Please note that we have retained past candidate’s quotes for reference purposes.
John Kasich Ted Cruz Marco Rubio Ben Carson Jeb Bush
Carly Fiorina Chris Christie Rand Paul Mike Huckabee
John Kasich (Governor of Ohio)
DOB: 05/13/1952 in McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania; The Ohio State University, B.A 1972; U.S. House of Representatives, 1983-2001; Governor of Ohio since 2011.
Policy based on Foreign Policy and National Security topics:
“Well, look, in 1986 Ronald Reagan basically said the people who were here, if they were law-abiding, could stay. But, what didn’t happen is we didn’t build the walls effectively and we didn’t control the border. We need to. We need to control our border just like people have to control who goes in and out of their house.
But if people think that we are going to ship 11 million people who are law-abiding, who are in this country, and somehow pick them up at their house and ship them out of Mexico — to Mexico, think about the families. Think about the children.
So, you know what the answer really is? If they have been law- abiding, they pay a penalty. They get to stay. We protect the wall. Anybody else comes over, they go back.
But for the 11 million people, come on, folks. We all know you can’t pick them up and ship them across, back across the border. It’s a silly argument. It is not an adult argument. It makes no sense.” (Fox Business Network, 2016 Presidential Debate, November 10, 2015)
Fight against ISIS
“I remember when the Egyptian ambassador to the United States stood in the Rose Garden and pledged Arab commitment to removing Saddam Hussein from Kuwait. Before we came out here tonight, I am told that the Saudis have organized 34 countries who want to join in the battle against terrorism.
First and foremost, we need to go and destroy ISIS. And we need to do this with our Arab friends and our friends in Europe.
And when I see they have a climate conference over in Paris, they should have been talking about destroying ISIS because they are involved in virtually every country, you know, across this world.
Now, you destroy ISIS in a coalition. You get joint intelligence with our European friends. And then here at home, there are things called the Joint Terrorism Task Force, headed by the FBI, and made up of local law enforcement, including state police.
They need the tools. And the tools involve encryption where we cannot hear what they’re even planning. And when we see red flags, a father, a mother, a neighbor who says we have got a problem here, then we have to give law enforcement the ability to listen so they can disrupt these terrorist attacks before they occur.
We can do this, but we’ve got to get moving. Pay me now or pay me a lot more later. This is the direction we need to go.” CNN Republican Debate, December 15, 2015
“Last February, I said we needed to have people on the ground in a coalition with Europe and our allies. This is not going to get done just by working with the Sunnis. And it is not going to get done if we just embed a few people.
We have to go massively, like we did in the first Gulf War where we destroyed Saddam’s ability to take Kuwait. We need to have a coalition that will stand for nothing less than the total destruction of ISIS and we have to be the leader. We can’t wait for anybody else. I served on the Armed Services Committee for 18 years and we must lead, or the job won’t get done, unfortunately, for our country.” CNN Republican Debate, December 15, 2015
“I would be part of a coalition and I would take them down.” (Meet the Press, July 26, 2015)
Russia and Ukraine
“I’ve been aghast that we’ve not been able to get the toughest economic sanctions against Putin, and squeeze him as hard as we can to get him to back off a lot of this treachery. To me, there ought to be, there should be material, equipment, there ought to be, you know, military equipment sent over to our friends in Ukraine. We ought to be reassuring our allies in Central Europe. We ought to be strengthening NATO, and we’ve got to get these countries to work with us in a much more strong way.
We should make it exceedingly clear that we are united at NATO, that any threat on a NATO nation means that there’s a threat upon us. And let’s not get into well, what if Putin launches himself to the Moon. Let’s just be clear. NATO has to mean something. It has to be strong. And an attack on one is an attack on all.” (Hugh Hewitt, April 21, 2015)
Iran Nuclear Deal
“Well, let me just say this. First of all, I think it’s a bad agreement, I would never have done it. But, you know, a lot of our problems in the world today is that we don’t have the relationship with our allies. If we want to go everywhere alone, we will not have the strength as (ph) if we could rebuild with our allies.”
“Now, this agreement, we don’t know what’s going to happen in 18 months. I served on the Defense Committee for 18 years. I’ve seen lots of issues in foreign affairs, and foreign — in terms of global politics, you have to be steady.”
“Now, here’s the — if they cheat, we slap the sanctions back on. If they help Hamas, and Hezbollah, we slap the sanctions back on. And, if we find out that they may be developing a nuclear weapon, than the military option is on the table. We are stronger when we work with the Western civilization, our friends in Europe, and just doing it on our own I don’t think is the right policy.” (CNN, 2016 Presidential Debate, September 16, 2015)
“We believe that we operate better in the world when our allies work with us. President Bush did it in the Gulf War. We work better when we are unified.
Secondly, nobody’s trusting Iran. They violate the deal, we put on the sanctions, and we have the high moral ground to talk to our allies in Europe to get them to go with us.
If they don’t go with us, we slap the sanctions on anyway. If they fund these radical groups that threaten Israel and all of the West, then we should rip up the deal and put the sanctions back on.
if we think they’re getting close to a — to developing a nuclear weapon and we get that information, you better believe that I would do everything in my power as the commander-in-chief to stop them having a nuclear weapon.
We can have it, and we can have our allies, and we can be strong as a country, and we can project across this globe with unity, not just doing it alone. That is not what gets us where we want to get as a nation. (CNN, 2016 Presidential Debate, September 16, 2015)
“We shouldn’t go along with this. What we’re basically doing is leaving in place the infrastructure for the capability of producing not only a nuclear weapon but additional nuclear material. That can in fact be spread to places like the groups that are non-state groups like Hamas, Hezbollah. This is a very, very, very dangerous situation. I think that the administration has fallen in love with trying to get an agreement. And when I saw the other day that our president said that well, maybe we can lift these sanctions sooner than what we originally thought, you can’t just fall in love with any deal. And the idea that we would leave this all in place, that we would not have inspections throughout the entire country on demand, that we would be unlimited in terms of where we could go. Those are the kind of things, and they have to stop all this terrorist activity. And it’s not much different than what Netanyahu said. When they change their way, we can talk. And we don’t change their way, and we rely on trust, no thanks.” (Hugh Hewitt, April 21, 2015)
“And in the trade agreement, the TPP, it’s critical to us, not only for economic reasons and for jobs, because there are so many people who are connected to getting jobs because of trade, but it allows us to create not only economy alliances, but also potentially strategic alliances against the Chinese. They are not our enemy, but they are certainly not our friend.
And finally, I will say to everyone in this room, we have been talking about taxes and economics. When the fall comes, and we run against Hillary, which will be a disaster if she got elected. I have two 16-year-old girls, and I want this country to be strong.
We make promises we can’t keep under the bright light of the fall, we will have trouble. We must make sure that economic programs and our military programs are solid. I served in Washington as the chairman of the Budget Committee, and we got the budget balanced.
And in Ohio, as the CEO, and guess what, we have got to have a CEO mentality and a way to beat Hillary Clinton and the Democracies in the fall. And our ideas have to add up. They have to be solid. And people have to know we have the confidence to lead America.
And as president, I will lead this country, as I have before in Washington and in Ohio, and will return both on domestic and international affairs.” (Fox Business Network, 2016 Presidential Debate, November 10, 2015)
“The military, we have to build a Pentagon that is based on the threat, not based on relics of the past that are connected to some parochial interest by a senator or a congressman. And that is extremely difficult to do. The procurement reform that’s needed inside the Pentagon, it’s been a constant.
Secondly, the systems that we build and the systems that we need should fit the threat that America faces in the world. And if in fact we need to rebuild some of the vital activities that we have in the air, on the land and in the sea, to meet the threat, we have to do, because if we don’t have a strong military, we’re not taking care of one of the most important things of the federal government, which is the common defense.” (Hugh Hewitt, April 21, 2015)
“I don’t understand this thing about Assad. He has to go. Assad is aligned with Iran and Russia. The one thing we want to prevent is we want to prevent Iran being able to extend a Shia crescent all across the Middle East. Assad has got to go.
And there are moderates there. There are moderates in Syria who we should be supporting. I do not support a civil war. I don’t want to be policeman of the world. But we can’t back off of this. And let me tell you, at the end, the Saudis have agreed to put together a coalition inside of Syria to stabilize that country.” CNN Republican Debate, December 15, 2015
“I mean, I think that you know, the problem has been that we have not been consistent in the Middle East and assertive. And that’s been a problem for us. And when we went out of Iraq and didn’t keep our base and didn’t mind the store and didn’t arm in the early stages the opposition to Assad, all these things have left us in a position of where see things falling apart. And you know, at this point in time, I can’t tell you what I think we should do in Libya. I wouldn’t tell you that I think we need to be putting troops in Libya. I wouldn’t be for that. But you know, it’s a result of some of the big miscalculations, and frankly, I guess you’ve got to start where you are.”
“I think I was the first Republican to say in regard, you know, leading, major Republican, if I could call myself that, to argue that a coalition between Europe and our friends in the Middle East ought to go after ISIS, and that we, America, including America, ought to have boots on the ground. I mean, there are actions that we need to take. Now I have a long record on this. I did not support U.S. troops in Lebanon in the middle of the Civil War. I was never in favor of the kind of activity we did in any civil wars, including Bosnia. But I supported the Gulf War, obviously. I support the war in Afghanistan. So I think we have to be very careful to stay away from civil wars. I think we have to be very careful that when we see something that is in our direct interest that we can go and take care of business and not involve ourselves in this whole process of nation building.”
“The goal in the Middle East, vis-à-vis Israel, is stability and an absence of violence. There is no, you know, silver bullet that’s going to fix all that magically. Anybody who believes that doesn’t understand, well, I’m just going to say, it’s a naïve view.” (Hugh Hewitt, April 21, 2015)
“One is the metadata. We know we have to hold this data for a longer period of time. And, you know, in a lot of ways, Chris is right. Look, what a president has to do is take a position. We don’t want to err on the side of having less. We want to err on the side of having more. That’s good for our families.
In addition to that, Wolf, there is a big problem. It’s called encryption. And the people in San Bernardino were communicating with people who the FBI had been watching. But because their phone was encrypted, because the intelligence officials could not see who they were talking to, it was lost.
