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Obama Slams Ted Cruz For Proposing Surveillance Of U.S. Muslims

The Huffington Post logo The Huffington Post 23/03/2016 Igor Bobic

President Barack Obama slammed Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) on Wednesday for the presidential hopeful's statements that he would empower law enforcement to “patrol and secure Muslim neighborhoods“ in the wake of the deadly terror attacks in Brussels.

"I just left a country that engages in that kind of surveillance, which, by the way, the father of Sen. Cruz escaped for America, the land of the free," Obama said during a press conference in Argentina, referring to his historic trip to Cuba earlier this week.

He said the proposal “doesn’t make sense” and goes against basic American values.

The Republican presidential candidate, a Cuban-American, has been deeply critical of Obama's strategy to destroy the so-called Islamic State. He said Tuesday's attacks in Brussels were more evidence that Obama needs to address the root of the problem.

“It is way past time we have a president who will acknowledge this evil and will call it by its name and use the full force and fury to defeat ISIS,” Cruz said in a press conference on Tuesday. “Until they are defeated, these attacks will continue. Their target is each and every one of us.”

“We need a president who sets aside political correctness,” Cruz insisted. “We don’t need another lecture about Islamophobia.”

Cruz's comments drew fire from Muslim advocacy groups, Democrats, the police commissioner of New York City and even one of his rivals for the GOP nomination, Ohio Gov. John Kasich.

Obama also criticized proposals to bomb ISIS positions in Syria and Iraq indiscriminately. Cruz has called for "carpet bombing" terrorists, a strategy that would endanger civilians.

"We don’t go and blow something up just so we can say that we blew something up. That's not a military strategy," Obama said.

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