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Ted Cruz is calling President Obama out by name, and challenging him to a debate over the refugee policy—an issue that has been a source of contention between the president and lawmakers, including Cruz.

Cruz’s comments came as he, and many of his fellow GOP presidential contenders, criticized the president’s decision to continue to allow Syrian refugees into the United States. ISIS, which has a strategic hub in Syria, claimed responsibility for the horrific attacks in Paris. Cruz, and other GOP hopefuls, have openly called for an end to bringing Syrian refugees to the United States, citing concern that they may be potential ISIS members. President Obama called such sentiments “shameful.”


“If you want to insult me… I would encourage you, Mr. President, come back and insult me to my face. Let’s have a debate on Syrian refugees right now,” Cruz said on Wednesday.

While the president has never named Cruz by name, the GOP hopeful says he has been insulted by Obama. Cruz said that he is currently drafting legislation that would bar Syrian Muslim refugees from entering the country—a concept the president has been firmly against.

“Let’s have the debate any time and any place and if he actually wants to defend his policy instead of tossing cheap insults, I actually think that will be beneficial for this country,” Cruz said.

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