President Obama Trolls Ted Cruz During The State Of The Union In One Magnificent Way

During his final State of the Union speech, President Obama called out Senator Ted Cruz and his proposed foreign policy, asking for more nuanced approaches to complicated foreign issues. Cruz has been especially vocal in calling for intense involvement in the Middle East, and Obama's words seemed particularly pointed at the Republican presidential candidate.

Our foreign policy must be focused on the threat from ISIL and al Qaeda, but it can't stop there. For even without ISIL, instability will continue for decades in many parts of the world — in the Middle East, in Afghanistan and Pakistan, in parts of Central America, Africa and Asia. Some of these places may become safe havens for new terrorist networks; others will fall victim to ethnic conflict, or famine, feeding the next wave of refugees. The world will look to us to help solve these problems, and our answer needs to be more than tough talk or calls to carpet bomb civilians. That may work as a TV sound bite, but it doesn't pass muster on the world stage.

The jab is a reference to Cruz's promise to "carpet bomb [ISIS] into oblivion" during a December campaign rally, proposing a strategy of indiscriminate bombing and implying a disregard for the lives of Syrian civilians. Cruz then compounded his foreign policy blunder during the Dec. 15 Republican debate, when Cruz misused the term "carpet bomb" and backtracked on his own words. Obama's clever slight against Cruz worked seamlessly into the foreign policy and anti-terrorism themes in the speech.

Cruz, who skipped the speech in favor of campaigning in New Hampshire, gave a preview of his hypothetical 2018 State of the Union and promised that in just two years, his presidential administration would "utterly and completely [destroy] ISIS." The Texas senator has not yet given a response to his call-out in the speech, but the clear mention during the State of the Union should be big news for the Cruz campaign.