Cruz denounces officials for vilifying police officers

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz admonished the Obama administration's interactions with law enforcement as creating a culture where police officers feel under attack.

Cruz chaired a Senate Judiciary subcommittee hearing on Tuesday titled, "The war on police: How the federal government undermines state and local law enforcement." While Cruz was back in Washington, D.C., on official business, the senator wasted little time using the heated rhetoric he vents from the stump on the campaign trail.

"Everyone here agrees that we should enforce the law and we should vigorously enforce America's civil rights laws. In any government organization, there can be bad actors," Cruz said during his opening remarks. "But in my view, it is deeply harmful — not only for the men and women of law enforcement but for the safety of the American people — for the federal government to treat police officers as the enemy; for the president or the attorney general to be holding up police officers for vilification."

"I believe every one of us, Republican and Democrat, should stand unequivocally with the brave men and women of law enforcement. I do not believe it is beneficial for this country to have a culture where the men and women of law enforcement feel under siege."

Cruz's decision to frame the federal government's interaction with law enforcement as a "war on police" has far-reaching implications into the 2016 presidential race, where the Black Lives Matter protests, which seek to call attention to police brutality and discrimination, could become an important factor. Cruz currently ranks second in the Washington Examiner's GOP presidential power rankings.