We have to solve the encryption problem. It is not easy. A president of the United States, again, has to bring people together, have a position. We need to be able to penetrate these people when they are involved in these plots and these plans. And we have to give the local authorities the ability to penetrate to disrupt. That’s what we need to do. Encryption is a major problem, and Congress has got to deal with this and so does the president to keep us safe.” CNN republican Debate, December 15, 2015
“Let me tell you this, Mr. Baker, in terms of the cyber attacks, we have the capability to not only have a defensive posture, but it also to make it clear to people that if you attack us with cyber attacks, we will destroy the mechanisms that you are using to attack us.
I want to give you a little trip around the world. I served on the Defense Committee for 18 years. In the Ukraine, arm the people there so they can fight for themselves. In the eastern part of Europe, make sure that Finland and the Baltics know that if the Russians move, we move.
In Syria, yes, a no-fly zone in the north on the Turkish border, a no-fly zone on the south on the Jordanian border. Anybody flies in the first time, maybe they can fly out. They fly in there a second time, they will not fly out.
And it also becomes a sanctuary for the people to be. And it also sends many messages in the Middle East that we’re still involved.
Saudi Arabia, cut off the funding for the radical clerics, the ones that preach against us. But they’re fundamentally our friends. Jordan, we want the king to reign for 1,000 years. Egypt, they have been our ally and a moderating force in the Middle East throughout their history.
In the groups — in the countries of the Gulf states of Bahrain, the Cleveland Clinic is opening an operation. Clearly we see the same with them. And in Israel, we have no better ally in the world, and no more criticizing them in public, we should support them.
And finally China, China doesn’t own the South China Sea, and I give the president some credit for being able to move a naval force in there to let the Chinese know that we’re not going to put up with it any more.” (Fox Business Network, 2016 Presidential Debate, November 10, 2015)
Ted Cruz (Texas Senator)
DOB: 12/22/1970 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada; Princeton University (NJ), A.B., 1992; Harvard University, J.D., 1995. Committees: Aging, Armed Services, Commerce, Science & Transportation, Judiciary, Rules & Administration. First elected: 2012. Signed GOP letter sent to Iran, sponsored the “Sanction Iran, Safeguard American Act of 2015”, sponsored “ObamaCare Repeal Act”, sponsored “Expatriate Terrorist Act”. Married, Heidi Nelson, 2 children.
Policy based on Foreign Policy and National Security topics:
Fight against ISIS/Terrorism
“I introduced legislation in the Senate that I believe is more narrowly focused at the actual threat, which is radical Islamic terrorism, and what my legislation would do is suspend all refugees for three years from countries where ISIS or Al Qaida control substantial territory.
In this instance, there are millions of peaceful Muslims across the world, in countries like India, where there is not the problems we are seeing in nations that are controlled — have territory controlled by Al Qaida or ISIS, and we should direct at the problem, focus on the problem, and defeat radical Islamic terrorism. It’s not a war on a faith; it’s a war on a political and theocratic ideology that seeks to murder us.” CNN republican Debate, December 15, 2015
“What it means is using overwhelming air power to utterly and completely destroy ISIS. To put things in perspective, in the first Persian Gulf War, we launched roughly 1,100 air attacks a day. We carpet bombed them for 36 days, saturation bombing, after which our troops went in and in a day and a half mopped up what was left of the Iraqi army.
Right now, Obama is launching between 15 and 30 air attacks a day. It is photo op foreign policy. We need to use overwhelming air power. We need to be arming the Kurds. We need to be fighting and killing ISIS where they are.”CNN republican Debate, December 15, 2015
“You would carpet bomb where ISIS is, not a city, but the location of the troops. You use air power directed — and you have embedded special forces to direction the air power. But the object isn’t to level a city. The object is to kill the ISIS terrorists.
To make it — listen, ISIS is gaining strength because the perception is that they’re winning. And President Obama fuels that perception. That will change when militants across the globe see that when you join ISIS that you are giving up your life, you are signing your death warrant, and we need a president who is focused on defeating every single ISIS terrorist and protecting the homeland, which should be the first priority.” CNN republican Debate, December 15, 2015
“We will utterly destroy them by targeting the bad guys. And one of the problems with Marco’s foreign policy is he has far too often supported Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama undermining governments in the Middle East that have helped radical Islamic terrorists.
We need to focus on killing the bad guys, not getting stuck in Middle Eastern civil wars that don’t keep America safe.” CNN republican Debate, December 15, 2015
“The No. 1 test for use of military force should be the vital national security interest of the United States. The reason why I opposed President Obama bombing Syria, is because he couldn’t answer the question what do you do if chemical weapons end up in the hands of radical Islamic terrorists like al-Nusra, like Al Qaida, like ISIS?” (CNN, 2016 Presidential Debate, September 16, 2015)
“It will be beneficial to have serious public hearings and debates over the plan that was presented. Congress should strengthen the AUMF by making sure the President is committed to clear objectives and a specific plan to accomplish those goals. That should begin by clearly defining the enemy as ‘radical Islamic terrorists.’” (NBC News Politics Section, in regards to President Obama’s request for militarization against ISIS; by Chuck Todd, Mark Murray and Carrie Dann, published Feb. 12, 2015)
“Look, it’s not our job to be social workers in Iraq and put them all on expanded Medicaid. It is our job to kill terrorists who have declared war on America and who have demonstrated the intention and capability to murder innocent Americans.” (Interview with Sean Hannity, September 2014)
“The Obama Administration’s plan to combat ISIS is defined by its confusion. We have been told the mission is to destroy ISIS, but the Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff today testified they plan to conduct an extended campaign of nation-building that will address underlying ‘grievances’ that have destabilized the region. We should have a mission to achieve what is immediately essential: striking ISIS to protect Americans. The lack of focus and determination to achieve that goal is extremely concerning.” (Press Release, September 16, 2014)
“First and foremost, Washington should resolve to make border security a top priority finally, rather than an afterthought, of this plan in light of concerns about potential ISIS activities on our southern border. Second, Congress should make fighting for or supporting ISIS an affirmative renunciation of American citizenship. Third, we should do everything possible to make ISIS understand there are serious ramifications for threatening to attack the United States and for killing American civilians. The response must be principally military. We should concentrate on a coordinated and overwhelming air campaign to destroy the capability of ISIS to carry out terrorist attacks on the United States.” (CNN, September 10, 2014)
“For starters, we have to stop understanding the mission against the Islamic State as an extension of the 2003 invasion to topple Saddam Hussein, which then mushroomed into an effort to turn Iraq into a western-style democracy. Our mission now should be to destroy the Islamic State terrorists whose avowed purpose is to harm America and our allies, not to turn Iraq into a democratic utopia.”
Given the dysfunctional state of Iraq, we also need to let go of the fantasy that the ISF is going to be our boots on the ground.
“It is time to shake free of the failures of the past year and engage in some fresh thinking. In last weekend’s Washington Post, retired Air Force Lt. Gen. David Deptula proposed an alternative strategy, which would consist of exploiting our asymmetric advantage over the Islamic State through an overwhelming air campaign unfettered from the rigid and restrictive targeting rules ostensibly designed to protect civilians, but which have effectively enabled Islamic State to continue oppressing them. The recent election in Turkey, a rebuke to the anti-American President Tayyip Erdogan, who has refused us access to the NATO air base at Incirlik, might present an opportunity for us to press for use of this vital asset.”
“We might also look into by-passing Baghdad to arm the Kurds directly to ensure the free flow of ammunition and heavy weapons, and then embed our special operations troops with them to provide the targeting intelligence our air campaign requires. The Kurds have proven their value in battle against Islamic State, and we should allow them to help us while providing them the assistance they need.”
“The United States is blessed with the greatest fighting force in the history of the planet, and the destruction of the Islamic State is not beyond our capability, especially when we work with our effective regional partners. But if we hope to get the job done before it is too late, we must make clear that that is of our mission.” (Washington Examiner, June 11, 2015)
“We need to immediately refocus this mission on defeating ISIS, not on resolving the Syrian civil war or encouraging political reconciliation in Baghdad.” (National Review, October 6, 2014)
“We need a president that shows the courage that Egypt’s President al-Sisi, a Muslim, when he called out the radical Islamic terrorists who are threatening the world.” (Fox News Debate, August 4, 2015)
“Congress’ first priority is to provide for the national defense and ensure our soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines have everything they need to defend our freedom.” (Statement about the proposed NDAA Amendments, Cruz Senate website, May 15, 2015)
USA Freedom Act
“And what the USA Freedom Act did is it did two things. Number one, it ended the federal government’s bulk collection of phone metadata of millions of law-abiding citizens.
But number two in the second half of it that is critical. It strengthened the tools of national security and law enforcement to go after terrorists. It gave us greater tools and we are seeing those tools work right now in San Bernardino.
And in particular, what it did is the prior program only covered a relatively narrow slice of phone calls. When you had a terrorist, you could only search a relatively narrow slice of numbers, primarily land lines.
The USA Freedom Act expands that so now we have cell phones, now we have Internet phones, now we have the phones that terrorists are likely to use and the focus of law enforcement is on targeting the bad guys.
You know what the Obama administration keeps getting wrong is whenever anything bad happens they focus on law-abiding citizens instead of focusing on the bad guys.
We need to focus on radical Islamic terrorists and we need to stop them before they carry out acts of terror.” CNN Republican Debate, December 15, 2015
“What he knows is that the old program covered 20 percent to 30 percent of phone numbers to search for terrorists. The new program covers nearly 100 percent. That gives us greater ability to stop acts of terrorism, and he knows that that’s the case.” CNN Republican Debate, December 15, 2015
One of the Forty-Seven Republican Senators who Signed the Open Letter to Iran to undermine the President’s Nuclear Negotiations
“The intention of the letter was two things. One, to defend our national security, I think this deal that is being negotiated by the Obama administration is profoundly dangerous both to the security of our friend and ally Israel, but also to American national security. It was intended to stop a bad deal, absolutely. And beyond that, it was intended to defend the constitution.” (Interview on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” March, 17, 2015)
“The single greatest threat to our national security today is the possibility of a nuclear Iran.” (Facebook post, May 11, 2015)
“The Obama administration has insisted on treating Iran’s pursuit of a nuclear weapon in isolation from Tehran’s long history of dangerous behavior. But I believe the mullah’s brutal oppression of their own people and violent aggression abroad are part of a larger pattern that makes any deal over their nuclear program that leaves them on the path to a bomb unacceptably reckless. We are talking about the basic security of the American people here–not to mention that of our closest allies.” (Conservative Review article, May 22, 2015)
“On day one, I would expect to convene the national security team for a serious, careful, sober assessment of where Iran stands – how close they are to acquiring nuclear weapons – and to review every tool at our disposable to assure that under no circumstances does Iran acquire nuclear weapons.” (Washington Post, June 10, 2015)
“Today, there is no greater threat to U.S. national security than the prospect of a nuclear Iran. Led by theocratic zealots who have pledged to “annihilate Israel” and who regularly lead chants of “Death to America,” an Iran with nuclear weapons poses an unacceptably high risk of murdering millions of Americans or millions of our allies.”
