle East, North Africa, Europe and the Americas.
The problem, as Cruz described it to WND in a phone interview, is that Romney was doing the same exact thing as Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry: ignoring the substance of his remark, and, instead, making a personal attack.
“Now, this week in Africa, President Obama chose to respond to that fact not by arguing on the merits, but rather by attacking me personally. There is a reason he did not respond on the merits, because the president has no response on the merits.”
The senator point out how the president did not point to “any other entity on the face of the globe that would be a larger financier of jihadists seeking to murder Americans.”
Indeed, Obama never rebutted the charge, he merely complained about it, saying, “We’ve had a sitting senator, who also happens to be running for president, suggest that I’m the leading state sponsor of terrorism.”
Cruz told WND, rather than address the charge, “President Obama, and his White House spokesperson simply denounced speaking the truth.”
“Likewise, sadly, Mitt Romney chose to follow the same course of action.”
Romney’s full tweet read, “I am opposed to the Iran deal, but @SenTedCruz is way over the line on the Obama terrorism charge. Hurts the cause.”
Cruz said Romney had suggested that “speaking the truth about the Obama nuclear deal is somehow, quote, ‘way over the line.'”
That’s when the Texan lamented, “This is why we keep losing.”
He pointed to Romney’s track record as less than stellar, when it came to holding Obama to the truth.
“Indeed, Gov. Romney’s response is precisely the same as his response in the third debate of the last presidential race, when President Obama stood up and falsely claimed, of course, he had said the attack on Benghazi was terrorism,” charged Cruz. “And there was no one more outraged by that attack than he was.”
“Rather than respond with the facts, rather than respond with the truth, Gov. Romney apparently believed then, as he believes now, that speaking honestly about threats to our national security is somehow impolite. And so, he allowed those false statements to proceed unchallenged.”
WND asked Cruz if he took the president’s silence on the substance of the matter as a de facto admission that, under the deal, his administration would, in fact, become “the world’s leading financier of radical Islamic terrorism.”
“The president’s silence is a de-facto admission that he cannot defend this deal on the merits.
“Indeed, in response to his personal attack, I invited the president to participate in a one on one debate on the substance and merits of the Iranian nuclear deal, at the time and place of his choosing, anywhere in the country, anytime in the next 60 days while Congress is reviewing this deal,” announced the senator.
“And if he cannot spare the time to defend the substance of this catastrophic deal, he is welcome to send as his proxy Secretary of State John Kerry.”
Cruz then leveled a charge that would likely ring true with many of his fellow conservatives.
“President Obama and Mitt Romney and Jeb Bush all share the same view, that speaking candidly about the consequences of the Iranian nuclear deal is somehow, quote, ‘over the line.'”
Cruz took direct aim at what he suggested is at the heart of the problem for the GOP, and why it has failed to derail Obama’s agenda or recapture the White House.
“Far too many establishment Republicans are afraid of speaking the truth,” was his simple diagnosis.
Cruz has been on a mission to get GOP leaders to speak the truth.
He risked and incurred the wrath of the Washington elite on July 24 by publicly accusing, on the Senate floor, Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., of lying to him and the 54 other Republican senators over a secret deal to revive the Export-Import Bank, which conservatives revile as a gross example of corporate welfare.
Cruz suggested GOP leaders have to be willing to tell the hard truths about the Iran deal, not just criticize it in general terms.
“The truth is not rhetoric,” said the Harvard Law School standout, who liberal professor Alan Dershowitz described as “off-the-charts brilliant.”
Said Cruz, “Here are the facts:”
- “Number one: Iran is the leading state-sponsor of terrorism.
- “Number two: If the Obama nuclear deal goes through, Iran will receive over $100 billion.
- “Number three: If that money flows to Iran, it is an absolute certainty substantial sums will flow to Hamas, to Hezbollah, to the Houthis, to radical Islamic terrorists across the globe. And those jihadists will use the billions of dollars currently under the control of the American government to murder Americans, Israelis and Europeans.”
“Those are facts. The only possible conclusion from those facts is that, if this deal is consummated, it will make the Obama administration the world’s leading financier of radical Islamic terrorism.”
Returning to his main theme, Cruz stated, “I believe it is a time for truth.”
That, perhaps not coincidentally, is also the name of his just-released New York Times bestselling book, “A Time for Truth: Reigniting the Promise of America.”
“I believe the greatest service any public leader can provide is speaking the truth about profound threats to the national security and to the lives of millions of Americans,” Cruz told WND.
“This Iranian nuclear deal, if consummated, will accelerate Iran’s acquiring nuclear weapons.”
Cruz concluded with the most somber of warnings.
“The Ayatollah Khameni routinely leads chants of ‘Death to America’ and only a fool would want to see a theocratic radical, who has pledged to murder as many Americans as possible, acquire weapons that, in a single flash of light, could murder millions of Americans.”
Follow Garth Kant @DCgarth