John Locher, Associated Press
Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry speaks at the Republican Jewish Coalition spring leadership meeting Saturday, April 25, 2015, in Las Vegas. Concerns about President Barack Obama's diplomatic efforts to curb Iran's nuclear program are dominating the group's meeting in Las Vegas on Saturday.

11:00 a.m. PDT (2 p.m. EDT)

Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry is calling for clear, principled American leadership to stave off violence in the Middle East and mounting anti-Semitism in Europe.

During his 35-minute speech to the Republican Jewish Coalition conference in Las Vegas on Saturday, Perry bashed President Barack Obama's foreign policy while calling for more defense spending, putting troops on Poland's border with Russia and taking a more aggressive posture against China. He underscored the importance of western values against Islamic extremism.

Perry said he was calling for "the type of strength that prevents war."

Perry has yet to say whether he'll pursue 2016 Republican presidential nomination, but he's spent months gearing up for a second run. Four years ago, he plummeted from prime contender to political punchline. He couldn't remember during a nationally televised candidates' debate one of the three cabinet-level departments he wanted to abolish.

10:45 a.m. PDT (1:45 a.m. EDT)

Sen. Ted Cruz say he'll do "everything humanly possible" to stop a nuclear deal with Iran — a stand that's drawn cheers from the Republican Jewish Coalition.

Concerns about President Barack Obama's diplomatic efforts to curb Iran's nuclear program are dominating the group's meeting in Las Vegas on Saturday.

A 2016 Republican presidential candidate, Cruz says a nuclear Iran threatens Israel's existence.

Cruz points out that every politician who appears before the group would promise to protect Israel "unless you are a blithering idiot." Cruz says the key question is which candidate would coalition members trust to fulfill that promise.

The group says it plans a presidential forum in December and that all candidates for the GOP nomination are expected to attend.