- The Washington Times - Sunday, March 9, 2014

The weakness shown by President Obama on the world stage has opened the door for Russian aggression in Ukraine, Sen. Ted Cruz said Sunday.

The Texas Republican believes blame for the chaotic situation in Ukraine — where voters in the strategically important region of Crimea will vote next week whether to secede and join Russia — largely rests with this White House, which Russian President Vladimir Putin neither fears nor respects.

“A critical reason for Putin’s aggression has been President Obama’s weakness. Putin fears no retribution,” Mr. Cruz said during an appearance on ABC’s “This Week” program on Sunday.

“You better believe Putin sees that in Benghazi, four Americans are murdered and nothing happens. There is no retribution. You better believe Putin sees that in Syria, Obama draws a red line and ignores the red line.”

Mr. Cruz harsh criticism comes just a day after he finished a distant second in The Washington Times/CPAC presidential straw poll. Mr. Cruz garnered 11 percent of the vote, while Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul pulled in 31 percent.