Sen. Ted Cruz rallied the conservative faithful at the Defending the American Dream Summit
in Dallas on Saturday, saying that the U.S. should bomb the Islamic State (ISIS) "back to the Stone Age" for beheading American journalist James Foley.
"ISIS says they want to go back and reject modernity," the Texas Republican told 3,000 people at the event, which was sponsored by Americans for Prosperity. "Well, I think we should help them. We ought to bomb them back to the Stone Age."
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"ISIS is the face of evil," Cruz said, adding that by executing Foley on Aug. 19, ISIS was "mocking America to the world." He described the group, also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, as "monsters."
"America has always been reluctant to use military force, but we have never shied away from defending the United States of America," he said.
Cruz, who is considering a run for the White House in 2016, was among several likely Republican presidential contenders who spoke at the two-day summit, held at the Omni Hotel. AFP is backed by the billionaire Koch brothers.
Other speakers included Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, both of whom spoke on Friday. Texas Rep. Jeb Hensarling followed Cruz.
For nearly a half-hour, Cruz slammed President Barack Obama policies — likening his dealings with Russian President Vladimir Putin, for instance, to a weak "kitty cat."
"The Russian bear is encountering the Obama kitty cat," Cruz said. "The reason Putin feels no fear to march into his neighbors, the reason our allies up and down Europe are terrified of what happens next, is because our president is leading from behind."
He illustrated Putin's influence another way at the start of his speech: "Back in Washington, there's a diet that is now very, very popular. It's called 'The Obama Diet.' It works very, very well. You simply let Putin eat your lunch every day."
The first-term senator issued a "call to action" to the AFP summit participants as the November congressional elections draw near, saying that four issues would be "front and center."
They are beating back illegal immigration, repealing Obamacare, restoring America's world stature, and defending the U.S. Constitution. Cruz also pledged undying support for Israel.
"Sixty-six days from now …, we're going to re-take the United States Senate, and we're going to retire Harry Reid," Cruz said, referring to the Nevada Democrat and Senate majority leader. "We've got 66 days and we've got a job to do."
On immigration, "President Obama has decided to make this election in 2014 a national referendum on amnesty," Cruz said. "If you support amnesty, vote Democrat. If you oppose amnesty, throw Harry Reid out."
He declared that his battle to defund Obamacare last year was successful because "as a result of that fight, President Obama's popularity has plummeted. As a result of that fight, Obamacare's popularity has plummeted. … It's even plummeted with Democrats.
"I'm convinced that we're going to win in 2014 — and 2016 is going to be even better," Cruz said to cheers from the crowd. "And in the year 2017, a Republican president, in the Rose Garden, is going to sign a bill repealing every word of Obamacare."
In their remarks on Friday, Perry and Paul attacked the "we don't have a strategy yet" remarks Obama made about ISIS earlier this week.
"Yesterday, the president admitted he had no strategy to deal with ISIS," Perry said, drawing hoots and hisses from the crowd. "The deepening chaos in Iraq, Syria, Gaza, and Ukraine is all the clear and compelling evidence the world needs of a president one step behind, lurching from crisis to crisis, always playing catch-up."
Paul said that Obama's lack of leadership showed that he'd been on the job too long.
"If the president has no strategy, maybe it's time for a new president," he said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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