x

Politics

GOP Hopefuls Tough on Terror

DES MOINES, Iowa — Republicans wooing Iowa’s most active party members called May 16 for a stronger presence in the world but ran the gamut in tone and just how tough to get with America’s enemies.

On Armed Services Day — and a day the Obama Administration reported killing a senior Islamic State leader in Syria — most of the nearly dozen GOP Presidential prospects at a state party dinner called for a more confrontational stance toward Iran.

Former Sen. Rick Santorum’s answer for handling Iran, one of four countries on the U.S. list of nations accused of repeatedly supporting global terrorism, was to “load up our bombers and bomb them back to the Seventh Century.”

Earlier in the day, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush praised U.S. commandos who had reportedly killed the IS leader, described as the head of oil operations for IS.

Bush gave no credit to Obama, whom Bush accused of allowing the rise of IS by pulling back U.S. forces from Iraq.

“It’s a great day, but it’s not a strategy,” Bush told reporters in eastern Iowa.

Although Bush joked lightly about the confused statements he made in recent days about whether he would have ordered the attack in Iraq in 2003, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul told the GOP gathering that it was a “valid question” to ask Presidential candidates whether they would have invaded Iraq and toppled Saddam Hussein.

“We have to question: Is Iraq more stable or less stable since Hussein is gone?” asked Paul, who espouses some of the hands-off foreign policy of his father, former Texas Rep. Ron Paul.

South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham tried to reject any assertion that the existing problems in Iraq were the result of the Republican president who ordered the invasion, Bush’s brother George W. Bush.

“The person I blame is Barack Obama, not George W. Bush,” said Graham, who criticized Obama for keeping a campaign promise to withdraw combat troops from Iraq. Of George W. Bush, Graham said, “He made the best decision he could.”

Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, as did others, accused Obama of not taking the threat of Islamic State militants seriously.

Perry pointed to claims by the militant group, disputed by terrorism experts, that it was behind the assault on a Texas cartoon contest that featured images of the Prophet Muhammad.

“You see ISIS showing up in Garland, Texas,” Perry said. “You realize this is a challenging world we live in.”

Aside from the nuances on Republican policy toward Iran and IS militants in Iraq, the GOP Presidential prospects were united in taking jabs at Democratic candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton. They linked Clinton to Obama and mocked her for not fielding more questions during her campaign events.

Former business executive Carly Fiorina said that if Clinton is going to run for President, “she is going to have to answer some questions.”

Paul joked about whether Clinton “ever takes any questions.” Earlier in the day Bush said he had taken between 800 and 900 questions, compared to a handful by Clinton.

In one of the more specific broadsides against Clinton, Fiorina said the former first lady must not be President because “she is not trustworthy, she lacks a track record of leadership and her policies will crush the potential of this nation.”

Others who spoke at the Des Moines event, which roughly 1,300 Iowa Republicans attended, were former surgeon Ben Carson, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, former New York Gov. George Pataki, businessman Donald Trump and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker.

Walker, who appeared at an afternoon fundraiser for a Des Moines area county official, called for a stepped-up fight against terrorism.

Having recently visited Israel and met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Walker called the Obama administration’s foreign policy to “draw a red line in the sand and allow people to cross it.” Instead, he suggested that the United States “take the fight to them.”

(THOMAS BEAUMONT and CATHERINE LUCEY)

RELATED

ASTORIA – Senate Deputy Leader Michael Gianaris, Assembly Members Zohran Mamdani, Brian Barnwell, and Cathy Nolan, and Council Members Tiffany Cabán and Julie Won announced on May 18 that they learned that the Department of Education decided, after intense pressure from local officials and families, to give all district superintendents the opportunity to reapply and interview for their positions.

Top Stories

General News

FALMOUTH, MA – The police in Falmouth have identified the victim in an accident involving a car plunging into the ocean on February 20, NBC10 Boston reported.

General News

NEW YORK – Meropi Kyriacou, the new Principal of The Cathedral School in Manhattan, was honored as The National Herald’s Educator of the Year.

General News

PHILADELPHIA – The Federation of Hellenic Societies of Philadelphia and Greater Delaware Valley announced that the Evzones, the Presidential Guard of Greece will be participating in the Philadelphia Greek Independence Day Parade on March 20.

Video

Mission, TNH’s New Travel Documentary Series with Clelia Charissis (Trailer)

Every weekend, TNH and Clelia Charissis are on a mission, traveling around Greece and the world to highlight places through the people we meet along the way.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. abc@xyz.com

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.