Rick Perry on War & Peace
Republican Governor (TX)
PERRY: We need to be on the side that keeps Iran from getting a nuclear weapon. That's the side we need to be on, and that's the side of the bulk of the Middle East. We need to have some coalitions in that part of the world to go after ISIS, but we also need to send a clear message. And hopefully we use Congress to cut this funding. The issue for us is to have a Congress that stands up and says not only "no," but "Hell no" to this money going to a regime that is going to use it for terror. We need to stand up and strongly and clearly tell the ayatollah that the first thing that I will do is tear up that agreement with Iran.
PERRY: It'll be a pretty busy day, but that Iran negotiation is going to be torn up on day one. We're going to start the process of securing that border. I'm also going to take a bottle of White-Out with me to get started on all those executive orders that Mr. Obama has put his name to.
Q: That will be a long day.
PERRY: It will be a long day.
A: I know the cost of war. I know I've seen it on the face of these young warriors and on their families. And before we ever send our young men and women into combat, we need to use every tool that we have.
Q: Do you think we've exhausted every measure possible before doing that [in Syria and Iraq to fight ISIS]?
A: I don't have all the intelligence. I would suggest we need a coalition of those Gulf States, of Saudi, of Jordan, of the Egyptians, the Turks, the Israelis--we cannot affect ISIS without having personnel on the ground in a direct combat role
Rick Perry continued to highlight his executive experience in his criticism of the president's ISIS policy. "Positive rhetoric alone does not solve problems, action does," he said in a statement. "If I were Commander-in-Chief, it would not take nine months to work with our military leaders to develop a complete strategy to destroy ISIS and protect American security interests and values."
One of Perry's talking points has been his record of decisive action rather than promises and speeches. In his campaign launch on June 4, he advocated for a tougher approach to Russia and Iran, declaring, "This will be a 'show-me, don't tell me' election, where voters will look past the rhetoric to the real record."
In a focused 15-minute speech, Perry also took aim at the White House's ongoing negotiations with Iran over the development of its nuclear program and reiterated his support for the state of Israel.
"These are Americans," Perry said. "You are talking about, in the case of ISIS, people who are beheading individuals and committing heinous crimes, who are the face of evil. To try to make the relationship between them and the unions is inappropriate."
If ISIS is not stopped in the Middle East, Perry said, its terrorists could end up coming across what he called an "unsecured" Southwest border. In fact, Perry asserted, "there is a very real possibility" they could already be coming, although he said there is "no clear evidence" that they are. "There's the obvious great concern that, because of the position of the border from the standpoint of it not being secure, and us not knowing who is penetrating across, that individuals from ISIS or other terrorist states could be," Perry said.
In response to a question about whether he advocates sending U.S. ground troops back into Iraq, the governor said that all options should be kept open. "They (ISIS) need to be eliminated, and they need to be eliminated now," Perry said.
The governor said he understands that President Obama is being warned by advisers and fellow Democrats about the danger of "mission creep" by sending U.S. military forces back into Iraq. But Perry said Obama should be more worried about ISIS' definition of "mission creep"--an attack against the United States.
SANTORUM: Well, I wouldn't right now.
PERRY: I would send troops back into Iraq.
PERRY: I think we start talking with the Iraqi individuals there. The idea that we allow the Iranians to come back into Iraq and take over that country, with all of the treasure, both in blood and money, that we have spent in Iraq, because this president wants to kowtow to his liberal, leftist base and move out those men and women. He could have renegotiated that timeframe. I think it is a huge error for us. We're going to see Iran, in my opinion, move back in at literally the speed of light. They're going to move back in, and all of the work that we've done, every young man that has lost his life in that country will have been for nothing because we've got a president that does not understand what's going on in that region.
PERRY: Absolutely. We need to sanction the Iranian Central Bank. That would be one of the most powerful ways to impact that. That is what we need to do before we ever start having any conversations about a military strike, is to use every sanction that we have. And when you sanction the Iranian Central Bank, that will shut down that economy. At that particular point in time, they truly have to deal with the US. All of them working together--and I'm talking about Syria--bring them into the mix as well. One of the options is to have a no-fly zone over Syria at the same time you're putting those types of sanctions against Iran. And in that moment, they will understand that America is serious. This President refuses to do that, and it's another show of lack of leadership from the President of the US.
Romney: The president should have built credible threat of military action, and made it very clear that the US is willing, in the final analysis, if necessary, to take military action to keep Iran from having a nuclear weapon.
Paul: No, it isn't worthwhile. I'm afraid what's going on right now is similar to the war propaganda that went on against Iraq.
Perry: The issue that has not been raised is that this country can sanction the Iranian Central Bank right now and shut down that country's economy. And that's what this president needs to do and the American people need to stand up and force him to make that stand today.
Perry: The mission must be completed there. The idea that we will have wasted our treasure and the lives of young Americans to not secure Afghanistan is not appropriate. But the idea that we would give a timetable to our enemy is irresponsible from a military standpoint, it's irresponsible from the lives of our young men and women. And it is irresponsible leadership of this president to give a timetable to pull out of any country that we're in conflict with.
Q: What's your appraisal of the combat situation?
Perry: I think we're making progress there. The issue is training up the Afghan security forces so that we're comfortable that they can protect that citizenry and continue to take the war to the terrorists that are using Afghanistan--and Pakistan, I might add. Our military is doing the best job that they can, considering this administration is telegraphing to the enemy when we're going to pull out.
HUNTSMAN: We don't need 100,000 troops in Afghanistan nation-building at a time when this nation needs to be built. The time has come for us to get out of Afghanistan.
PERRY: I agree with Gov. Huntsman when we talk about it's time to bring our young men and women home and as soon and obviously as safely as we can. But it's also really important for us to continue to have a presence there. And I think the entire conversation about, how do we deliver our aid to those countries, and is it best spent with 100,000 military who have the target on their back in Afghanistan, I don't think so at this particular point in time. I think the best way for us to be able to impact that country is to make a transition to where that country's military is going to be taking care of their people, bring our young men and women home, and continue to help them build the infrastructure that we need, whether it's schools or otherwise.