Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) released a video Thursday warning President Joe Biden has, in his first few weeks in office, given the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) a “warm embrace” with his selection of cabinet members.
The video from Cruz, who has hammered Biden repeatedly about China since the president’s cabinet nominee hearings began, presents a compilation of concerns with certain nominees, some of whom have now been confirmed as U.S. secretaries in their respective departments.
“China poses the single greatest geopolitical threat to the United States over the next century,” Cruz begins in the video, which then switches to a clip of him saying, “One of the really disturbing patterns we’ve seen with Biden nominee after Biden nominee is a warm embrace of China”:
America needs to hold the Chinese Communist Party accountable.
Yet Team Biden has decided to embrace China. pic.twitter.com/0un2apopUJ
— Senator Ted Cruz (@SenTedCruz) February 4, 2021
The video flashes images of cabinet nominees, including U.N. ambassador nominee Linda Thomas-Greenfield, commerce secretary nominee Gov. Gina Raimondo (D-RI), and now-Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.
Cruz first in his video highlights Thomas-Greenfield, whom the Foreign Relations Committee approved on Thursday 18–4 and now awaits her Senate confirmation. Cruz was the most critical of the U.N. ambassador nominee during her hearing and one of the senators to vote against her Thursday, primarily because of a 2019 speech she gave at a Confucius Institute at Savannah State University in Georgia in which she praised China’s aggressive investment practices in Africa.
Thomas-Greenfield said during her hearing that she regretted the speech and had intended to deliver foreign affairs advice to young people at Savannah State, a historically black public university. She acknowledged China’s “self-interested and parasitic goals in Africa” and said she had meant to convey that “Africans need to open their eyes on how they deal with the Chinese, and I would like to see the U.S. government do more in Africa to compete.”
Cruz argued during his committee vote, however, that “the speech she gave does not have one single critical word about China” and also pointed out that Confucius Institutes are CCP-funded mouthpieces for the Chinese government and that it remained alarming that she had spoken at one.
The Texas Republican’s video compilation then shifts to Huawei, a Chinese telecommunications giant he describes as a “global espionage company masquerading as a telecom company.”
Cruz asked Raimondo during her hearing if she could commit to keeping Huawei and other Chinese technology companies on the Entity List, which is maintained by the Commerce Department, and Raimondo dodged his question, only saying, “I will commit to working with you on that.”
Cruz referenced this exchange as reason for rejecting her nomination, but despite his opposition, Raimondo was approved Wednesday by the Commerce Committee 21–3 and now awaits a full Senate confirmation vote.
The video he put out also features Mayorkas, a former director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) who Cruz pointed out was accused in a 2015 inspector general report of doing political favors for “well-connected Democrat stakeholders” under the EB-5 visa program and allegedly secured such a visa for a Huawei vice president.
A Biden transition official defended Mayorkas, according to Politico, saying the now-secretary had at the time “inherited a ‘badly broken’ visa system and ‘took a series of steps to proactively reform the EB-5 program and strengthen the quality and integrity of the process.’”
Write to Ashley Oliver at email@example.com.