Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz says he does not agree with fellow candidate Donald Trump's idea to bar Muslims from entering U.S. but will not criticize the frontrunner. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz refused on Tuesday (December 8) to jump in on the heap of scorn being directed at fellow GOP frontrunner Donald Trump about the real estate mogul's idea to bar Muslims from entering the U.S. Cruz said he disagreed with Trump's policy idea, but instead directed the answer to legislation he introduced, focused on putting on a moratorium for bringing in refugees from regions affected by Islamic State. The bill would also give governors the ability to "opt out" of refugee resettlement programs. Cruz said that if President Barack Obama wants to send refugees to a certain state, the governor could refuse to participate, "to conclude that the federal government has not done a sufficient job ensuring that the safety and security of the citizens of the state will be protected." The comments come as Cruz takes the lead in the early-voting state of Iowa, surpassing both Trump, who holds the lead in most national surveys, and Ben Carson, who has scored strongly in the state in recent months, according to a Monmouth University poll released on Monday. The poll of likely caucus-goers in Iowa, which in February 2016 will hold the first contest in the Republican presidential nomination process, Cruz had the support of 24 percent. That marked a jump from the 10 percent of caucus-goers who supported Cruz in October and 9 percent in August. Trump was in second place with 19 percent, followed by Marco Rubio with 17 percent and Ben Carson at 13 percent. Cruz, a U.S. senator from Texas, has benefited from a decline in support for Carson. Both Republicans have a strong base of support with evangelical voters, who make up a large bloc among likely caucus-goers in Iowa. But Carson has seen his poll numbers drop amid missteps in some of his comments about national security in the aftermath of the attacks in San Bernardino, California and Paris. As recently as October, Carson was leading in the Monmouth poll, with the support of 32 percent of caucus-goers. In August, he was tied with Trump at 23 percent. The poll surveyed 425 likely Iowa caucus-goers and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.8 percent.