GOP Candidate Hurd Urges Treating Cartels as Terrorists

Former Texas congressman Will Hurd, who is running for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination, touts his border experience and calls for treating the Mexican drug cartels “like terrorists” in a new campaign ad.

“Here’s reality: Joe Biden’s failed policies have made it easy to come across our southern border illegally,” Hurd says in the 30-second ad spot. “Every day, thousands of people do it. Some are dangerous criminals; others are smuggling fentanyl that’s killing our kids.

“When I’m president, my administration is going to bring down cartels the way I hunted down terrorists abroad,” the former CIA agent adds. “Let’s solve this crisis once and for all and finally secure America.”

In an interview with the Washington Examiner, Hurd was dismissive of striking the cartels by invading Mexico, a strategy that has been floated by some within the Republican Party.

“To dismantle these networks, everybody says, ‘Invade Mexico,'” Hurd told the Examiner on Tuesday. “You can’t invade Mexico. It’s our largest trading partner. It’s going to make cooperation on this shared problem even worse, and it’s going to exacerbate the humanitarian crisis. Cooperation is hard, but invading it is going to get even harder.”

At an Iowa campaign event last month, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said he would be willing to use “whatever force we need” against the drug cartels if elected president.

Rolling Stone reported in March that former President Donald Trump was seeking “battle plans” for invading Mexico if he returns to the White House, and Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., and Rep. Dan Crenshaw, R-Texas, are among the lawmakers who have indicated they would support military action against the cartels.

Hurd called on President Joe Biden to stop assuming that every person crossing the border is seeking asylum and said the president should not bow to pressure from within the Democratic Party regarding work permits for migrants.

“Border security is a public safety issue for people on the border, and I guess that citizens in New York are starting to realize this,” Hurd said. “We need serious people that actually understand this, and, for me, I’ve spent more time on the border than everybody in this race combined, including Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.”

Hurd, who represented Texas’ 23rd Congressional District from 2015 to 2021 after a nine-year stint with the CIA, has not yet qualified to participate in the second Republican National Committee primary debate Sept. 27 in Simi Valley, California.

He also did not meet the polling criteria to make the debate stage last month in Milwaukee, though he did have the necessary number of donors, the Examiner reported.

Over the weekend, Hurd told NBC News that he would reevaluate his campaign’s prospects by the winter, but expressed optimism in his interview with the Examiner.

“Part of it is engaging those people who want to see something different and making them realize that, if you want to see something different, now is the time,” he said. “You’ve got to start making those steps in September.”

Nicole Wells

Nicole Wells, a Newsmax general assignment reporter covers news, politics, and culture. She is a National Newspaper Association award-winning journalist.

© 2023 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

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