Cruz: Can't Defeat 'Radical Islamic Terrorism' If You Won't Utter Those Words

By Susan Jones | June 18, 2014 | 6:35 AM EDT

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) (AP photo)

( - "You cannot win a battle against radical Islamic terrorism if you're unwilling to utter the words 'radical Islamic terrorism,'" Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said on Tuesday.

Coincidentally, on the same day Cruz made that comment, Secretary of State John Kerry said that "extreme poverty" breeds terrorism.

Cruz was talking about the Benghazi attack with CNN's Erin Burnett on Tuesday evening. He noted that the Obama administration, in explaining the attack to the American people, "edited out every reference to al Qaeda and radical Islamic terrorism."

"And the most consistent error of the Clinton/Obama foreign policy is a failure to understand the nature of the people we're dealing with, of our enemies."

Cruz said neither President Obama -- nor former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in her recent television interviews -- is willing to "utter the words 'radical Islamic terrorists.' They do not understand the radical religious extremism of individuals committed to jihad who had pledged to murder Americans.

"And that leads them to keep making the mistakes over and over and over again, whether it is releasing five senior Taliban terrorists without understanding that these individuals will likely return to active warfare against the United States; whether it is in the case of Iraq, not understanding the threat posed by ISIS."

As if to prove Cruz's point, Secretary of State John Kerry told a conference in Washington earlier on Tuesday that poverty is the problem and "energy policy" is the solution:

"The world is waiting for people to be put to work," Kerry told a conference on oceans at the State Department: "We have extreme poverty; we have terrorism that comes out of it. We have any number of problems that could be cured by energy policy that makes sense..."