Cruz on Beating ISIS: ‘We Should Use Overwhelming Force, Kill the Enemy’
RADDATZ: "Senator Cruz, you advocate what you call carpet bombing, or saturation bombing, to defeat ISIS, citing the more than 1,100 air attacks that the U.S. carried out during the first Gulf War in 1991. Explain how a strategy to defeat a standing army would work against an unconventional terrorist group that is now hiding amongst the population."
CRUZ: "Well, sure. It starts with a commander-in-chief that sets the objective. And the objective has to be utterly and completely destroying ISIS. Obama hasn't started with that objective and everything else flows from there. Once you set that objective, we have the tools to carry that out. The first tool is overwhelming air power. It is one of the blessings of the United States of America, having the greatest military on the face of the earth, is we have the ability to use that air power. As you know, in the first Persian Gulf War, it was 1,100 air attacks a day. Obama is launching between 15 and 30. Now, when I say saturation carpet bombing, that is not indiscriminate. That is targeted at oil facilities. It's targeted at the oil tankers. It's targeted at command and control locations. It's targeted at infrastructure. It's targeted at communications. It's targeted at bombing all of the roads and bridges going in and out of Raqqa. It's using overwhelming air power. You know, couple of weeks ago, it was reported that a facility is open called Jihadist University. Now, the question I wonder, why is that building still standing? It should be rubble. And if you had a president..." [Bell rings] (Applause) all though I will say this. I would be willing to wait until freshman orientation before launching those bombs. "
RADDATZ: "Senator Cruz, would you like to expand or loosen the rules of engagement? I was just over in a command center in Erbil and they said they thought the rules of engagement worked. Because you have so many civilians in those populated areas, they don't want to hit civilians."
CRUZ: "Martha, I will tell you, I have visited with active duty military, with veterans over and over and over again in town halls all over the state of New Hampshire. What we are doing to our sons and daughters, it is immoral. We are sending them into fight with their arms tied behind their back. They cannot defend themselves. And it is wrong. (Applause) And I will tell you this. Look. America has always been reluctant to use military force. It's the last step we take. But if and when we use it when it comes to defeating ISIS, we should use it. We should use overwhelming force, kill the enemy and then get the heck out. Don't engage in nation-building but instead, allow our soldiers to do their jobs instead of risking their lives with politicians making it impossible to accomplish the objective."