Syrian Muslims 'Not Facing Genocide the Way Christians Are,' Ted Cruz Says

Ted Cruz defends his call to ban Syrian Muslim refugees in the U.S.

"If that were occurring, we would work to prevent it. And any refugee coming into this country should be thoroughly vetted, I'm not saying that anyone should be exempted from vetting."

During testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee in October, the head of the United States’ Citizenship and Immigration Services’ Refugee Affairs Division Chief Barbara Strack also noted that the agency had implemented additional security protocols for Syrian refugee applications, referring many cases to fraud detection officials for additional review and research.

On the campaign trail, Cruz often makes a point to describe what he calls the persecution of Christians in Middle Eastern countries.

"When you see Christians being beheaded and crucified by ISIS trying to engage in genocide, we ought to be a beacon of hope and a safe haven for the Christians that are fleeing that persecution," said Cruz at a campaign stop in Sun City, South Carolina Monday.

Cruz asserted that ISIS is subjecting Christians to a genocide in the Middle East. When pressed about the large numbers of Muslims being murdered in Syria too, Cruz said, "But they're not facing genocide the way Christians are."

When asked if Cruz was asserting that all Muslims are terrorists or may become terrorists, Cruz said, "What I'm suggesting is the commander-in-chief should protect this nation."

President Obama has criticized Cruz for his call for only Syrian Christians to come to the United States, saying that it equates to a religious test and calling it "Un-American."

"Indeed just yesterday, President Obama attacked me directly and called me Un-American. I got to say for Pres. Obama to call me Un-American and to do it from Turkey no less, that was a little bit rich," Cruz said.