Watch CBS News

Republican Presidential Candidate Ted Cruz Worries Mass Shooting May Be Islamic Terrorism

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz opened a meeting of Jewish activists on Thursday with a moment of silence for the San Bernardino shooting victims and said he was worried that the attack was an act of "Islamic terrorism."

"All of us are deeply concerned that this is yet another manifestation of terrorism, radical Islamic terrorism here at home," the Texas senator told the meeting of the Republican Jewish Coalition.

Investigators have not yet identified a specific motive for Wednesday's shooting, which left 14 people dead and many more wounded. David Bowdich, assistant director of the FBI's Los Angeles office, said the possible motives include workplace violence and terrorism. He did not elaborate.

Cruz was the first of the major Republican candidates for president to speak Thursday at the meeting of the RJC, a group backed by casino billionaire and major Republican donor Sheldon Adelson.

"This horrific murder underscores that we are at a time of war," Cruz told the crowd in downtown Washington. "Whether or not the current administration realizes it or is willing to acknowledge it, our enemies are at war with us.

"I believe this nation needs a wartime president to defend it," he said.

Democrats, including President Barack Obama, had responded to news of the shooting with immediate calls for gun control.

"Those same people who we don't allow to fly could go into a store right now in the United States and buy a firearm, and there's nothing we can do to stop them," Obama told CBS News.

(TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2015 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.