‘Kick Their Commie Asses’: Ted Cruz Says US Shouldn’t Boycott Beijing Olympics

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Dylan Housman Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent
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Republican Texas Sen. Ted Cruz argued the U.S. shouldn’t boycott the upcoming 2022 Olympic games in Beijing, China, in an op-ed Monday.

Instead, Cruz says, American athletes should “kick their commie asses” while the Biden administration pursues a strong anti-China policy agenda.

“What we really need from this administration is for them to pursue policies that will hold the Chinese Communist Party accountable for its censorship, espionage, propaganda and human rights abuses. We need to crush the Chinese Communist Party, not the dreams of American athletes,” Cruz wrote.

Republican Utah Sen. Mitt Romney also published an op-ed Monday taking the same stance as his colleague from Texas.

“Prohibiting our athletes from competing in China is the easy, but wrong, answer,” Romney wrote in The New York Times.

Both Cruz and Romney reference the failed 1980 boycott of the summer Olympic games held in the Soviet Union. Then-President Jimmy Carter led an international boycott motivated by the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, but it resulted in no meaningful policy change in Moscow while allowing the U.S.S.R. and East Germany to dominate the medal count at the games.

Cruz condemned the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for awarding the event to China, and stressed that he hopes the games are moved even though he opposes a boycott.

“I am flabbergasted that the IOC would ever give this human rights-abusing, free speech-repressing, trade-and-currency manipulating set of totalitarians who make up the Chinese Communist Party the honor of hosting the Olympic Games,” he wrote.

Romney and Cruz argue that the only people who would be punished by a boycott are American athletes.

“It is our responsibility and duty to make sure that our athletes go to Beijing, compete confidently and safely, and return home triumphantly,” Cruz wrote. (RELATED: US Corporations With Big Business In China Stay Silent On Biden’s ‘Genocide’ Designation)

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said in February that President Joe Biden had not reached a final decision on whether or not to boycott the event. She added that the administration would consider guidance provided by the U.S. Olympic Committee. (RELATED: ‘Not The New NATO’: Biden Admin Says Partnership With Countries Surrounding China Is Not A ‘Military Alliance’)

U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee chair Susanne Lyons said recently that the committee does not support a boycott of the games, despite recognizing the growing international concern over China’s genocide of the Uighur Muslims and other human rights abuses. The IOC has not spoken out against China, instead agreeing to distribute Chinese COVID-19 vaccines to all athletes who want them before the 2021 Tokyo and 2022 Beijing games.