Cruz on Boycotting China Olympics: ‘We Have Tried This’ Before and It ‘Utterly Failed’

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) is warning against boycotting the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, China.

In an op-ed published by Fox News on Monday, Cruz argued boycotting the Olympics is not the way to go when it comes to standing up to China and it would only hurt the athletes themselves.

“They are training, of course, for the Olympic and Paralympic Games. And it’s unconscionable that we would take away their right to compete next year in Beijing at the 2022 Winter Olympics,” Cruz wrote.

The senator explained he hopes the International Olympic Committee will come to “its senses” and move the games out of China.

“As someone who was sanctioned twice by the government of China, 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 in the first place,” Cruz added.

Tingshu Wang/Reuters

He noted the United States has “tried this boycott business before, and it utterly failed.”

President Jimmy Carter instituted an Olympic boycott against the Soviet Union in 1980 and, as a result, nearly 500 American athletes could not compete in the games, as Cruz pointed out.

“The Carter boycott was terrible policy, and it hurt the athletes and no one else. Leave it to Joe Biden to mimic Jimmy Carter within two months of his presidency, by suggesting another boycott may be on the table,” Cruz said.

He insisted the “worst thing” the United States can do to stand up to China is to “keep our athletes home.”

Cruz took another swipe at the Biden administration, “Floating the idea of a boycott shows that the Biden administration does not have a China strategy and, in their fumbling, they would use American athletes as pawns to look tough on China instead of actually getting tough on China.”

He stressed it is the nation’s “responsibility” and “duty” to send American athletes to the Olympics.

“Athletes need to know that we are proud of them and their efforts,” Cruz continued. “The scars from 1980 did not heal quickly, and we cannot and should not inflict those same wounds on this generation of American Olympians.”

Former Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley took a different position on the matter, as IJR previously reported.

In an op-ed for Fox News last month, Haley urged the Biden administration to boycott the Olympics, citing “China’s threats abroad and tyranny at home.”

White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters last month, “There hasn’t been a final decision made on that and of course we would look for guidance from the U.S. Olympic Committee.”