“In January 2017, we will have a new President. He or she will likely encounter an Iran on the verge of acquiring nuclear weapons. If President Obama has implemented his bad deal—if he has unraveled the international consensus in favor of strict sanctions on Iran—then sanctions will in all likelihood be impossible to re-impose. Doing so would take months or years (if at all), probably too far out to prevent a nuclear Iran.” (Washington Times, April 29, 2015)
Reaction to Iran Nuclear Deal
“Weakness is Provocative. No president of the United States, Republican or Democrat, has the authority to give away our sovereignty.
Well, let me tell you, Jake, the single biggest national security threat facing America right now is the threat of a nuclear Iran. We’ve seen six and a half years of President Obama leading from behind. Weakness is provocative, and this Iranian nuclear deal is nothing short of catastrophic.
This deal, on its face, will send over $100 billion to the Ayatollah Khamenei, making the Obama administration the world’s leading financier of radical Islamic terrorism.
This deal abandons four American hostages in Iran, and this deal will only accelerate Iran’s acquiring nuclear weapons. You’d better believe it. If I am elected president, on the very first day in office, I will rip to shreds this catastrophic Iranian nuclear deal.
Well, let’s be clear when it comes to experience. What President Obama wants to do is he’s run to the United Nations, and he wants to use the United Nations to bind the United States, and take away our sovereignty. Well, I spent five and a half years as a Solicitor General of Texas, the lead lawyer for the state, in front of the U.S. Supreme Court, and I went in front of the Supreme Court, and took on the world court of the United Nations in a case called Medellin v. Texas, and we won a historic victory saying the World Court, and the U.N., has no power to bind the United States, and no President of the United States, Republican or Democrat, has the authority to give away our sovereignty.
And, so, if there’s anyone up here who would be bound by this catastrophic deal with Iran, they’re giving up the core responsibility of commander in chief, and as president, I would never do that.” (CNN, 2016 Presidential Debate, September 16, 2016)
“But Cruz, speaking on the Senate floor, assailed the accord, arguing that ‘this terrible deal will not stop a virulently anti-American and anti-Israeli regime from getting a nuclear bomb.'”
“‘Because the administration has not submitted the full agreement, the 60-day clock has not started, and if the 60-day clock has not started it is contrary to federal law for President Obama to lift the sanctions,’ Cruz said. ‘Republican leaders can simply follow the law and not facilitate President Obama’s yet again ignoring federal law.’” (Ted Cruz and Donald Trump Rally against Iran Deal)
Erica Werner, Deb Riechmann, House GOP divisions threaten plans on Iran deal, Washington Post, September 9, 2015
“I ask that you provide written assurances that you will take all necessary steps to block any UN Security Council resolution approving the JCPOA until the statutory timeline for Congressional review has run its course, until you provide such assurances, I intend to block all nominees for the Department of State and hold any legislation that reauthorizes funds for the Department of State.”
“Nowhere does the Annex mention the United States Congress or recognize mandatory Congressional review under the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015. It seems your Administration intended all along to circumvent this domestic review by moving the agreement to the UN Security Council before the mandatory 60-day review period ends, thus adopting an agreement without Congressional consent.” (The Hill, July 17, 2015)
“It could take down our stock market, our financial systems, but even more importantly, could take down food delivery, water delivery, heat, air conditioning, transportation. The projections are that one nuclear warhead in the atmosphere over the Eastern Seaboard could result in tens of millions Americans dying. The greatest risk to this Iranian deal, it is that millions of Americans will be murdered by radical theocratic zealots.”
“There’s not a great deal of ambiguity in death to America. He’s not hiding his desired outcome and only a fool would desire to see radical theocratic zealots who are pledging to murder Americans to have nuclear weapons and the capability to murder millions of Americans in one flash of light.” (Politico, July 21, 2015)
“The 60-calendar day period for review of such agreement in the Senate cannot be considered to have begun until the Majority Leader certifies that all of the materials required to be transmitted under the definition of the term ‘agreement’ under such Act, including any side agreements with Iran and United States Government-issued guidance materials in relation to Iran, have been transmitted to the Majority Leader.” (The Hill, August 3, 2015)
“If this deal goes through, the Obama administration, President Obama, Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, will become the leading global financiers of radical Islamic terrorism.” (Washington Examiner, July 23, 2015)
“The Iranian nuclear deal is catastrophic — the single greatest national security threat facing America. To allow a country led by a theocratic zealot who chants ‘death to America’ to have a weapon that could in the flash of an eye murder millions of Americans. We have to stop this deal.” (NBC, August 10, 2015)
Climate Change/Environmental/ Law of the Sea
“On the global warming alarmists, anyone who actually points to the evidence that disproves there apocalyptical claims, they don’t engage in reasoned debate. What do they do? They scream, ‘You’re a denier.’ They brand you a heretic. Today, the global warming alarmists are equivalent of the flat-Earthers. It used to be [that] it is accepted scientific wisdom the Earth is flat, and this heretic named Galileo was branded a denier.” (‘Galileo came along well after people knew the earth was round; people had sailed around the world before he was born. His conflict with the church was that he said the Earth revolved around the Sun, instead of the opposite’, Philip Bump/The Washington Post)
“If you look at global warming alarmists, they don’t like to look at the actual facts and data. The satellite data demonstrate that there has been no significant warming whatsoever for 17 years. Now that’s a real problem for the global warming alarmists. Because all those computer models on which this whole issue is based predicted significant warming, and yet the satellite data show it ain’t happening.”
“I read this morning a Newsweek article from the 1970s talking about global cooling. And it said the science is clear, it is overwhelming, we are in a major cooling period, and its going to cause enormous problems worldwide…Now, the data proved to be not backing up that theory. So then all the advocates of global cooling suddenly shifted to global warming, and they advanced it’s warming, and the solution interestingly enough was the exact same solution — government control of the energy sector and every aspect of our lives.” (Interview with the Texas Tribune on March 24, 2015 with Jay Root)
“You know, back in the ’70s — I remember the ’70s, we were told there was global cooling. And everyone was told global cooling was a really big problem. And then that faded. And then we were told by Al Gore and others there was global warming and that was going to be a big problem. … And the problem with climate change is there’s never been a day in the history of the world in which the climate is not changing.” (Interview with CNN, February 2014)
“I believe in a America first foreign policy, that far too often President Obama and Hillary Clinton — and, unfortunately, more than a few Republicans — have gotten distracted from the central focus of keeping this country safe.
So let’s go back to the beginning of the Obama administration, when Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama led NATO in toppling the government in Libya. They did it because they wanted to promote democracy. A number of Republicans supported them. The result of that — and we were told then that there were these moderate rebels that would take over. Well, the result is, Libya is now a terrorist war zone run by jihadists.
Move over to Egypt. Once again, the Obama administration, encouraged by Republicans, toppled Mubarak who had been a reliable ally of the United States, of Israel, and in its place, Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood came in, a terrorist organization.
And we need to learn from history. These same leaders — Obama, Clinton, and far too many Republicans — want to topple Assad. Assad is a bad man. Gadhafi was a bad man. Mubarak had a terrible human rights record. But they were assisting us — at least Gadhafi and Mubarak — in fighting radical Islamic terrorists.
And if we topple Assad, the result will be ISIS will take over Syria, and it will worsen U.S. national security interests. And the approach, instead of being a Woodrow Wilson democracy promoter.” CNN Republican Debate, December 15, 2015
“Imagine a President who stands unapologetically with the nation of Israel.” (Speech at Liberty University, March 23, 2015)
“I think foreign policy ought to be dictated by the vital national security interest of the United States.”
“If and when military action is required, number one, we should be reluctant to use military power — America always has been. You know it is worth noting the biggest country Reagan ever invaded was Grenada.”
“But if and when we’re required to use military force, it should be with a clearly defined objective. It should be with overwhelming force, and then we should get the heck out. It is not the job of our soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines to transform foreign nations into democratic utopias. It’s [their] job to hunt down and kill terrorists who want to murder Americans before they can carry out jihad.” (Interview on The Kelly File, Fox News, May 12, 2015)
“The democrats are laughing — because if republicans join democrats as the party of amnesty, we will lose.
And, you know, I understand that when the mainstream media covers immigration, it doesn’t often see it as an economic issue. But, I can tell you for millions — of Americans at home watching this, it is a very personal economic issue. And, I will say the politics of it will be very, very different if a bunch of lawyers or bankers were crossing the Rio Grande.
Or if a bunch of people with journalism degrees were coming over and driving down the wages in the press.
Then, we would see stories about the economic calamity that is befalling our nation. And, I will say for those of us who believe people ‘ought to come to this country legally, and we should enforce the law, we’re tired of being told it’s anti-immigrant. It’s offensive.
I am the son of an immigrant who came legally from Cuba to seek the American dream. And, we can embrace legal immigration while believing in the rule of law — and I would note, try going illegally to another country. Try going to China, or Japan. Try going to Mexico. See what they do. Every sovereign nation secures its borders, and it is not compassionate to say we’re not going to enforce the laws.” (Fox Business Network, 2016 Presidential Debate, November 10, 2015)
“Majority of the men and women on this stage have previously and publicly embraced amnesty. I am the only candidate on this stage who has never supported amnesty and, in fact, who helped lead the fight to stop a massive amnesty plan.
In 2013, when Barack Obama and Harry Reid joined the Washington Republicans in a massive, I stood shoulder to shoulder with Jeff Sessions helping lead the fight.
