Sen. Ted Cruz on 'This Week'

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz on the congressional debate over striking Syria.
5:42 | 09/08/13

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Transcript for Sen. Ted Cruz on 'This Week'
YOU HEARD denis McDonough say he was outraged by your suggestion that american forces will be serving as al-qaeda's air force. Good to be with you. And I do agree there's a lot to be outraged about. Number one, all of us are outraged as assad's conduct. He's a brutal murderer, murdered over 100,000 of his citizens, gassed over 1400 people, including over 400 children, and he rightly should be condemned worldwide. But an attack? I think a military attack is a mistake. Why? For two reasons. One, because the administration is proceeding with the wrong objective, and two, because they have no viable plan for success. They're beginning from the wrong objective because this attack is not based on defending u.S. National security. It is not based on defending americans or our allies. It's framed by president obama, by secretary kerry, as a defense of what they call international norms. And I don't think that's the job of our military to be defending amorphous international norms. There are other steps we can do to express strong disapproval to assad's murderous conduct. But I don't think it's the job of the military. Like what? What would you do? Several things. Number one, there are reports that iraq is allowing iran to fly over and resupply assad. I would right now cut off iraq's $500 million in aid unless they cut off air rights. Number two, we should force a vote in the u.N. Security council condemning the use of chemical weapons to murder his own citizens. We know -- you know, it would get vetoed. We know russia and china would veto it, they said that. But we should make them veto it on the world stage, and if they do veto it, we should respond by, with respect to russia, we should reinstate the anti-ballistic missile station that w that was cancelled to appease russia. And with respect to china, we should go through with selling THE NEW F-16s TO TAIWAN THAT This administration -- that would hurt russia, but what to assad? Syria? We should unify international opinion condemning him. But the second piece, and, you KNOW, MR. McDONOUGH WAS OUTRAGED As the suggestion it would help al-qaeda, I agree. But just because assad is a murderous tyrant doesn't mean the opponents are better. In june, the intelligence showed that a benign major al-qaeda -- benign major rebel forces in syria, at least seven appear to be significant ties to al-qaeda. The problem is one of two things is possible, either the strike is really significant, it weakens assad and the result is the rebels are able to succeed. And if what happens there is al-qaeda taking over, or al nusra taking over, and extremist terrorists getting access to the chemical weapons, that hurts the u.S. National -- YOUR FELLOW REPUBLICAN john McCain zbrees. And adam kinzinger, an iraq war vet, also took exception to your comments. Here's what he said. They say if we go in and strike assad that we are acting as, quote, al-qaeda's air force. I believe that's a cheap line by some people to garner headlines. Cheap line to garner headlines. Well, look. I don't know mr. Kinzinger. I respect his service, he's entitled to his opinions. What I can tell you that was said by dennis kucinich. And where I saw it after that was a current naval sailor who tweeted and said, I didn't sign up to serve as al-qaeda's air force. The reason why we're seeing -- and I'll tell you, this past two weeks I have been traveling across texas, and everywhere in the state of texas, texans saying don't put us in the middle of a sectarian civil war, particularly when doing so would help al-qaeda terrorists. Finally, do you think the president has the authority to go forward without congressional support or an impeachable offense? I don't think he does. Woe know that from two things. The supreme court said when congress rejects congressional authority which it would do if it votes down this resolution, presidential authority is at its lowest ebb. And the residual presidential ability to act in the declaration of war is based on an imminent threat to the united states. And president obama says there isn't. Would it be an impeachable offense? It would be contrary to the constitution. This is not the time for listen. -- Politics. Listen. This is a grave and serious moment. I would like to support our commander in chief. Focused on protecting u.S. National security. One of the problems with the focus on syria is its missing the ball from what we should be focused on, which is the grave threat from radical islamic terrorism. This is the one-year attack on benghazi. In four -- benghazi, four americans were killed. It was the first ambassador killed since 1979. When it happened, the president promised to hunt them down, and yet a few months later, the issue has disappeared. You don't hear the president mention it. It's a phoney scandal. We should be defending u.S. National security and going after radical islamic terrorists. We will be talking with them in just a moment.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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