Barack Obama’s reportedly impending visit to the United Kingdom will make the country’s exit from the European Union more likely, Ted Cruz told reporters on Sunday.
“President Obama, if anything his campaigning against [Britain leaving] will make it more likely that England will pull out of the EU,” said the Texas senator and Republican presidential candidate, who was campaigning in North Carolina ahead of Tuesday’s primary.
The Independent on Sunday reported this weekend that Obama will travel to the UK in April, as part of a trip already including Germany, to lend his support to the campaign against the so-called “Brexit”. The British prime minister, David Cameron, wants Britain to stay in the European Union. The referendum on the question will take place on 23 June.
The question of an intervention by Obama has been raised before: in February, Tennessee senator Bob Corker, the Republican chairman of the Senate foreign relations committee, suggested Obama would “reach out” to British voters.
Declining to say if he thought the UK leaving the EU would harm US national security, Cruz pegged his argument on a critique of US foreign policy that he gives when out on the stump.
He argued that Obama had hurt “our alliances” and “harmed our friendships” around the world, and that “our enemies have learned this president is not a credible threat for anything”.