Sen. Ted Cruz says he respects President Barack Obama as an "extraordinary politician," but worries that his ideas are "profoundly dangerous" for the nation.
"I think Barack Obama is an extraordinary politician. And I respect Barack Obama a great deal," Cruz said in an interview with Time
magazine that has just been posted online. "I think he is committed to his principles, which is rare in politics."
But the Texas Republican and tea party favorite added: "Now I also think, and please don't leave this part out, that the principles he believes in are profoundly dangerous."
"I respect that he believes, I think genuinely, with all of his heart, that government control of economy and redistribution of wealth betters the world," Cruz continued in the interview held last week. "I think moving in that direction has wreaked havoc to the American economy. The people who suffer in the Obama economy have been young people, African Americans, Hispanics, single moms."
Cruz revealed in the interview that Obama's presidential campaigns were an inspiration for his own Senate race and for his possible run for the White House in 2016.
"If you look at that 2008 Democratic primary, there was no more formidable, unstoppable candidate — other than in incumbent president — in modern times than Hillary Clinton. And Barack Obama ran a guerrilla campaign that empowered the people."
"I think there is no more potent force in politics than the grassroots, mobilized and standing up," he added.
Cruz is using that same strategy in an effort to repeal the 2010 healthcare reform law by pressuring the Republican leadership in Congress to oppose any spending measure that includes funding to help implement Obamacare. To help build pressure on the leadership
, Cruz is traveling the country making speeches to conservative activists.
One of the stops this weekend is in Iowa, where he's scheduled to address the Family Leadership Summit. The stop in Iowa, along with other recent or planned visits to key presidential battleground states, are helping to fuel rumors that he is considering a bid for the Republican presidential nomination
In the Time interview, however, he side-stepped a question about his presidential ambitions, saying only that the party will need to nominate a strong conservative candidate in order to win the White House.
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