Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), who is widely seen as a potential GOP presidential candidate in 2016, gave a fiery speech on Saturday where he slammed President Barack Obama’s positions on a whole host of issues.
At one point, the audience at the conservative group Americans For Prosperity’s Defending The American Dream Summit in Dallas chanted “Run Ted! Run!” as Cruz blasted Obama for “lawless” immigration policies, accused the president of making the country a “kitty cat” in the face of a threat posed by Vladimir Putin’s Russian “bear,” and called for America to bomb the jihadist group ISIS “back to the stone age.”
Cruz began his speech with a series of jokes mocking the Obama administration.
“Back in Washington there’s a diet that is now very, very popular,” said Cruz. “It’s called the Obama Diet. Works very, very well. You simply let Putin eat your lunch every day.”
After warming up the crowd of conservative faithful, Cruz outlined “four key issues” he said would be “front and center” in November’s mid-term elections.
Firstly, Cruz cited immigration and said Obama “made a decision to make this election in 2014 a national referendum on amnesty.”
Cruz said representing Texas means border security is an issue he and his constituents “live with each and every day.” As a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Cruz said he often finds himself “listening” to a “lecture” from two Democrats from northern states — Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-New York) and Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Illinois).
“Now, I understand that Manhattan is very concerned with their security with the Bronx, but it’s a little bit different on 2,000 miles of the Rio Grande,” quipped Cruz.
Cruz went on to describe the recent influx of unaccompanied minors streaming across the border as the result of Obama’s “lawless” immigration policies, specifically the DREAM act, which he said gave people “incentive” to come to the country illegally.
“The president is right about one thing that’s happening on the border right now,” Cruz said. “It is a humanitarian crisis, but it is a crisis of his own creation. It is the direct consequence of President Obama’s lawlessness.”
Cruz went on to mock Obama for a recent trip to Texas where he did not visit the border.
“A few months ago, President Obama came to the state of Texas. He had time to come to a couple of Democratic Party fundraisers to swill some chardonnay with fat cats in the Democratic Party,” said Cruz. “He didn’t have a minute to head down to the border and see the crisis that he has caused.”
Referencing criticism the president has faced for spending time golfing, Cruz made him an “invitation” to visit Texas’ border with Mexico.
“We tried to help him out. We actually tweeted to the president a MapQuest of driving from here to the border. That didn’t work, so I’ve got a different plan. Tonight I am officially extending an invitation to President Barack Obama to come join me at the border in Texas,” Cruz said. “I’ve figured out the only way there is a chance in heaven he might come. I’m inviting him to come to a golf course.”
Cruz even said he identified a “wonderful resort called Lajitas with a golf course right on the border.”
The White House did not respond to an email from Business Insider asking whether they would consider Cruz’s offer. However, Cruz said he is “expecting to get a call back from the president any day now accepting this invitation.”
After discussing immigration, Cruz moved on to “the second critical thing this election is about — stopping Obamacare.” He lauded Republican efforts to repeal the president’s signature healthcare law, which he described as contributing to Obama’s unpopularity.
“I’m convinced we’re going to win in 2014 and 2016 is going to be even better,” Cruz said, predicting Obamacare would proper the GOP to victories in the next two elections.
His next comment provoked the cheers of “Run Ted! Run!” from the crowd.
“In the year 2017, a Republican president in the Rose Garden is going to sign a bill repealing every word of Obamacare!”
Cruz then moved on to his third top issue, foreign policy, or as he put it, “restoring America’s leadership in the world.” He began by mocking Obama for comments he made in a press briefing on Thursday that he does not have a strategy yet for confronting jihadists affiliated with the group Islamic State (or ISIS) in Syria and Iraq.
“I’m sure everyone was shocked to hear this,” said Cruz.
Cruz contrasted Obama’s approach with what he said was President Ronald Regan’s “simple” Cold War strategy of “we win, they lose.”
“It’s almost as if President Obama read that and got it backwards,” Cruz said.
Cruz’s strategy for dealing with Islamic State is also simple.
“You’re dealing with monsters who are crucifying Christians and beheading American journalists, when you’re dealing with monsters who are training upwards of 100 Americans right now to come back here and visit the same terror on Americans here,” said Cruz. “Number one, we need to not let into this country any American who is fighting with ISIS. And, number two, ISIS says they want to go back and reject modernity. Well, I think we should help them. We ought to bomb them back to the stone age!”
He described the situation with ISIS as part of a larger problem where “all across this world America has receded from leadership.”
“Look at Russia right now,” Cruz said. “Sadly, the state of the world is the Russian bear is encountering the Obama kitty cat.”
Cruz said the country must do more to “stand with Israel” and confront the regime of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“You know what? The United States of America has never been a kitty cat. The reason Putin feels no fear to march into his neighbours, the reason why our allies up and down Europe are terrified of what’s next is because this president, as he puts it, is leading from behind,” Cruz said.
According to Cruz, the U.S. should confront Putin for his push into Ukraine by “putting anti ballistic missile batteries in Poland and the Czech Republic” and approving measures to increase our national gas exports as an attack on the Russian economy.
Finally, Cruz identified the fourth issue he said would be a key element of the upcoming election — “defending our constitutional rights.” As with immigration, Cruz said it would be imperative for conservatives to vote out Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid if they are concerned about this issue.
“And President Obama you’re next!” said Cruz.
Watch Cruz’s full speech below.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.