You know, folks here have talked about, how do you secure the borders? Well, I’ve been leading the fight in the Senate to triple the Border Patrol, to put in place fencings and walls, to put in place a strong biometric exit/entry system…” (CNN, 2016 Presidential Debate, September 2015)
“Providing a path to citizenship undermines the rule of law and is an insult to the millions who have immigrated to the U.S. legally.” (Press Release, 2013, reprinted in the National Journal February 2015)
“proud to stand with Donald Trump. I like him and respect him.”
“Many of those 2016 candidates have been vocal advocates of amnesty, which only increases illegal immigration. I think we need to stand with the working men and women. I think we need to stand with legal immigrants.” (In reference to Donald Trump’s comments about immigration, Fox News, July 9, 2015)
“Raul and Fidel Castro remain the implacable enemies of the United States. They are constantly thinking of ways to harm America—they are evil, and we cannot make a deal with an evil regime.” (Time, December 18, 2014)
Marco Rubio (Florida Senator)
DOB: 5/28/1971 in Miami, FL; University of Florida (FL), B.S., 1993; University of Miami (FL), J.D., 1996; Committees: Commerce, Science & Transportation, Foreign Relations, Intelligence, Small Business & Entrepreneurship. First Elected 2010. Co-Sponsor in bill that Prohibits the Use of Funds for the Transfer or Release of Guantanamo Detainees, Voted against USA FREEDOM ACT of 2014, Sponsored Bringing Terrorists to Justice Act of 2015. Married, Jeanette Dousdebes, 4 ch.
Policy based on Foreign Policy and National Security topics:
Fight against ISIS/Terrorism
“This is what’s important to do is we must deal frontally with this threat of radical Islamists, especially from ISIS. This is the most sophisticated terror group that has ever threatened the world or the United States of America. They are actively recruiting Americans. The attacker in San Bernardino was an American citizen, born and raised in this country. He was a health inspector; had a newborn child and left all that behind to kill 14 people.
We also understand that this is a group that’s growing in its governance of territory. It’s not just Iraq and Syria. They are now a predominant group in Libya. They are beginning to pop up in Afghanistan. They are increasingly involved now in attacks in Yemen. They have Jordan in their sights.
This group needs to be confronted with serious proposals. And this is a very significant threat we face. And the president has left us unsafe. He spoke the other night to the American people to reassure us. I wish he hadn’t spoken at all. He made things worse. Because what he basically said was we are going to keep doing what we’re doing now, and what we are doing now is not working.” CNN Republican Debate
“Well, let me begin by saying that we have to understand who ISIS is. ISIS is a radical Sunni group. They cannot just be defeated through air strikes. Air strikes are a key component of defeating them, but they must be defeated on the ground by a ground force. And that ground force must be primarily made up of Sunni Arabs themselves, Sunni Arabs that reject them ideologically and confront them militarily.
We will have to embed additional American special operators alongside them to help them with training, to help them conduct special missions, and to help improve the air strikes. The air strikes are important, but we need to have an air force capable of it. And because of the budget cuts we are facing in this country, we are going to be left with the oldest and the smallest Air Force we have ever had. We have to reverse those cuts, in addition to the cuts to our Navy and in addition to the cuts to our Army, as well.
And beyond that, I would say we must win the information war against ISIS. Every war we have ever been involved in has had a propaganda informational aspect to it. ISIS is winning the propaganda war. They are recruiting people, including Americans, to join them, with the promise that they are joining this great apocalyptic movement that is going to defeat the West. We have to show what life is really like in ISIS territory, and we have to show them why ISIS is not invincible, by going out and conducting these attacks and publicizing them to those who they recruit.” CNN Republican Debate
“The first thing we need to do is deny them access to any sort of operating space, safe havens where they can grow and prosper.
“The second, in addition to attacking them in those spaces, we need to ensure that their propaganda does not go unchallenged. One of the ways ISIL is growing is by portraying itself as a successful movement that is making continuous progress and trying to make the argument for radicalized youth in the region and around the world that they are the preeminent jihadist movement on the planet. We need to send a message out every time they’re defeated, every time their cause is set back.”
“Third, I think it’s going to take the U.S. leadership to put together a coalition of nations that are more directly impacted. No nations in the world face a more immediate threat from this radicalism than Egypt, Jordanians, the Gulf Kingdoms and Turkey. We need to use our leadership to bring them together to form ground elements that will confront ISIL on the ground and defeat them.” (Interview with Des Moines Register on Feb. 12, 2015, answer to question regarding personal strategy for dealing with terrorists and preventing more attacks)
“Congress have never before authorized the president to take on and defeat an enemy, but has done so with limitations on the time or the geography or anything of this nature. I think that’s an important point for us to understand because under no circumstances can ISIL stay. What we need to be authorizing the president to do is to destroy them and to defeat them, and allow the commander in chief, both the one we have now and the one who will follow, to put in place the tactics, the military tactics necessary to destroy and defeat ISIL.” (Washington Post Blog Published Feb. 12, 2015 by Jennifer Rubin)
“Demoralizing them, embarrassing them, humiliating them through strategic and high-profile defeats.” (On his strategy to defeat ISIS, New York Times, May, 24, 2015)
“The chances of local forces alone being able to defeat ISIL, or any group for that matter on the ground is dubious at best. It’s important for the president to be honest with the American people that at some point in the future, this might require some element of U.S. ground power in order to finish the job.” (Defense One, August 2014)
“To confront the Islamic State terrorists, we need a sustained air campaign targeting their leadership, sources of income and supply routes, wherever they exist. We must increase our efforts to equip and capacitate non-jihadists in Syria to fight the terrorist group. And we must arm and support forces in Iraq confronting it, including responsible Iraqi partners and the Kurds. In addition, we must persuade nations in the region threatened by the Islamic State to participate in real efforts to defeat it.” (MSNBC, June 19, 2014)
“I think the American drone program is an important program, which I’m supportive of if used appropriately. My biggest problem with the drone program is we no longer interrogate terrorists. Right now we’re not getting any information from terrorists because the first option is to kill them.” (Tampa Bay Times, March 18, 2013)
“I do believe we need to seriously move forward on a plan that involves not only U.S. special forces operations, but Jordanians and Turks and Saudis and all these other countries to put some sort of ground element in place that can at least confront these guys and stop the spread and growth until these local forces are capable of doing the job themselves.” (Council on Foreign Relations, April 14, 2015)
“Countering the spread of the self-declared Islamic State, for example, will require a broadened coalition of regional partners, increased U.S. involvement in the fight, and steady action to prevent the group’s expansion to other failed and failing states.” (Foreign Affairs, August 10, 2015)
“Here’s the world we live in. This is a radical jihadist group that is increasingly sophisticated in its ability, for example, to radicalize American citizens, in its inability to exploit loopholes in our legal immigration system, in its ability to capture and hold territory in the Middle East, as I outlined earlier, in multiple countries.
This is not just the most capable, it is the most sophisticated terror threat we have ever faced. We are now at a time when we need more tools, not less tools. And that tool we lost, the metadata program, was a valuable tool that we no longer have at our disposal.”
This bill did, however, take away a valuable tool that allowed the National Security Agency and other law — and other intelligence agencies to quickly and rapidly access phone records and match them up with other phone records to see who terrorists have been calling. Because I promise you, the next time there is attack on — an attack on this country, the first thing people are going to want to know is, why didn’t we know about it and why didn’t we stop it? And the answer better not be because we didn’t have access to records or information that would have allowed us to identify these killers before they attacked.” CNN Republican Debate, December 15, 2015
“Allowing any of these programs to expire is a mistake, but that’s what is happening as a consequence of the reckless spreading of misinformation and political posturing.” (New York Times, May 31, 2015)
One of the Forty-Seven Republican Senators who Signed the Open Letter to Iran to undermine the President’s Nuclear Negotiations
“The next U.S. president should not be bound by a potential Obama administration agreement, even if European negotiating partners stand behind the deal.”
“The United States, although it’s less than ideal, could unilaterally re-impose more crushing and additional sanctions. I would also use the standing of the United States on the global stage to try to encourage other nations to do so.”
“I have zero doubt that between now and the next president, Iran will violate some condition of this deal. The challenge will be whether the European community and our allies around the world are willing to look the other way and ignore them or are willing to re-impose sanctions.” (In an interview with the Associated Press, via article by Huffington Post published March 17, 2015)
“[The] message to Iran should be clear: until the regime chooses a different path, the United States will continue to isolate Iran and impose pressure.” (National Review, April 8, 2015)
Reaction to Iran Nuclear Deal
“It will then be left to the next President to return us to a position of American strength and re-impose sanctions on this despicable regime until it is truly willing to abandon its nuclear ambitions and is no longer a threat to international security.” (USA Today, July 14, 2015)
“I expect that a significant majority in Congress will share my skepticism of this agreement and vote it down. Failure by the President to obtain congressional support will tell the Iranians and the world that this is Barack Obama’s deal, not an agreement with lasting support from the United States.” (Bloomberg News, July 14, 2015)
“President Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran is a dangerous and destabilizing failure, and it is telling that he is seeking Russia and China’s seal of approval of his deal before administration officials have even briefed Congress. The stakes are too far high for America’s security to be outsourced to the United Nations.” (The Hill, July 21, 2015)
“I do think it’s important for the world and especially for Iran to understand that as far as American sanctions are concerned, this is a deal whose survival is not guaranteed beyond the term of the president.”
“I personally hope that the next president is someone who will remove the national security waiver and reimpose the congressional sanctions that were passed by Congress, because this deal is fundamentally and irreparably flawed.”
“Even if this deal narrowly avoids congressional defeat because we can’t get to that veto-proof majority … the Iranian regime and the world should know that the majority of members of this Congress do not support this deal, and the deal can go away the day that President Obama leaves office.” (The Hill, July 23, 2015)
“Well, I was just reading out of the text of the agreement, and I assure you that the Iranians interpret it the way that I alluded to, which is that if they come under cyber attack or any other effort to sabotage their program, then not just the U.S., but all the world powers, will have the obligation to assist them technically in defeating those measures. Now obviously Kerry and the administration would say that their reading of this is that we’re trying to protect them from some sort of terrorist group, for example.
