On Friday, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) said that Russian President Vladimir Putin is a “KGB thug” whose goal is to go as far as he can to reassemble the former Soviet Union.
“I don’t think Putin is a complicated man,” Cruz said. “He has been very candid about his views.”
While addressing the Heritage Foundation’s Resource Bank meeting in New Orleans, Cruz asked whether anyone has heard President Barack Obama “utter a sentence along those lines.”
Cruz, as he did when he delivered a significant foreign policy address at the Uninvited National Security Forum across the street from CPAC recently, praised Ronald Reagan’s “power of moral clarity,” which was displayed when Reagan “stood up and told the truth” about how the “Soviet Union was an Evil Empire.”
Cruz said that Russia’s actions are not a “dispute in a faculty lounge” where elites discuss international norms and laws but rather those of a “thug” who will “attack his neighbors” until he meets “meaningful resistance.”
He emphasized that Putin will use “every tool at his disposal” to go as far as he can to reconstitute the Soviet Union and said Obama should have sent a clearer signal about where the United States stood by taking stronger positions on freedoms in Ukraine and Venezuela.
Cruz said there are still meaningful steps the Obama administration could take to help Eastern Europe, such as installing the anti-ballistic-missile defense system that Obama tossed aside, signing a free trade agreement with Ukraine, and working with Ukraine to build the infrastructure for that country to receive liquefied natural gas. Cruz said this would free Ukrainians from Russia’s economic domination, blunt the influence of “petro-tyrant” Putin, and help America’s domestic economy.
Cruz said that is the type leadership the country needs and is not seeing in Washington.