Ted Cruz, Donald Trump Advocate Bringing Back Waterboarding

Cruz defines waterboarding as "enhanced ... vigorous interrogation" during the eighth GOP debate.
3:47 | 02/07/16

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Transcript for Ted Cruz, Donald Trump Advocate Bringing Back Waterboarding
Senator crews you have said quote torture is wrong unambiguously period civilized nations do not engage in torture. So the other candidates say they don't think waterboarding is torture. Mr. trump has said I would bring it back senator cruise is waterboarding torture. Well under the definition of torture no it's not an under the law toy. Sure is excruciating. Pain and that is equivalent to losing losing organs and systems so under the definition of torture it is not it is. Enhanced interrogation it is vigorous interrogation but it does not meet. The generally recognized definition of torture if elected president would you bring it back. I would not bring it back in any sort of widespread use and and indeed. I joined with Senator McCain in legislation. That that would. Prohibit line officers from employing it because I think bad things happen when enhanced interrogation. Is employed at lower levels but. When it comes to keeping this country safe. The commander in chief has inherent constitutional authority to keep this country safe. And so if it were necessary. To say prevents a city from facing an imminent terrorist attack. You can rest assured that his commander in chief. I would use whatever enhanced Terry interrogation methods we could to keep this country saying senator Cruz thank you mr. companies have not only does it work that you bring him back. Well I'll tell you what in the Middle East. We have people chopping the heads off Christians. We have people chopping the heads off many other people. We have things that we have never seen before as a group we have never seen before what's happening right now. The mid evil times I mean we studied medieval times not since medieval times have people see what's going on. I would bring back what are board and I bring back a hell of a lot worse than that waterboarding. Or she had said. That you won't rule waterboarding now congress has passed laws banning the use of waterboarding by the military and the CIA as you know would you want congress to change that accurately. Now I know I wouldn't know I wouldn't and it was used sparingly. Congress is change the laws and I've and I think where we stand is the appropriate place. But what we need to do is to make sure that we expand our intelligence capabilities. The idea that we're gonna solve this fight with predator Joan drones killing people somehow is a is more acceptable than capturing them securing the information this is why. Closing Guantanamo is a complete disaster. What we need to do is make sure that your pets. And technological intelligence capabilities far superior than what we have today. That's how you get a more safe place is by making sure that we're fully engaged in right now this administration doesn't do that. Governor bush thank you senator rubio likely want to ask you. You have said that you do not want to telegraph to the enemy what you would do as commander in chief but for the American people watching tonight. Who want to know where the next president will stand. Do you believe waterboarding is torture. Well when people talk about interrogating terrorists they're acting like this is some sort of law enforcement function law enforcement is about gathering evidence to take someone to trial and convict them. Anti terrorism is about finding out information to prevent a future attack. So the same tactics do not apply in it is true we should not be discussing white in a widespread way the exact tactics that we're going to use. Because of allows terrorists and others to practice how to evade us. But here's the bigger part problem with all this one out interrogating anybody right now. Guantanamo is being emptied by this president. We should be putting people into Guantanamo not emptying it out and we shouldn't be releasing these killers for rejoining the battle.

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

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