In an interview with TIME, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz reflects on the Republican Party’s divided foreign policy and where he views himself on the ideological continuum:

Right now there is a divide, say, between the views of John McCain on the one hand and the views of Rand Paul on the other. I like and respect both men, and I would say that my views are somewhere in the middle. The person whose views on foreign policy mine are closest to is Ronald Reagan. Reagan’s views on foreign policy, and how I would characterize my views, are that I think the United States should be a clarion voice for liberty, that we should speak against oppression, against tyranny and for freedom.

I think the U.S. needs to be exceedingly reluctant to put our men and women in harm’s way. I think if and when military action is justified, it should be justified only to protect the vital national-security interest of the U.S. But I also recognize the U.S. is today the world’s lone superpower. We have nations that have considerable hostile intents toward the U.S. And we have radical Islamic terrorists who would readily murder our citizens. I support peace through strength. I think developing our military strength so that we can defend our national-security interests makes it far less likely we’ll be drawn into war.

I think being unequivocal about redlines that cannot be crossed serves as a far more effective deterrent than the Obama Administration’s endless negotiation with no clear consequence. The President laid out a redline on Syria. Then there were no consequences for months. What does that tell the world? When the U.S. says something, at least under this President, we don’t mean it. You can ignore what we say.

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