Contrary to recent comments made by Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R), Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) said in no uncertain terms that he would not have authorized invading Iraq.
Cruz, a 2016 Republican presidential candidate, made the comments in an interview with Fox’s Megyn Kelly on Tuesday.
Earlier in the week, Kelly asked Bush if he would have authorized the invasion, and he said he would have. On Tuesday, Bush told Sean Hannity that he hadn’t heard the question correctly and wasn’t sure what he would have done. Cruz, on the other hand, said he knows what he would have done.
“Of course not,” Cruz said in response to Kelly asking if he would have authorized an invasion. “I mean, the entire predicate of the war against Iraq was the intelligence that showed they had weapons of mass destruction and they might use them. Now I would note that there was a bipartisan consensus, both Republicans and Democrats looking at that intelligence concluded it was a real threat. We now know that intelligence was false. And without that predicate, there’s no way we would have gone to war with Iraq and we know that now in hindsight.”
Kelly then asked Cruz if he supported former President George W. Bush’s decision to invade given the information the president had at the time. Cruz served as a domestic policy adviser for Bush during the 2000 presidential campaign.
“Well, look, at the time I wasn’t serving in the Senate, so I didn’t see the classified briefings, I didn’t see the intelligence,” Cruz said. “So I don’t want to second guess based on what I lack of complete information.”
Earlier on Tuesday afternoon, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who’s also hinted at a bid in the 2016 Republican primary, said he would not have invaded Iraq either.