I didn’t pose the question in an accusatory way, but I know that it is a part of the deal that Israeli government officials are very concerned about, and I know that the Iranian argument would be that “the U.S. and the other powers are committed now to helping us defeat any efforts to undermine” what the Iranians call their peaceful nuclear-enrichment program. The only country in the world, outside of the countries that signed this deal, that could potentially have the capability to try to sabotage the Iranian nuclear program would be the Israelis. So the point I was trying to get him to answer is this: Does this deal obligate us to help [the Iranians] defeat measures to sabotage their program? And obviously Kerry didn’t answer directly, he just said, “Well, the intention of that is to prevent a terrorist group from getting ahold of this material.”
I think the bigger concern is that Iran would say, “We’re under cyber attack. We are demanding that you help us to defeat it or to stop it.” We would then say, “No, we’re not helping you, that’s not how we read the agreement,” and Iran would then say, “Well, then you have violated the deal, and therefore we can get out.” Now is that something they’d do in six months? No. Is that something they might do in six years, as a loophole they would try to exploit? I could see that in the future. They’re going to interpret every piece of this deal in the most flexible way possible for their long-term interest, and they’re going to try to exploit any loophole to their advantage. The Iranians went into this deal with a very clear mandate, given to them by the supreme leader: Get these sanctions lifted without agreeing to anything that is irreversible. Do not agree to anything that is irreversible. I think they achieved this.
I’m not against any negotiation. Let’s step back, though. These negotiations started after the world had, on numerous occasions, ruled that Iran did not have a right to enrich or reprocess [nuclear material], and that Iran had no legitimate need for an enrichment program given their energy surplus. The world also took the position that because of Iran’s investment in long-range ICBMs, which are only developed for the purpose of placing on them a nuclear warhead, that Iran already had secret elements to those programs. [The Iranians] maintained at least two different sites that had been hidden from the world, and it took years for perhaps the two leading intelligence agencies in the world—the U.S. and the Israelis—to discover [the sites]. So, once the administration said, “OK, we are willing to negotiate with you on the basis that there is an acknowledged right to enrich or reprocess,” that is the moment the negotiations went off-track. I thought that we could have pressed on with additional sanctions that, over time, would have forced these negotiations to a better starting point. But once you cave on that and say, “You’re now going to be allowed to enrich and reprocess and retain your nuclear infrastructure and, in fact, upgrade it to more modern methods,” I thought that was when the negotiations when off-track.
If Iran really wanted peaceful nuclear energy, they could have achieved it the way dozens of countries around the world do, and that is they could have imported the enriched material or the reprocessed plutonium and worked from there. The fact that they want to retain their own domestic enrichment capability, coupled with the secrecy around their program, coupled with their sponsorship of terrorism, coupled with their heavy and continuing investments in a long-range warhead-delivery system—all of that is the reason why Iran is different from South Korea, or Japan, or any other country in the world that wants a peaceful nuclear program.
I don’t know where to begin, other than to say that I think it is troublesome that Iran will retain a full-scale industrial-enrichment capability using the most modern technology available, albeit—according to the deal—under limited numbers for a time. The Obama administration keeps saying, “They can’t unlearn what they know.” But the truth is, the knowledge on how to enrich, the knowledge on how to build a weapon, this isn’t easy, but it’s easier than building the infrastructure for doing it. You might know technically how to enrich or reprocess, but you need the infrastructure to do it. You need the equipment, you need the centrifuges, you need the facilities. And the fact that [the Iranians] will be able to retain that full scope of abilities that could easily be ramped up in the future to do more is to me deeply troublesome, because they now have a legal right to maintain this infrastructure forever.
I disagree, because I think what they have is a piece of paper that is blocking the pathways, and it is a piece of paper that Iran doesn’t feel necessarily binds them in the long-term. Once Iran has rebuilt or added to its conventional capabilities—meaning the ability to inflict conventional damage on U.S. forces in the region—and once companies based in Europe and around the world become heavily invested in the Iranian economy, the ability to go after Iran’s program is significantly diminished, because the price for doing so becomes exponentially high. You know, the price of positioning assets in the region exposes a U.S. aircraft carrier to being blown up. The price of attacking Iran would mean that tens of thousands of precision rockets would be launched against Israel by Hezbollah, not to mention terrorists around the world conducting asymmetrical attacks. Once Iran is able to raise the price of a military strike against them to an unacceptable level, they’re immune. At this point, they can move forward and concoct any excuse they want for needing a weapon.
We are. But I think a new administration would have the opportunity to say to Iran, “Look, I understand the previous administration pursued this deal, but let me explain to you our system of government. They pursued it not as a treaty; they pursued it as a political agreement that called on the president of the United States to use a national-security waiver to lift U.S. sanctions. I don’t agree with that decision. I’m going to reimpose U.S. sanctions. In fact, I’m going to go back to Congress and ask them to increase them.”
And I would suspect that between now and the time that this decision happens, we will potentially have multiple opportunities to prove that Iran is already in violation of this deal.
Well, I think the majority of members of Congress are going to vote against it. I’m not sure we’re going to have 67 senators, which would have to include a significant number of Democrats, to reach a veto-proof majority, but I do think it’s important at this stage to outline what could happen in the future. There are companies and banks around the world that might be considering making significant investments in Iran, and what they need to know is that if they make a significant investment in Iran and a future administration reimposes sanctions, or Iran violates the deal, or Iran conducts some outrageous act of terrorism around the world and [is] sanctioned for it, your investment could be lost. If you go into Iran and build a pharmaceutical plant, and you invest all this money to build it, and then suddenly Iran does something, and now you’re subject to sanctions if you continue to do business with them, you’re going to lose that investment. And so I do think that it’s important for investors and others around the world who are looking to do more business with Iran to be very conscious about this, because they’re basically gambling that this regime is not violating the deal or doing something new that could impose sanctions.
Well, the likeliest way it’s going to happen is there will be some facility somewhere in Iran that we have suspicions about, and the IAEA will go to Iran and say, “We want to see this facility.” And Iran will say, “This is outrageous. We’re not showing you anything.” And they’ll go through a 24-day process back and forth, and ultimately it won’t be a massive thing, it’ll be an incremental thing, and Iran will say to the world, “Are you going to blow up this entire arrangement and allow us to go off and do whatever we want over this small technical issue?” And there will be a series of small, incremental violations like that, that ultimately over time will wear down the enforcement mechanism. And unless you absolutely catch them in a Cuban missile crisis-style situation, with pictures, red-handed, the world’s not going to force it, because there’ll be too many vested interests economically in Europe and around the world arguing against it. So I don’t expect it’ll be a massive breakout. It’ll be an incremental erosion of the enforcement mechanism, to the point where it’ll be fruitless.
Well, I just think in their mind, they figure, “We can game this thing for a while. We still haven’t developed a long-range rocket anyway. You know, we didn’t necessarily intend to have a bomb in the next 48 months anyway. So, let’s go ahead and incrementally wear on this thing while we aim for modern-day centrifuge capabilities, while we rebuild our economy, while we rebuild our conventional capability.”
Well, I would argue that it is not, because you’re about to see billions of dollars of assets held abroad returned. That money can’t be pulled back. Once [the Iranians] get it they’ll be able to do what they want with it. I mean, it isn’t going to be used to build hospitals and roads. I imagine they’ll spend some on domestic considerations, but if history is a guide, they’ll use the money to increase their reach in the region, and that means supporting [Syrian President] Assad, Hezbollah, the 14th of February movement in Bahrain, the Houthis in Yemen, you name it. There are Shia militias in Iraq they will support, and this is not to mention their long-range missile capabilities and their other asymmetrical conventional capabilities that they’ll work on. The view in the region is that Iran is a country bent on regional domination. They believe the ayatollah’s call to be a leader of all the Muslim world, not just Shia Muslims, and they have a view that Iran has a rightful place in the world as a dominant power. And so Sunni Arabs see all this as a direct threat, and they view Iran as being empowered now. They are now the power in the region that has been given global-power status.
What held the Israelis back for years has been the promise that we would never allow Iran to cross the line of immunity with the program—that the U.S. had a military capability capable of reaching the current program and setting it back by a couple years. Therefore Israel did not have to take action because we had a weapons system that went further than theirs, and therefore it extended the line of immunity further than what they thought it was. I think with this new dynamic, that changes the Israeli calculus as well.
None of these issues is easy, because obviously I think Israel has a right to act in its self-defense, which it did in the past when it struck facilities in Syria and in other places. It’s not clear exactly what would have happened as a result of that attack. I think that such an attack would have been successful. You would have seen an immediate response from the region. If the attack had not been successful, many of these other nations, including Sunni nations, would have had to condemn it, because the street would have demanded it, and it’s not clear what they could have achieved militarily.
Well, it’s the last option, but it most certainly is one that needs to be on the table and that needs to be credible. People need to actually believe that it could happen, and part of it is capability and part of it is willingness. I’m not sure there was ever a time when the Iranians feared that Barack Obama would take military action against their facilities. You know, the administration will argue that the Iranians will come back [from a military attack] and rebuild their program in a way that’s even more fortified, but I can tell you that, for example, in 2003 the Iranians responded to the Iraq invasion by stopping their program, because they feared that they would be next. And so we have seen in the past that they have responded to what they believed was a credible threat. We can acknowledge that their pain threshold is pretty high. I mean, the Iraq-Iran War only ended when the number of casualties became so high that it undermined the Iranian regime’s grip on power. And so I’m not arguing that their pain threshold is not quite high. But I think having a credible threat, one they believe the U.S. would actually use, is something they would respond to. But I don’t think they believe this president was ever willing.
I read that as an administration that’s insensitive to the reality that Israel finds itself in, because even if you believe that to be true, there are consequences for the secretary of state saying that. If you honestly believe that, then you could share that with them in private channels directly and forcefully. But to acknowledge that publicly is a threat to Israel’s security, because it only further emboldens Israel’s enemies to believe that there’s some sort of daylight between the U.S. and Israel—that they can probably get away with more aggressive action against Israel.” (Interview with The Atlantic, August 7, 2015)
“The American sanctions are the most important sanctions of all and I would give a choice to the Deutsche Bank or any other institution around the world. You can have access to the American economy or to the Iranian economy. I’m confident they will choose the American economy.” (The Hill, August 10, 2015)
“As president, I would have altered the basic environment of the talks. I would have maneuvered forces in the region to signal readiness; linked the nuclear talks to Iran’s broader conduct, from its human rights abuses to its support for terrorism and its existential threats against Israel; and pressured Tehran on all fronts, from Syria to Yemen.” (Foreign Affairs, August 4, 2015)
“It certainly has to be at least as much or more than what’s in the president’s proposal, which I don’t think is enough, given the national security threats our country faces.” [referring to Obama’s $561 billion budget for defense, a $38 billion increase]
“As for the process of how we get the money, I’m open-minded. In terms of the exact number, obviously we have to get something done. I think not raising defense spending has been shortsighted in the past. Every time we have dramatically cut defense spending in this country, we have had to come back and scramble to make it up.”
