Sen. Ted Cruz Would Deploy U.S. Troops Against ISIS 'If Need Be'

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, joins ABC News' George Stephanopoulos from Munich to discuss the battle against ISIS and other global hotspots.
6:57 | 02/08/15

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Transcript for Sen. Ted Cruz Would Deploy U.S. Troops Against ISIS 'If Need Be'
conference, republican senator Ted Cruz. Thank you for joining us this morning from Munich. We have heard of this division between the europeans and perhaps the United States over this issue of arming the Ukraine militarily. Where do you stand on that? George, good morning. Great to be with you. This conference in Munich has highlighted the national security threats facing America that are growing and getting worse. And when it comes to Russia and Ukraine, the path we're on doesn't make sense. We need to be providing defensive arms to the people of the Ukraine. I met yesterday alongside a bipartisan congressional delegation with the Ukrainian president he made clear they're fighting to defend their nation. They want to defend their nation. We have a treaty obligation to stand with them. Right now, unfortunately, the Obama administration is not honoring that. We need to come together and provide defensive arms so they can stand up against the Russian aggression. I know you have also discussed the battle against Isis this weekend. And you have said it in the past, that the answer is to bomb Isis back to the stone age. Most experts say that will not be enough. You'll need ground forces as well the. Would you call up American forces if others don't step up? I don't believe right now we need American boots on the ground. The reason is, we have boots on the ground already with the kurds. The peshmerga are trained effective fighters. They're close allies of us. Just today, I met with the president of kurdistan. He made clear that they're ready to fight. They are fighting Isis. It makes no sense. Our government is not providing military weapons effectively to the kurds. They're shuttling it to Baghdad. They're slow in getting it to the kurds. We need to arm the kurds. We need to use the peshmerga on the ground. As boots on the ground, they're effective, they're ready, they're close allies. If that's not enough, would you be willing to send American ground troops into the battle? Look, we need to accomplish the mission. The mission should be defeating Isis before they succeed in carrying out more horrific acts of terror. Before they succeed in murdering Americans. If need be, we should go that step. But it should be driven by the mission. The first step should be to effectively arm the peshmerga. Use them as boots on the ground. And to use Syria's overwhelming air power. The problem is right now, the obama/clinton/kerry policy has been consistently wrong. It's been wrong on Isis, on Russia. It's been wrong on Iran. When it comes to Isis, our policy from leading from behind, we have seen photo op foreign policy. We drop a bomb here or a missile there. We need a focused, direct, military objective of taking out and destroying Isis. Isis and Al Qaeda also posing a threat to our homeland, as well. The department of homeland security about to run out of funding by tend of the month. Speaker Boehner has called you out in the effort to block that funding in an effort to block the president's executive orders on immigration. Do you have a strategy to get your plan implemented? It will take democratic votes to get that. If not, what are you going to do to make sure the funding is in place? I don't agree with the premise of your question. This was not my plan. This is leadership's plan. This is the cromnibus. I fought in December against this plan. I said this plan doesn't make sense. It gives away all our leverage. It's a plan that is designed to fail. So I would ask leadership, this is their plan they designed. Let's see what their next step is. But I'll say two additional things. This past week, we saw senate democrats three times filibuster funding for the department of homeland security. The democrats need to stop fi filibustering funding for the dhs. And republicans, what we need to do is honor the commitments we made to the voters. We need to fund dhs. We need to act effectively to stop president Obama's illegal and unconstitutional executive amnesty. Let me ask you a question about the economy. We saw these new unemployment number this is week. Showing the economy has created more than 1 million jobs in the last three months. The best in years. A solid forecast for 2015 as well. What does that do to your party's strategy going to 2016? Here's what Kevin Hassett said. To the Washington post, he said when Hillary Clinton runs, she'll say the republicans gave us a crappy economy twice and we fixed it twice. Why would you trust them again? What's the answer? Look, if Hillary Clinton wants to run by telling the Americans that the economy is doing great and you can credit president Obama and Hillary Clinton for it, I would encourage her to follow that strategy. Because is because is simple reality is, that's true for if wealthy. The top 1% of the billionaires and millionaires. The ones he constantly demagogues. Those with power and influence, who have walked the halls in the Obama administration, they have gotten fat and happy under big government. I'll tell you, hard-working men and women across America are hurting. We, today, have the lowest labor force participation since 1978. 92 million Americans are not working. We have seen wages stagnate. Sounds like you have your economic stump speech down. You've been making the case that the gop can't go with the establishment candidate this time around. You say republicans lose when they run to the mushy middle. Now, I know you like and respect Jeb bush. But you have suggested he's part of the mushy middle. What puts him there? Well look. Jeb bush is a good man. He's a good governor. I respect him. If he chooses to run, it looks like he will. He'll have to make the case to primary voters concerning his record, concerning center certainly his support for common core, concerning his policies on immigration. I think we'll have a debate on that. But at the end of the day, I think republicans are looking for a leader. And I'll tell you, George, what I would urge every republican thinking about running to do, this is true of senators, governors, stand up and lead. I would be thrilled if six months from now, we have a half dozen republicans standing and leading and making a case. There is a better way we can get back to the free market principles and constitutional liberties that built this country and made the country a shining city on a hill. Sounds like a vigorous debate is coming. I know you have to catch a plane. Thank you very much. Thank you, George. God bless you.

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

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