2016 Republican Field Offers Obama Advice on Iraq

Contenders with no foreign policy experience go to the mic with suggestions for the president’s handling of Middle East crises.

WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 16: U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) speaks after meeting with Republican senators regarding a bipartisan solution for the pending budget and debt limit impasse at the U.S. Capitol October 16, 2013 in Washington, DC. The Senate announced that it had reached a bipartisan deal on funding the federal government and the extending the nation's debt limit after 16 days of a government shutdown.
National Journal
Emily Schultheis
Add to Briefcase
Emily Schultheis
Aug. 10, 2014, 1:46 a.m.

AMES, Iowa — A crop of Re­pub­lic­an 2016 hope­fuls offered vary­ing ad­vice for how to handle the situ­ation in Ir­aq, but all called on Pres­id­ent Obama to of­fer a more co­her­ent and com­pre­hens­ive ex­plan­a­tion of his plans go­ing for­ward.

While most of the would-be pres­id­en­tial can­did­ates said they sup­port Obama’s de­cision to au­thor­ize tar­geted air strikes on the Is­lam­ic State of Ir­aq and Syr­ia, they called on him to out­line his for­eign policy vis­ion as it relates to Ir­aq and the Middle East more broadly.

Five Re­pub­lic­ans — Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, former Arkan­sas Gov. Mike Hucka­bee, Louisi­ana Gov. Bobby Jin­dal, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, and former Sen. Rick San­tor­um of Pennsylvania — ad­dressed the is­sue with re­port­ers fol­low­ing their re­spect­ive speeches at the Fam­ily Lead­er­ship Sum­mit in Ames, a gath­er­ing of re­li­gious con­ser­vat­ives.

Cruz called on Obama to seek au­thor­iz­a­tion from Con­gress should the air strikes con­tin­ue, call­ing the rise of IS­IS the “latest mani­fest­a­tion of the fail­ures of the Obama-Clin­ton for­eign policy” and say­ing the con­gres­sion­al au­thor­iz­a­tion pro­cess would help force Obama to “ar­tic­u­late a clear mil­it­ary ob­ject­ive.”

IS­IS is “the face of evil,” he said. “I’m glad that Pres­id­ent Obama is fi­nally be­gin­ning to take the threat of IS­IS ser­i­ously.”

Their com­ments came just days after the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion an­nounced the air strikes, with the pres­id­ent writ­ing in a let­ter to Con­gress that the strikes would be “lim­ited in scope and dur­a­tion.” Over the course of the daylong event, the 2016 pro­spects and oth­er speak­ers blas­ted Obama’s over­all for­eign policy lead­er­ship on is­sues ran­ging from IS­IS and Ir­aq to the U.S. re­la­tion­ship with Is­rael.

San­tor­um said Obama should have used his “in­cred­ible powers of per­sua­sion” to keep more troops in Ir­aq in 2011.

“It’s stun­ning that they fall back on that it wasn’t their fault,” San­tor­um said. “I just think that’s false.”

Hucka­bee did not think ad­di­tion­al ground forces were ne­ces­sary, but said the United States should be arm­ing Kur­d­ish forces dir­ectly.

“Should we have ground forces? No, we don’t need them,” Hucka­bee said. “”¦If we had good sense, we would arm the Kur­ds as we said we would.”

In his speech to the crowd of re­li­gious con­ser­vat­ive act­iv­ists, Perry cri­ti­cized Obama’s over­seas out­look as a whole, say­ing his for­eign policy is “ab­so­lutely — it’s not dis­tin­guish­able from any­thing.”

Jin­dal praised Obama’s de­cision to or­der the air strikes, say­ing it helped pre­vent “the im­min­ent slaughter” of Chris­ti­ans and oth­er re­li­gious minor­it­ies, but that Obama has yet to ex­plain a “co­her­ent” for­eign policy.

“One of the things that frus­trates me, we’ve still not heard a co­her­ent strategy when it comes to deal­ing with IS­IS,” he said. “I think [Obama] owes it to the Amer­ic­an people, he owes it to our troops in uni­form, to define what the stra­tegic vis­ion is, what the stra­tegic plan is.”

What We're Following See More »
STARTS LEGAL FUND FOR WH STAFF
Trump to Begin Covering His Own Legal Bills
16 hours ago
THE DETAILS
DISCUSSED THE MATTER FOR A NEW BOOK
Steele Says Follow the Money
17 hours ago
STAFF PICKS

"Christopher Steele, the former British intelligence officer who wrote the explosive dossier alleging ties between Donald Trump and Russia," says in a new book by The Guardian's Luke Harding that "Trump's land and hotel deals with Russians needed to be examined. ... Steele did not go into further detail, Harding said, but seemed to be referring to a 2008 home sale to the Russian oligarch Dmitry Rybolovlev. Richard Dearlove, who headed the UK foreign-intelligence unit MI6 between 1999 and 2004, said in April that Trump borrowed money from Russia for his business during the 2008 financial crisis."

Source:
BRITISH PUBLICIST CONNECTED TO TRUMP TOWER MEETING
Goldstone Ready to Meet with Mueller’s Team
18 hours ago
THE LATEST

"The British publicist who helped set up the fateful meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and a group of Russians at Trump Tower in June 2016 is ready to meet with Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller's office, according to several people familiar with the matter. Rob Goldstone has been living in Bangkok, Thailand, but has been communicating with Mueller's office through his lawyer, said a source close to Goldstone."

Source:
SPEAKING ON RUSSIAN STATE TV
Kislyak Says Trump Campaign Contacts Too Numerous to List
18 hours ago
THE LATEST

"Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak said on Wednesday that it would take him more than 20 minutes to name all of the Trump officials he's met with or spoken to on the phone. ... Kislyak made the remarks in a sprawling interview with Russia-1, a popular state-owned Russian television channel."

Source:
“BLOWING A SURE THING”
Sabato Moves Alabama to “Lean Democrat”
1 days ago
WHY WE CARE
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login