“Again, on the tactics of it, obviously, it has to be something reasonable and responsible, and it doesn’t set us up for other long-term problems. The priority here is to make sure … our national security is funded adequately.” (Politico article by Manu Raju published on March 18, 2015)
“The world is at its safest when America is at its strongest.”
“My first priority will be to adequately fund our military.”
“I’ve endorsed the National Defense Panel’s recommendation that we “return as soon as possible” to Secretary Gates’ fiscal year 2012 budget baseline.” (Speech at Council on Foreign Relations, May 13, 2015)
“Instead of outlining the costs of inaction to our people months ago when they should have, they were content to take the political path of least resistance. They advocated leaving our allies to fend for themselves. They proposed massive reductions to defense spending. And they tried to convince Americans the world would be fine without our leadership, or worse, that America would be fine regardless of the chaos the world devolved into.”
“All the while, those who oppose America have grown bolder than ever – and today they oppose us with more than a mere fleet of pirate ships.” (On proposed cuts to defense spending, Washington Post, September 17, 2014)
“To begin with, Moammar Gadhafi and the revolt against Gadhafi was not started by the United States. It was started by the Libyan people. And the reason why I argued we needed to get involved is because he was going to go one way or the other. And my argument then was proven true, and that is, the longer that civil war took, the more militias would be formed and the more unstable the country would be after the fact.
As far as Moammar Gadhafi is concerned, by the way, Moammar Gadhafi is the man that killed those Americans over Lockerbie, Scotland. Moammar Gadhafi is also the man that bombed that cafe in Berlin and killed those Marines. And you want to know why Moammar Gadhafi started cooperating on his nuclear program? Because we got rid of Saddam Hussein. And so he got scared that he would be next, and that’s why he started cooperating.
Look, we will have to work around the world with less than ideal governments. The government in Saudi Arabia is not a democracy, but we will have to work with them. The government in Jordan is not perfect, but we will have to work with them. But anti-American dictators like Assad, who help Hezbollah, who helped get those IEDs into Iraq, if they go, I will not shed a tear.” CNN republican Debate, December 15, 2015
“Let me tell you — I will tell you we have zero responsibility, because let’s remember what the president said. He said the attack he would conduct would be a pinprick. Well, the United States military was not build to conduct pinprick attacks.
If the United States military is going to be engaged by a commander-in-chief, it should only be engaged in an endeavor to win. And we’re not going to authorize use of force if you’re not put in a position where they can win.” (CNN, 2016 Presidential Debate, September 16, 2015)
“I thought the Libyan engagement that I just mentioned a moment ago was not handled appropriately. The United States intervened for a very short period of time militarily, I believe it was 72 hours, and then the rest of the operation was left to the Brits and the French, loyal allies who worked hard, but do not have our capabilities.”
“The result in Libya was a protracted conflict that killed people, destroyed infrastructure, left behind the conditions for the rise of multiple militias who refuse to lay down their arms. I actually traveled to Libya after the fall of Gaddafi, before he was captured, and came back and warned that if we did not get—we had allowed the conflict to go too long. If we didn’t now get engaged on the front end to prevent that from happening, not only would Libya become a failed state, but it would also become a haven for extremism to take root as it happened now.” (“A Conversation With Marco Rubio,” Council on Foreign Relations, May 13, 2015)
“Had the U.S. engaged fully and decisively, the conflict would have ended sooner. We would have less independent militias — and it would have been easier for a central government to take root and become in control of the country.” (National Review, April 8, 2015)
“The question was whether it was a mistake. And my answer was it’s not a mistake. …It was not a mistake given the fact that what the president knew at the time.”
“My answer was — well, if at the time it would have been apparent that the intelligence was wrong, I don’t think George Bush would have moved forward on the invasion. Presidents don’t have the benefit of hindsight. You have to make difficult decisions based on the information that’s before you at that moment.”
“The world is a better place because Saddam Hussein doesn’t run Iraq.”
“Not only would I not have been in favor of it. President Bush would have have been in favor of it. And he’s said so.” (Various responses to if Rubio would have invaded Iraq back in 2003, Business Insider article, May 18, 2015)
“[I]f the U.S. had a presence [in Iraq], we would have more leverage over how Maliki conducted his affairs. You would have had a more stable region, but also a place where you could conduct operations against other threats in the region.” (MSNBC, June 19, 2014)
“will destroy our economy” (In reference to efforts to address climate change, Washington Post, May 12, 2015)
“As president, I will use American power to oppose any violations of international waters, airspace, cyberspace or outer space.”
“Russia, China, Iran or any other nation that attempts to block global commerce will know to expect a response from my administration.” (Speech at Council on Foreign Relations, May 13, 2015)
International Economics/Development Assistance/Trade
“Tremors in global affairs can fracture the foundations of our domestic economy.”
“This was true then, when our connection to the world was limited to a slow procession of merchant ships. It is even truer today, when our people don’t need ships or even airplanes to do business with the world – they can do so from their living rooms with an iPad … or apparently now from the watch on their wrist!”
“Never before have our people and our economy been so connected to the world. What happens across the planet can have a greater impact on your family than what happens down the street.” (Washington Post, September 17, 2014)
“The second pillar of my foreign policy is the protection of an open international economy in an increasingly globalized world. Millions of the best jobs in this century will depend on international trade that will be possible only when global sea-lanes are open and sovereign nations are protected from the aggression of larger neighbors. Thus, the prosperity of American families is tied to the safety and stability of regions on the other side of the world, from Asia to the Middle East to Europe.” (Foreign Affairs, August 4, 2015)
“The trend of declining American Strength had been largely incidental among previous administrations, but now it is an active priority. Previous presidents had merely taken their foot off the gas pedal of American Strength, but President Obama has stomped on the brake.”
“Our adversaries are emboldened by what they perceive as our diminished military presence. Look at the way Putin has scoffed at the president’s modest attempts to impose sanctions. Or at the way Assad declined to take America’s threats seriously, used chemical weapons on his own people, and still remains in power.”
“America cannot avoid its role as a global leader. We are a global hub – a central point for travel, commerce, economic production, and international culture. People from all over the world pass through our nation every day, and our own citizens stretch out across the globe to travel and conduct business.”
“But we also know America cannot be tasked with protecting the global economy on our own. It will take an international order of free nations with free economies to do so. Other nations must step forward, but no other nation has the ability to organize or lead such a coalition if we fail to do so.”
“The world needs American Strength just as much as our people and our economy do. No other nation can deter global conflict by its presence alone. No other nation can offer the security and benevolence that America can. No other nation can be trusted to defend peace and advance liberty.” (Washington Post, September 17, 2014)
“I would prefer for [Bashar al-]Assad never have to govern Syria. I would prefer for Iran to be governed by normal people and not a radical jihadist cleric. But that’s the world we have, and we have to confront it. Now here’s the question. If we don’t lead the world in confronting it, who will lead the world in confronting it, because the truth is, no one can. The United Nations can’t do it, the Russians obviously are in many ways supportive of some of the things that are happening. China has no interest in it. There is no substitute for American leadership on the global stage. And you can ignore our foreign adversaries, but they won’t ignore us. And eventually, you’re going to have to deal with them.” (Council on Foreign Relations, April 14, 2015)
“As the world has grown more interconnected, American leadership has grown more critical to maintaining global order and defending our people’s interests, and as our economy has turned from national to international, domestic policy and foreign policy have become inseparable.”
“The first and most important pillar of my foreign policy will be a renewal of American strength. This is an idea based on a simple truth: the world is at its safest when America is at its strongest. When America’s armed forces and intelligence professionals, aided by our civilian diplomatic and foreign assistance programs, are able to send a forceful message without firing a shot, the result is more peace, not more conflict. Yet when the United States fails to build or display such strength, it weakens our global hand by casting doubt on our ability and willingness to act. This doubt only encourages our adversaries to test us.” (Foreign Affairs, August 10, 2015)
“We must make clear that any violence against peaceful protesters will have significant consequences for U.S.-China relations.”
“America absolutely takes sides when confronted with right and wrong. It is longstanding U.S. policy, enshrined in the Hong Kong Policy Act of 1992, to support democratization in Hong Kong and to support the human rights of the people of Hong Kong.”
“America should be on the side of those in the street peacefully protesting for their fundamental freedoms.” (Press Statement regarding the protests in Hong Kong, September 29, 2014)
“Our approach to China in this century relates to the last pillar of my foreign policy: the need for moral clarity regarding America’s core values. Our devotion to the spread of human rights and liberal democratic principles has been a part of the fabric of our country since its founding and a beacon of hope for so many oppressed peoples around the globe. It is also a strategic imperative that requires pragmatism and idealism in equal measure.”
“If the United States hopes to restore stability in East Asia, it has to speak with clarity and strength regarding the universal rights and values that America represents.”
“The best way for the United States to counter China’s expansion in East Asia is through support for liberty. The “rebalance” to Asia needs to be about more than just physical posturing. We must stand for the principles that have allowed Asian economies to grow so rapidly and for democracy to take root in the region. Only American leadership can show the Chinese government that its increasingly aggressive regional expansionism will be countered by a reinforcement of cooperation among like-minded nations in the region.
