Sen. Ted Cruz may be getting ready to announce a presidential run at the end of the year, and is concentrating on foreign policy issues to help him stand out in the 2016 White House race, the National Journal reports.
"At this point, it's 90/10 he's in," an unnamed adviser to Cruz, a Texas Republican, told the National Journal
. "And honestly, 90 is low-balling it."
Signs have been pointing to a bid, the National Journal notes, including visits to key primary states, like Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina, and his hiring last month of consultants with experience in national campaigns and extensive contacts in early nominating states.
Another telling sign was Cruz's transfer of his chief of staff, Chip Roy
, from the senator's congressional office to the campaign operation.
Cruz, in a statement issued after the National Journal posted its story Sunday, denied he'd made any decisions "about political plans past the midterm elections."
"Clearly we have an overzealous supporter out there making freelance comments, but to be clear, no decision has been made," he declared.
In the National Journal interview, Cruz emphasized how important he felt the 2016 election will be.
"Our nation teeters on the brink of a precipice," he said. "And I believe 2016 will be an election like 1980, about two fundamentally different visions for America."
The National Journal reports it's his foreign policy pragmatism that may set him apart in any possible campaign.
"Is it true that the American people are war-weary? Absolutely," Cruz said. "We are tired of sending our sons and daughters to distant lands year after year after year, to give their lives trying to transform foreign nations.
"But I think it's a serious misreading of the American people to conclude that we are unwilling to defend ourselves, that we are unwilling to be strong and vigorous defending U.S. national security."
Rhetoric is important, he adds.
"It's a critical responsibility of the president of the United States to speak out as a clarion voice for freedom," Cruz said.
The use of force should have strict goals, he said.
"If and when military action is called for, it should be (a) with a clearly defined military objective, (b) executed with overwhelming force, and (c), when we're done we should get the heck out," he said.
"I don't think it's the job of our military to engage in nation-building. It is the job of our military to protect America and to hunt down and kill those who would threaten to murder Americans. It is not the job of our military to occupy countries across the globe and try to turn them into democratic utopias."
Cruz has also worked to cultivate ties in the pro-Israel community
of voters and donors while another possible GOP White House contender, Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul, has struggled to secure ties with Jewish leaders, reports the Jewish Daily Forward.
"In the Senate there is a wide spectrum of views on foreign policy," Cruz told the National Journal. "On one end of the spectrum you have Rand Paul; on a very different end of the spectrum you have John McCain. Both have been forceful about their views on foreign policy. I would characterize my position as a third point on the triangle."
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