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Ted Cruz: Obama "A Radical Ideologue" And "Unmitigated Socialist"

"Barack Obama is not a terrible president because he was a senator. Barack Obama's a terrible president because he's a radical ideologue. He's an unmitigated socialist who has dramatically weakened America's role in the world."

Posted on June 18, 2015, at 1:18 p.m. ET

KOTV

In an interview with Oklahoma's KOTV Sunday, Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz called President Obama "a radical ideologue" and "an unmitigated socialist who has dramatically weakened America's role in the world."

The senator from Texas made the remarks in response to a question about his rivals Rick Perry and Scott Walker arguing that the Republican nominee in 2016 should be a governor with executive experience, rather than a senator like Cruz.

"Barack Obama is not a terrible president because he's a senator," Cruz replied.

"Barack Obama is a terrible president because he's a radical ideologue. He's an unmitigated socialist who has dramatically weakened America's role in the world."

Earlier in the interview, Cruz sharply criticized President Obama's approach to fighting ISIS in Iraq.

"Unfortunately, we just saw in recent days President Obama admit yet again that he doesn't have a strategy to deal with ISIS," Cruz said.

"We need to use overwhelming air power to take out the leaders of ISIS, and we need to be arming the Kurds," he continued. "The Obama administration refuses to fund the Kurds, to let them kill ISIS leaders."

America needs "leadership at the top," Cruz argued, "that makes clear, across the world, that if you go and join ISIS you're signing your death certificate."

Asked if he would support American boots on the ground, however, Cruz said the military advice he is getting is to employ "overwhelming air power."

"The military advice I'm getting right now is that what we should be employing is overwhelming air power, not pinprick strikes," Cruz replied. "The problem is, right now what we're seeing is photo-op foreign policy."

"One of the simplest principles of history," Cruz added, "is that bullies and tyrants don't respect weakness, that appeasement doesn't work."

Here's the full interview:

KOTV

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.