- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas on Tuesday defended his signing a letter to Iranian leaders along with 46 other GOP senators warning them about the tenuous nature of a deal on Iran’s nuclear program without congressional approval, saying he’d sign it “in large print so that the Ayatollah wouldn’t need his reading glasses.”

Mr. Cruz said the intention of the letter was to defend the United States’ national security, calling the deal being negotiated by the Obama administration “profoundly dangerous both to the security of our friend and ally Israel, but also to American national security.”

“It was intended to stop a bad deal, absolutely,” he said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” when asked if it was intended to get in the way of the deal. “And beyond that, it was also intended to defend the Constitution.”

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He said the idea that hardliners are using the letter is “utter silliness.”

“If we actually had negotiators that were trying to defend our national security, if anything the letter would help them because what the letter makes clear is for any deal to be binding, it has to go through Congress,” he said. “If we didn’t have a president like Barack Obama who routinely tries to circumvent Congress and the Senate when it comes to treaties, there wouldn’t be a need for a letter making clear that our Constitution gives Congress a vital role” in lawmaking.

Mr. Cruz acknowledged that all of the details surrounding a reported deal on Iran’s unclear program aren’t out there, but accused the administration of leaking more details to the media than it has provided Congress.

“I think the Constitution is a wonderful thing — we don’t have a supreme leader like Iran does,” he said. “We have checks and balances, and if you want to make law in this country, you need both the president and Congress.”

Asked if he would still sign it today, Mr. Cruz said “I would sign it, and as John Hancock said, I would sign it in large print so that the Ayatollah wouldn’t need his reading glasses” to read the signature.

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