As president, I will strengthen ties with Asia’s democracies, from India to Taiwan. Bolstering liberty on China’s periphery can galvanize the region against Beijing’s hostility and change China’s political future. I will also back the Chinese people’s demands for unrestricted Internet access and their appeals for the basic human right of free speech. I will engage with dissidents, reformers, and religious rights activists, and I will reject Beijing’s attempts to block our contacts with these champions of freedom. I will also redouble U.S. support for the Trans-Pacific Partnership and ensure that, once the trade deal is concluded, additional countries are able to join, expanding the creation of what will be millions of jobs here at home as well as abroad.” (Foreign Affairs, August 4, 2015)
“I need to add a couple of points to this. The first is, I’ve never met Vladimir Putin, but I know enough about him to know he is a gangster. He is basically an organized crime figure that runs a country, controls a $2 trillion economy. And is using to build up his military in a rapid way despite the fact his economy is a disaster.
He understands only geopolitical strength. And every time he has acted anywhere in the world, whether it’s in Ukraine or Georgia before that, or now in the Middle East, it’s because he is trusting in weakness.
His calculation in the Middle East is that he has seen what this president has done, which is nothing, the president has no strategy, our allies in the region do not trust us. For goodness sake, there is only one pro-American free enterprise democracy in the Middle East, it is the state of Israel.
And we have a president that treats the prime minister of Israel with less respect than what he gives the ayatollah in Iran. And so our allies in the region don’t trust us.” (Fox Business Network, 2016 Presidential Debate, November 10, 2015)
“Well, first of all, I have an understanding of exactly what it is Russia and Putin are doing, and it’s pretty straightforward. He wants to reposition Russia, once again, as a geopolitical force.
He himself said that the destruction of the Soviet Union — the fall of the Soviet Union was the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the 20th century, and now he’s trying to reverse that.
He’s trying to destroy NATO. And this is what this is a part of. He is exploiting a vacuum that this administration has left in the Middle East.
Here’s what you’re gonna see in the next few weeks: the Russians will begin to fly — fly combat missions in that region, not just targeting ISIS, but in order to prop up Assad.
He will also, then, turn to other countries in the region and say, “America is no longer a reliable ally, Egypt. America is no longer a reliable ally, Saudi Arabia. Begin to rely on us.”
What he is doing is he is trying to replace us as the single most important power broker in the Middle East, and this president is allowing it. That is what is happening in the Middle East. That’s what’s happening with Russia, and…” (CNN, Presidential Debate, September 16, 2016)
“I think the goal Putin has here is to basically, it’s not just about Ukraine, it’s about completely reorganizing the post-Cold War, post-Soviet era order in Europe. . . . And in that context that’s why he wants to weaken and divide and perhaps even force NATO to fall apart.” (Council on Foreign Relations, April 14, 2015)
“Russia’s actions are a historic affront to the post–World War II global order on which the global economy depends, and they set a disturbing precedent in a world of rising powers with surging ambitions. Our halting and meager response sends a message to other countries that borders can be violated and countries invaded without serious consequences. The threat of this precedent is profound. America should never have to ask permission from a regional power to conduct commerce with any nation. We cannot allow the world to become a place where countries become off-limits to us as markets and trading partners because of violence, uncertainty, or the blustering threats of an autocratic ruler.”
“I will also isolate Russia diplomatically, expanding visa bans and asset freezes on high-level Russian officials and pausing cooperation with Moscow on global strategic challenges. The United States should also station U.S. combat troops in eastern Europe to make clear that we will honor our commitments to our NATO allies and to discourage further Russian aggression.” (Foreign Affairs, August 4, 2015)
“This entire policy shift announced today is based on an illusion, based on a lie. The White House has conceded everything and gained little. I’m committed to doing everything I can to unravel as many of these changes as possible. (Council on Foreign Relations, April 14, 2015)
“The United States cannot afford to keep putting Latin America on the back burner as it focuses the bulk of its attention on Asia, Europe and the Middle East. The Western Hemisphere holds significant strategic interest for the U.S. — as well as enormous promise. Efforts should be focused in four key areas: building a democratic movement, enhancing trade and economic ties, cooperating on energy issues and building and strengthening security alliances.” (Council on Foreign Relations, April 14, 2015)
“First, we must — we must secure our border, the physical border, with — with a wall, absolutely. But we also need to have an entry/exit tracking system. 40 percent of the people who come here illegally come legally, and then they overstay the visa. We also need a mandatory e-verify system.
After we’ve done that, step two would be to modernize our legal immigration system so you come to America on the basis of what you can contribute economically, not whether or not simply you have a relative living here.
And after we’ve done those two things, I believe the American people will be very reasonable and responsible about what you do with someone who’s been here and isn’t a criminal. If you’re a criminal, obviously, you will not be able to stay.” (CNN, 2016 Presidential Debate, September 16, 2015)
“Let me set the record straight on a couple of things. The first is, the evidence is now clear that the majority of people coming across the border are not from Mexico. They’re coming from Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras. Those countries are the source of the people that are now coming in its majority.
I also believe we need a fence. The problem is if El Chapo builds a tunnel under the fence, we have to be able to deal with that too. And that’s why you need an e-verify system and you need an entry-exit tracking system and all sorts of other things to prevent illegal immigration. But I agree with what Governor Kasich just said. People are frustrated. This is the most generous country in the world when it comes to immigration. There are a million people a year who legally immigrate to the United States, and people feel like we’re being taken advantage of. We feel like despite our generosity, we’re being taken advantage of.
And let me tell you who never gets talked about in these debates. The people that call my office, who have been waiting for 15 years to come to the United States. And they’ve paid their fees, and they hired a lawyer, and they can’t get in. And they’re wondering, maybe they should come illegally.
And so these are important issues, and we should address it. It’s a serious problem that needs to be addressed, and otherwise we’re going to keep talking about this for the next 30 years, like we have for the last 30 years.” (Fox News Debate, August 6, 2015)
Dr. Ben Carson (Surgeon, Journalist, Philanthropist)
DOB: 9/18/1951 in Detroit, Michigan; Yale University; University of Michigan School of Medicine; Johns Hopkins University; Author and retired neurosurgeon.
Policy based on Foreign Policy and National Security topics:
Fight against ISIS/Terrorism
“Now, as far as monitoring is concerned, what my point is, we need to make sure that any place – I don’t care whether it’s a mosque, a school, a supermarket, a theater, you know it doesn’t matter. If there are a lot of people getting there and engaging in radicalizing activities then we need to be suspicious of it.
We have to get rid of all this PC stuff. And people are worried about if somebody’s going to say that I’m Islamophobic or what have you. This is craziness because we are at war. That’s why I asked congress, go ahead and declare the war .
We need to be on a war footing. We need to understand that our nation is in grave danger. You know, what the Muslim Brotherhood said in the explanatory memorandum that was discovered during the Holy Land Foundation Trial was that, “they will take advantage of our PC attitude to get us.” CNN Republican Debate, December 15, 2015
“First of all, I’ve been talking about this for over a year. We have to destroy their caliphate because that gives them legitimacy to go ahead with the global Jihad. We have to take their energy because they are — ISIS is the richest terrorist organization there is. We have to take their oil, shut down all of the mechanisms whereby they can disperse money because they go after disaffected individuals from all over the place, and they’re able to pay them. That makes a difference.
As far as the command centers are concerned in Raqqa and to a lesser degree Mosul, cut those off. Do the same kind of thing that we did with Sinjar a few weeks ago, working with our embedded special forces with the Kurds, shut off the supply route, soften them up, then we go in with specials ops followed by our air force to take them over. Those are things that work.
But also, you know, this whole concept of boots on the ground, you know, we’ve got a phobia about boots on the ground. If our military experts say, we need boots on the ground, we should put boots on the ground and recognize that there will be boots on the ground and they’ll be over here, and they’ll be their boots if we don’t get out of there now.” CNN Republican Debate, December 15, 2015
“Well, putting the special ops people in there [Syria] is better than not having them there, because they — that’s why they’re called special ops, they’re actually able to guide some of the other things that we’re doing there.
And what we have to recognize is that Putin is trying to really spread his influence throughout the Middle East. This is going to be his base. And we have to oppose him there in an effective way.
We also must recognize that it’s a very complex place. You know, the Chinese are there, as well as the Russians, and you have all kinds of factions there.
What we’ve been doing so far is very ineffective, but we can’t give up ground right there. But we have to look at this on a much more global scale. We’re talking about global jihadists. And their desire is to destroy us and to destroy our way of life. So we have to be saying, how do we make them look like losers? Because that’s the way that they’re able to gather a lot of influence.
And I think in order to make them look like losers, we have to destroy their caliphate. And you look for the easiest place to do that? It would be in Iraq. And if — outside of Anbar in Iraq, there’s a big energy field. Take that from them. Take all of that land from them. We could do that, I believe, fairly easily, I’ve learned from talking to several generals, and then you move on from there.
But you have to continue to face them, because our goal is not to contain them, but to destroy them before they destroy us.” (Fox Business Network, 2016 Presidential Debate, November 10, 2015)
“They got the wrong philosophy, but they’re willing to die for what they believe, while we are busily giving away every belief and every value for the sake of political correctness.” (“Ben Carson likens ISIS to U.S. patriots,” January 15, 2015)
“Our military needs to know that they’re not gonna be prosecuted when they come back, because somebody has, said, ‘You did something that was politically incorrect,’” the likely Republican candidate told his national television audience. “There is no such thing as a politically correct war. We need to grow up, we need to mature. If you’re gonna have rules for war, you should just have a rule that says no war. Other than that, we have to win. Our life depends on it.” (In regards to the fight against ISIS, Carson comments on how there should be few restrictions on how America fights its war, MSNBC, February 17, 2015)
“Every resource available should be used to eradicate the threat of ISIS while it is still in its adolescent stage. That means using every tool we have: banking facilities, sanctions, you name it. And I would not hesitate to put boots on the ground, because nothing should be beyond consideration. The whole concept of “no boots on the ground because of what happened in Iraq” is silly. The threat that Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda posed at that time was on a completely different level from what we are looking at now. It is immature to equate the two in terms of reactions. ISIS wants to destroy our way of life and us. We have two choices: We can sit back and wait for them, or we can use the resources we have to destroy them now. We need to be the leader and take serious action.”
