Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) tore into President Obama on Monday after the president criticized the Republican presidential candidate’s proposal to only let Christian Syrian refugees into the United States.
During a Monday press conference at the G20 summit, Obama did not mention Cruz by name, but alluded to the senator’s father, Rafael Cruz, who fled Cuba for the U.S.
“When I hear folks say that well maybe we should just admit the Christians but not the Muslims, when I hear political leaders suggesting that there would be a religious test for which a person who is fleeing from a war-torn country is admitted, when some of those folks themselves come from families who benefited from protection when they were fleeing political persecution, that’s shameful,” Obama said.
In an interview with CNN later on Monday, Cruz criticized Obama’s plan to admit Syrian refugees into the U.S.
“What Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are proposing is that we bring to this country tens of thousands of Syrian Muslim refugees. I have to say, particularly in light of what happened in Paris, that’s nothing short of lunacy,” Cruz said.
CNN’s Dana Bash then mentioned Cruz’s father, and asked how the senator would feel if his father had not been let into the U.S. due to security concerns.
“Well, see that’s why it’s important to define what it is we’re fighting,” Cruz responded. “If my father were part of a theocratic and political movement like radical Islamism that promotes murdering anyone who doesn’t share your extreme faith or forcibly converting them, then it would make perfect sense.”
Cruz also told CNN that he will propose a bill that would ban Syrian Muslim refugees from entering the U.S.
Watch CNN’s interview with Cruz: