Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) on Wednesday offered a blistering critique of President Barack Obama's foreign policy, accusing Obama of ruining traditional relationships with U.S. allies, and allowing countries like Russia and Iran to take advantage of his weakness.
"Today, the consequences of the Obama/Clinton foreign policy is that our friends no longer trust us, and our enemies no longer fear us," Cruz said in remarks to the Heritage Foundation. "That is profoundly dangerous for America and is profoundly dangerous for the world."
In what could have served as a foreign policy warm up speech for a presidential candidate, Cruz said Obama has fundamentally failed Israel, as it has said it supports easing sanctions against Iran, even as it appeared to be considering sanctions against Israel.
"It's difficult to imagine a more complete and stunning indictment of the Obama/Clinton foreign policy than the notion that they might believe we should be sanctioning the nation of Israel, and lifting sanctions on the nation of Iran," he said. "Truly, as with Alice, we have gone through the looking glass."
Obama administration officials only said this week that they were not looking at sanctions against Israel, but that came days after they refused to answer the question directly.
Cruz suggested that new cooperation with Israel on missile defense might help keep Israel safe, just as U.S. talks about missile defense in the 1980s helped win the Cold War.
When it comes to U.S. enemies, Cruz said Obama has shown nothing but weakness to not only Russia and Iran, but to a new enemy, the Islamic State. He said Obama's policy of "moral equivalence" has been dangerously expanded to a terrorist group that is creating chaos in the Middle East.
"In the Obama/Clinton foreign policy, all members of the international community are equal, be they nations are not, and should be dealt with respectfully and with empathy," he said.
"Let me be very clear: when it comes to radical Islamic terrorists who are crucifying Christians, who are beheading children, what our foreign policy needs is not additional empathy," Cruz added. "It needs clarity and force and resolve to defend the United States of America."
Cruz outlined the disastrous "Russian reset" attempt by Obama and then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, which saw the U.S. pull back missile defense commitments in eastern Europe, only to see Russian President Vladimir Putin annex part of Ukraine.
"All of this outreach was to no avail, as Putin assessed rightly it to be a demonstration of weakness," Cruz said. He also excoriated Obama for wondering what legal advice Putin was getting that made him thing that annexation was legal.
"Talk about fundamentally misunderstanding the situation," he said. "It was not a disagreement in legal interpretation. It was a strong man exercising brute power because he perceived America to be weak."
Cruz said the U.S. needs to leave the New START treaty that only has the U.S. making commitments to reduce missile stockpiles, and said the U.S. should give military aid to Ukraine. He said Obama is not taking these steps for fear of provoking Russia, but said Russia is already there.
"With all due respect, I think Russia has already been provoked," he said. "Weakness is provocative. Russia was provoked by the weakness demonstrated by the Obama administration's first term."
Obama has also showed weakness with Iran, by not supporting a call for democracy within that country, and extending nuclear talks that are going nowhere.
"It is beyond time to recognize that the administration's Iran policy is a dismal failure," he said. "We should declare the nuclear negotiations a failure, and move instead to reimpose sanctions right now, and make them all the more crippling."