In a statement made after the Brussels attacks, Cruz said: "We need to immediately halt the flow of refugees from countries with a significant Al Qaeda or ISIS presence. We need to empower law enforcement to patrol and secure Muslim neighborhoods before they become radicalized.”
Bratton fired back right away, saying at a press conference in Times Square: “The statements he made today is why he's not going to become president of this country. We don't need a president that doesn't respect the values that form the foundation of this country.”
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio backed his commissioner and slammed Cruz’s comments on Tuesday.
“I just have to say it’s reprehensible. His comments are not about safety and security. It’s demagoguery,” he said. “[There are] peace-loving, law-abiding Muslim Americans in neighborhoods all over New York City” who “should be respected like all other members of our community.”
Bratton’s comments did not stop Cruz. On Tuesday night, he spoke to Anderson Cooper on CNN and continued to call for more patrols in Muslim neighborhoods.
“If you have a neighborhood where there's a high level of gang activity, the way to prevent it is you increase the law enforcement presence there and you target the gang members to get them off the streets," the Texas senator said. “I'm talking about any area where there is a higher incidence of radical Islamic terrorism."