Beltway Confidential

Ted Cruz slams Obama for backing Egyptian leader

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Beltway Confidential,Joel Gehrke,Barack Obama,Egypt,2016 Elections,Egyptian Revolution,Ted Cruz,Analysis

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, who is rumored to be interested in running for president in 2016, faulted President Obama today for supporting Egyptian leader Mohamed Morsi rather than backing the protesters against his regime and called for Congress to cut off foreign aid to Morsy’s regime.

“As we prepare to celebrate the 237th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence this week, halfway around the globe Egyptians may witness the birth of their own freedoms,” Cruz wrote in an op-ed for Foreign Policy published today. “It is a great pity that Obama’s policies have provoked so much hostility toward the United States from the very people we should most want to support — and it would be an even greater pity if his accommodation of the [Morsi] regime helped the Egyptian leader remain in power. Since the president has refused to act, Congress should move quickly to freeze all aid to Egypt that is supporting the Muslim Brotherhood. We should treat with great caution any proposal to deploy U.S. forces to Egypt in response to these events. And we should find the courage to speak out forcefully on behalf of those advocating secular democratic reforms in Egypt.”

Without trivializing the ongoing events in Egypt — the military just informed Morsi that he’s no longer president, according to media reports — or Cruz’s right as a senator to weigh in on the matter, it’s difficult not to view this column in light of 2016.

Cruz has been steadily raising his foreign policy profile over the last couple months. Last week, his Senate campaign released a video that encourages Americans to sign a petition demanding border security first as a condition of immigration reform — a move that has the advantage of building a national list of voters who like Cruz and care about a particular issue, which could come in handy if he runs for president. It’s not that he’s certain to run, but he’s certainly making the kinds of moves that would allow him to have the option of running.

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