President Obama exacerbated racial tensions: Senator Cruz
US presidential hopeful Senator Ted Cruz says President Barack Obama has exacerbated racial tensions in the country amid ongoing protests over police brutality against black people
US presidential hopeful Senator Ted Cruz says President Barack Obama has exacerbated racial tensions in the country amid ongoing protests over police brutality against black people.
"He has exacerbated racial misunderstanding, racial tensions," Cruz said at a Hispanic Chamber of Commerce event on Wednesday.
"He's made decisions that I think have inflamed racial tensions, that have divided us, rather than bringing us together," he added.
The Republican senator made the comments as people across the country took to the streets to condemn police violence against minorities, particularly African-Americans.
The recent chaos happened in Baltimore after police officers arrested a young black man and he was killed from injures when he was in police custody.
Authorities' refusal to comment on the reason behind Freddie Gray's death has angered people in the city of Baltimore, Maryland.
Senator Cruz said Obama, who is the country's first black president, could have been a unifying leader when he was elected in 2008.
According to a poll conducted last year, only 20 percent of American voters said race relations have improved since Obama took office.
The NBC News national exit poll asked voters in 2008 how they thought race relations in the US would fare in the next few years.
Forty-seven percent of the respondents said they thought race relations would get better, 34 percent thought they would stay about the same and 15 percent expected them to deteriorate.
The 2014 poll, however, found that 38 percent say things have gotten worse and 40 percent see pretty much no change.
The 2008 poll also showed that 59 percent of African-American voters expected race relations to get better.