Ted Cruz and his campaign managers have dished out their most detailed and strongest criticism yet of rival Republican presidential candidate nominee Marco Rubio since the two Senate colleagues first began to clash over national security and immigration issues.
Junior senator Cruz told reporters in a town hall in Texas that he was decidedly unimpressed by a campaign being run by Rubio supporters suggesting that he has previously voted in ways that weakened the United States’ ability to find terrorists. “I think Senator Rubio’s campaign is very, very dismayed that conservatives [are] coming together behind our campaign and is attempting to mislead the voters in an effort to slow that down,” Cruz claims. “I don’t believe that’s going to be successful.”
Cruz’s comments came just hours after the release of a video showing Rubio being criticized by Oklahoma US representative Jim Bridenstine, one of Cruz’s supporters in Congress, over his involvement as one of the Gang of Eight responsible for the comprehensive immigration reform bill in 2013 that succeeded in passing the Senate only to fail to come to come to a vote in the House of Representatives. Bridenstine declared that that legislation would have allowed Obama to bring in yet more Syrian immigrants − something Cruz says would be “significantly harmful to our national security”, particularly in the wake of the recent Paris attacks.
Cruz says that twisting his support for the USA Freedom Act as undermining national security, as the Rubio ad claims, is a “ridiculous” proposition, noting that the act expanded the tools for targeting terrorists but protected Americans from invasive government spying.