Republican candidate Ted Cruz says political correctness is at the heart of the President Obama's failure to acknowledge the true extent of the Islamic State threat.
Cruz was asked by Fox News' Sean Hannity Tuesday how the president could be so wrong when he said the Islamic State is "contained," just a day before a series of attacks hit Paris, killing 130 people, for which the Islamic State claimed responsibility. He also added that Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Senate Intelligence Committee Vice Chair Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., have both said that the Islamic State is not contained.
The Texas senator replied that "out-of-control political correctness" influenced Obama's judgment. "They don't acknowledge the problem even exists. When the president stands up and says the Islamic State isn't Islamic — that's just nutty. ... Even school children can figure that out. They've declared their intention to create an Islamic caliphate and to forcibly convert or murder any infidels that don't adopt their radical Islamism."
President Obama doesn't believe in American leadership or America winning, Cruz added.
"I gotta say FDR, JFK and Ronald Reagan were spinning in their graves to hear a president say he doesn't believe in American leadership or America winning," he said.
Later in the interview, Cruz chided Obama and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton for their reluctance to support sending combat troops on the ground in Iraq and Syria to defeat the Islamic State.
"It is abundantly clear that Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton can't beat ISIS because they have no intention of even trying," Cruz said. He added that they won't even "acknowledge the enemy," pointing out that Clinton in the last debate Clinton went out of her way to avoid saying "radical Islamic terrorism."
"If I am elected president, I will make unequivocally clear to the world we will destroy ISIS," Cruz said.
Cruz suggested he would increase the number of airstrikes to Persian Gulf war levels and arm the Kurdish peshmerga forces, which he said "are in a very real sense our boots on the ground." The Obama administration and Clinton refuse to arm the Kurds for political reasons, Cruz said.