Republican presidential candidate and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz fought back Thursday after Mitt Romney criticized him for saying the Obama administration would become the "leading financier of radical Islamic terrorism" if Congress approves the Iran nuclear deal.
Romney had taken to Twitter to say that Cruz's comment was "over the line."
I am opposed to the Iran deal, but @SenTedCruz is way over the line on the Obama terrorism charge. Hurts the cause.— Mitt Romney (@MittRomney) July 30, 2015
In a blunt response on KFYO radio in Lubbock, Texas, Cruz hit back at the 2012 Republican nominee, saying: “One of the reasons Republicans keep getting clobbered is that we have leaders like Mitt Romney or like Jeb Bush who are afraid to say that."
Cruz said the nuclear deal would allow for more than $100 billion to go to Iran, the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism, and that the same money would also end up in the hands of Hamas, Hezbollah, the Houthis and other radical Islamic terrorist groups.
"When you send billions of dollars to jihadists trying to kill Americans, you bear responsibility for the murder they carry out with the money you have given them" Cruz told host Chad Hasty, adding that the Iranian supreme leader routinely leads chants in which he shouts, "Death to America."
Cruz previously characterized the deal as "catastrophic" and said that it poses the "gravest national security threat" more than anything else for three reasons.
"One, if it goes through, hundreds of billions of dollars will flow to Iran that they will use to fund radical Islamic terrorism to murder Americans. Two, because it leaves four American hostages languishing in Iran. The last president to leave hostages in Iran was Jimmy Carter [and] that appeasement profoundly weakened America," Cruz said. "But three, this deal accelerates Iran's acquiring nuclear weapons, and they have pledged to use those nuclear weapons.
Listen to Cruz defend his comments below (relevant portion begins around the 12:00 mark):
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