Cruz Criticizes POW Trade: "Have We Just Put A Price On Other U.S. Soldiers?"


GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: First let's get your reaction to the Bergdahl deal.

SEN. TED CRUZ: Well, look, all of us celebrate with Sergeant Bergdahl, with his family, I mean, looking at his parents there, I mean, that's emotional and it's powerful.

At the same time the terms of the deal are very troubling.


CRUZ: Well, for one thing, how many soldiers lost their lives to capture those five Taliban terrorists that we just released? You know, Ambassador Rice basically said to you, yes, U.S. policy has changed. Now we make deals with terrorists.

And the question going forward is, have we just put a price on other U.S. soldiers? What does this tell terrorists, that if you capture a U.S. soldier, you can trade that soldier for five terrorists we've gone after.


CRUZ: I mean, that's a very dangerous price.

STEPHANOPOULOS: If you were president, you wouldn't have negotiated?

CRUZ: I do not think the way to deal with terrorists is through releasing other violent terrorists. I mean...

STEPHANOPOULOS: But what if that's the only way to get Bergdahl home?

CRUZ: It's not the only way. We can go in and use military force, as needed, to rescue our fallen compatriots. But, look, Sergeant Bergdahl was fighting to capture these terrorists.

Can you imagine what he would say to his fallen comrades who lost their lives to stop these people who were responsible, either directly or indirectly, for threatening or taking U.S. civilian lives.

I mean, that's why we sent our soldiers there. And the idea that we're now making trades, what does that do for every single soldier stationed abroad? It says the reason why the U.S. has had the policy for decades of not negotiating with terrorists is because once you start doing it, every other terrorist has an incentive to capture more soldiers.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Of course, that policy has been broken in the past. But your policy being no trades, never?

CRUZ: I think it is very disturbing that we are releasing five acknowledged terrorist Taliban leaders in a deal with terrorists. That precedent and -- you know, unfortunately, George, it's part and parcel with the pattern we've seen of the Obama administration across the board.

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