Ted Cruz: Our president should be more like Egypt’s dictator.

Ted Cruz: Our President Should Be More Like Egypt’s Dictator 

Ted Cruz: Our President Should Be More Like Egypt’s Dictator 

The Slatest
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Aug. 6 2015 10:22 PM

Ted Cruz: Our President Should Be More Like Egypt’s Dictator 

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Republican presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) exhales during a commercial break in the first prime-time presidential debate hosted by FOX News and Facebook at the Quicken Loans Arena August 6, 2015 in Cleveland, Ohio.

Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Continuing a theme from the happy hour debate Thursday, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz zeroed in on President Obama’s reluctance to use the term Islamic terrorism, when asked how he would address the growth of ISIS. He also cited an unlikely counterexample:

Let me contrast President Obama, who at the prayer breakfast essentially acted as an apologist. He said well gosh the crusades, the inquisitions ... We need a president that shows the courage that Egypt’s President al-Sissi did—a Muslim—when he called out the radical Islamic terrorists who are threatening the world.

Sisi, who took power in a military coup in 2013 and became president in what international observers called a deeply flawed election last year, has presided over what Human Rights Watch calls “the flagrant abuse of human rights,” including “killings of protesters by security forces, mass detentions, military trials of civilians, hundreds of death sentences, and the forced eviction of thousands of families in the Sinai Peninsula.” The most recent U.S. State Department human rights country report on Egypt cited “unlawful killings and torture; the suppression of civil liberties and limitations on due process in trials” as part of Sisi’s reign.

Ironically, by praising Egypt’s authoritarian leader as a defender of democratic Western values in the face of religious radicalism, Cruz might be ignoring reality but he’s very much in line with Obama’s State Department.

Joshua Keating is a staff writer at Slate focusing on international affairs and author of the forthcoming book, Invisible Countries.