Sen. Ted Cruz is ramping up attacks on rival GOP presidential contender Sen. Marco Rubio — even tying him to Hillary Clinton's "foreign policy blunder" that led to the deadly 2012 Benghazi terror strike.
In an interview with Bloomberg Politics
, the Texas lawmaker also accused the senator from Florida of "military adventurism" that's benefited radical Islamic militant groups.
"Sen. Rubio emphatically supported Hillary Clinton in toppling [Muammar] Qaddafi in Libya. I think that made no sense," Cruz said. "Qaddafi was a bad man, he had a horrible human rights record. And yet, he had become a significant ally in fighting radical Islamic terrorism."
"The terrorist attack that occurred in Benghazi was a direct result of that massive foreign policy blunder," he added.
According to Cruz, President Barack Obama, Clinton "and for that matter some of the more aggressive Washington neo-cons" have "consistently misperceived the threat of radical Islamic terrorism and have advocated military adventurism that has had the effect of benefiting radical Islamic terrorists," he said.
Cruz also contrasted his views with Rubio on Syria — linking him again with Clinton and blasting their support of a no-fly zone and arming "the so-called moderate rebels."
"I think none of that makes any sense. In my view, we have no dog in the fight of the Syrian civil war," he said, charging Rubio and Clinton "are repeating the very same mistakes they made in Libya. They've demonstrated they've learned nothing."
"The enemy of my enemy is not necessarily my friend," Cruz said. "If the Obama administration and the Washington neo-cons succeed in toppling [Bashar al-] Assad, Syria will be handed over to radical Islamic terrorists. ISIS will rule Syria."
Rubio campaign spokesman Alex Conant responded by hitting Cruz's position on support of the USA Freedom Act, which stopped the government from engaging in mass collection of Americans' phone records surveillance and privacy.
"While Sen. Cruz voted to gut US intelligence programs and make Americans less safe, nobody has shown a better understanding of the threats we face in the 21st century than Marco," Conant tells the news outlet.
With his poll numbers rising,
Cruz has been more aggressively challenging Rubio — including with an attack ad released last week
that hit Rubio on his policy stances on immigration and the resettlement of Syrian refugees.
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