— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) July 11, 2017
Thanks, Obama. According to Ted Cruz, the state of affairs between the U.S. and Russia, and the need for multiple government investigations into the Trump administration’s affiliations with the Kremlin, is all the fault of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. At least that’s how he explained things to reporters (it isn’t clear whether he was speaking before or after Don Jr. dropped his emails), who he also blamed for their “obsession” with all things Russia-related, an obsession he’s convinced the American people don’t share.
“When I go back to Texas, nobody asks about Russia,” said Cruz. “You know, I held town halls all over the state of Texas. You know how many questions I got on Russia? Zero.”
Cruz says that his town halls are being attended by Americans who, as he put it, simply “want the President to succeed.” He offered similar sentiments in his interview, calling the Russia probe “the Democratic talking point du jour.” But he also indicated that we wouldn’t be talking about Russia at all, were it not for former president Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. “I think that we have had eight years of Barack Obama showing nothing but appeasement towards Russia,” Cruz told the press.
One reporter responded by asking if Trump is not also appeasing Russia. Cruz skipped over that question to continue expounding on Obama and Clinton’s approach to Moscow, explaining, “The Obama administration began with Hillary Clinton bringing a big red reset button to Russia. She and Obama were going to be friends with the Russians. That’s how they began.”
He was referring to a 2009 misstep when Clinton, acting as Secretary of State, symbolically offered Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov a little red button that was supposed to read “reset” but was mistranslated into “overload.” Things only went downhill from there as the situation in Syria began to unfurl in earnest. By 2014, the U.S. had given up on its overtures to Moscow and decided to moved forward on decade-old plans to install a missile defense system in place in Romania, ostensibly to protect against Iran.
Putting the anti-missile system in Romania was an alternative to George W. Bush’s plan for a similar system in Poland and the Czech Republic. Cruz praised Trump’s plans to follow through on the Bush administration’s concept, offering them as evidence that Trump can, indeed, stand up to Putin, who he called “a KGB thug.” In that description at least, and his reticence to really discuss President Trump, Cruz showed that he has his own opinion on the Russian problem currently plaguing Capitol Hill.