“I would commit everything to eliminating ISIS right now. We have to make sure that our military, which is extremely talented and maintains very good leadership, is not put into a compromised position where we are trying to micromanage things. Otherwise, we will be exposing many people to a state of grave danger. Across the globe, citizens are dealing with an evil in today’s society that is threatening Christians, Jews, and anyone who does not believe as ISIS does. If we allow it to keep growing, it will become a big tree with lots of branches and roots, rather than the bush it is now. The lack of an adequate response to both ISIS and Iran will endanger not only us in the long run, but the entire world.” (National Review, March 11, 2015)
“I think part of the problem throughout the world right now is that our allies cannot be 100 percent certain that we’re behind them. We need to convince them to get involved in NATO and strengthen NATO.” (Interview with Hugh Hewitt, March 18, 2015)
“No one is ever better off with dictators but there comes a time you know, when you’re on an airplane, they always say, ‘in case of an emergency oxygen masks will drop down. Put yours on first and then administer help to your neighbor’ We need oxygen right now.
And we need to start thinking about the needs of the American people before we go and solve everybody else’s problems. The fact of the matter is, is that the Middle East has been in turmoil for thousands of years. For us to think that we’re going to in there and fix that with a couple of little bombs and a few little decorations is relatively foolish.” CNN Republican Debate, December 15, 2015
“In the Middle East, the United States must return to a position of global leadership — mere engagement is not enough. And while multilateral diplomacy is important, it, too, is insufficient. The next American president must demonstrate principled leadership that truly reflects our values and protects our interests by demonstrating the strength and resolve necessary to ensure our security.”
“We should not shy away from the responsibility that comes with being the world’s lone superpower, nor should we subvert our own unique standing by stooping to embrace regimes opposed to our values that routinely express their hatred for us and sponsor terrorist attacks against our citizens. We must reverse the current course of our nation’s policy in the Middle East by clearly demonstrating that we know where America stands and are unafraid to do what is required to protect our interests, our allies, and ourselves.”
“We cannot allow Iran to achieve nuclear-weapons capability. We must ensure that Israel continues to exist as a safe, secure democracy. And we must prevent radical Islam, which celebrates death and seeks to destroy modern society, from achieving a lasting foothold in the region.”
“Though we should always exhaust diplomatic options first, we must also be unafraid to confront aggression in kind and never feel forced to apologize for doing what we must to defend our nation and the security of our citizens.”
“We must reignite American leadership to stabilize the Middle East, protect our allies, and defend our nation, our allies, and our interests. The United States must return a sense of moral clarity and conviction of purpose to our Middle East policy, and we must be willing to lead in a manner that reflects our values.” (National Review, April 22, 2015)
“And so if we announce we’re going to have a no-fly zone, and others have said this. Hillary Clinton is also for it. It is a recipe for disaster. It’s a recipe for World War III. We need to confront Russia from a position of strength, but we don’t need to confront Russia from a point of recklessness that would lead to war.
This is something — this type of judgment, you know, it’s having that kind of judgment; who you would appoint and how you’re going to conduct affairs, that is incredibly important.” CNN Republican Debate, December 15, 2015
“History and our past relations with Netanyahu indicate that the prime minister has earned some trust, and no matter what side of the aisle we stand on, we must stand with Israel.” (National Review, March 11, 2015)
Iran Nuclear Deal
“Iran’s regime, and its quest for nuclear weapons, is not merely a Jewish problem, but rather one that poses a substantial and realistic threat to world peace. As Netanyahu said, things undoubtedly will become worse if there is a deal that gives the Iranians protection and enables them to continue flagrantly operating secret nuclear facilities (as they had been doing in Natanz and Qom) while ostensibly invested in a diplomatic process with the United States. We must not allow them to continue to enrich uranium and maintain their enormous nuclear infrastructure.” (National Review, March 11, 2015)
“Congress must use its lawmaking powers to repair a system that is so broken that only a legislative solution can fix it.”
“Any discussion of immigration reform should include bipartisan solutions that both address the undocumented population here today and discourage illegal immigration going forward.”
“A national guest-worker program makes sense and seems to work well in Canada. Non-citizens would have to apply for a guest-worker permit and have a guaranteed job awaiting them. Taxes would be paid at a rate commensurate with other U.S. workers, and special visas would allow for easy entry and egress across borders. Guest-worker status would be granted to individuals and not to groups. People already here illegally could apply for guest-worker status from outside of the country. This means they would have to leave first.”
“Employers who break the rules should receive swift, severe, and consistent punishment that constitutes a real deterrent and not a mere inconvenience. A second infraction should be a criminal offense and treated as such.”
“We do need a continual flow of immigrants, but choosers need not be beggars. We make decisions based on our needs. People who refuse to comply with the rules must forfeit chances of legalization in the future.”
“The point is this: We must create a system that disincentivizes illegal immigration and upholds the rule of law while providing us with a steady stream of immigrants from other nations who will strengthen our society.” (National Review, November 12, 2014)
Jeb Bush (Former Governor of Florida)
DOB 2/11/1953 in Midland, Texas; University of Texas, B.A., 1973; Florida’s Secretary of Commerce 1986; Became Governor of Florida in 1998 and ended term in 2007; Supported an unsuccessful bill to allow illegal immigrants to be issued drivers license by the state (FL) (2004); Married, Columba Bush, 3 ch.
Policy based on Foreign Policy and National Security topics:
Fight against ISIS/Terrorism
“Well, first of all, we need to destroy ISIS in the caliphate. That’s — that should be our objective. The refugee issue will be solved if we destroy ISIS there, which means we need to have a no-fly zone, safe zones there for refugees and to build a military force.
We need to embed our forces — our troops inside the Iraqi military. We need to arm directly the Kurds. And all of that has to be done in concert with the Arab nations. And if we’re going to ban all Muslims, how are we going to get them to be part of a coalition to destroy ISIS?
The Kurds are the greatest fighting force and our strongest allies. They’re Muslim. Look, this is not a serious proposal. In fact, it will push the Muslim world, the Arab world away from us at a time when we need to reengage with them to be able to create a strategy to destroy ISIS.” CNN Republican Debate, December 2015
“Banning all Muslims will make it harder for us to do exactly what we need to do, which is to destroy ISIS. We need a strategy. We need to get the lawyers off the back of the warfighters. Right now under President Obama, we’ve created this — this standard that is so high that it’s impossible to be successful in fighting ISIS.
We need to engage with the Arab world to make this happen. It is not a serious proposal to say that — to the people that you’re asking for their support that they can’t even come to the country to even engage in a dialogue with us. That’s not a serious proposal. We need a serious leader to deal with this. And I believe I’m that guy.”CNN Republican Debate, December 2015
“ If we want to destroy radical Islamic terrors, we can’t disassociate ourselves from peace loving Muslims. If we expect to do this on our own, we will fail but if we do it in unison with people who are also are at risk and threatened by Islamic Radical terrorism, we’ll be far more successful.
Look, the FBI has the tools necessary un-American activities in our country. It goes on, we shouldn’t even be talking about it, to be honest with you out in the public. Of course they have those capabilities and we should make sure that we give the FBI, the NSA, our intelligence communities, all the resources they need to keep us safe.
But the main thing we should be focused on is the strategy to destroy ISIS. And I laid out a plan that the Reagan Library before the tragedy of Paris, and before San Bernardino to do just that. It requires leadership, it’s not filing an amendment and call it a success.
It is developing a strategy, leading the world, funding it to make sure that we have a military that’s second to none, and doing the job and making sure that we destroy ISIS there. That’s how you keep America safe.” CNN Republican Debate, December 2015
“And I laid out that strategy before the attacks in Paris and before the attacks in San Bernardino. And it is the way forward. We need to increase our military spending. We need to deal with a no- fly zone in Syria, a safe zone. We need to focus on building a military that is second-to-none.” CNN Republican Debate, December 2015
“It [biggest threat facing America today] is — I’d say it is Islamic terrorism, and, back to the question of what we are dealing with in Iraq, when we pull back voids are filled. That’s the lesson of history, and, sadly, this president does not believe in American leadership. He does not believe it, and the net result is that we have a caliphate the size of Indiana that gains energy each and everyday to recruit Americans in our own country, and the threat to the homeland relates to the fact that we have not dealt with this threat of terror in the Middle East.
We should have a no fly zone in Syria. We should have a support for the remnants of the Syrian Free Army, and create safe zones. If you want to deal with the four million refugees that are leaving Syria because of the devastation there, then we ‘ought to create safe zones for them to stay in the region rather than go to Europe. And, that requires American leadership.
Without American leadership every other country in the neighborhood beings to change their priorities. It is tragic that you see Iraq, and other countries now talking to Russia. It wasn’t that long ago that Russia had no influence in the region at all. And, so, the United States needs to lead across the board.
This president, and Hillary Clinton both do not believe the United States has a leadership role to play, and we’re now paying a price, and it will have a huge impact on the economy of this country if we don’t deal with this.” (Fox Business Network, November 10, 2015)
“We’re not going to be the world’s policeman, but we sure as heck better be the world’s leader. That’s — there’s a huge difference where, without us leading voids are filled, and the idea that it’s a good idea for Putin to be in Syria, let ISIS take out Assad, and then Putin will take out ISIS? I mean, that’s like a board game, that’s like playing Monopoly or something. That’s not how the real world works.
We have to lead, we have to be involved. We should have a no fly zone in Syria. There are — they are barrel bombing the innocents in that country. If you’re a Christian, increasingly in Lebanon, or Iraq, or Syria, you’re going to be beheaded. And, if you’re a moderate Islamist, you’re not going to be able to survive either.
We have to play a role in this be able to bring the rest of the world to this issue before it’s too late.” (Fox Business Network, November 10, 2015)
“When we pull back, voids are created. We left Iraq…we politically and militarily pulled back, and now we have the creation of ISIS.” (CNN, 2016 Presidential Debate, September 16, 2015)
“We must be prepared for a long-term commitment to fight this battle. These attacks require response on many levels, but most of all we should focus on preventing them. That requires responsible intelligence gathering and analysis, including the NSA metadata program, which contributes to awareness of potential terror cells and interdiction efforts on a global scale.” (Speech at Chicago Council on Global Affairs on Feb. 18, 2015)
“When we left Iraq, security had been arranged, Al Qaeda had been taken out. There was a fragile system that could have been brought up to eliminate the sectarian violence.” (In response to questions regarding ISIS and the U.S presence in the Middle East, “Your Brother Created ISIS,” New York Times, May 13, 2015.)
“This is absurd – if this is a serious effort and then you to treat it seriously and so engaging in the world, creating alliances with our traditional Arab nations that see this threat directly. Supporting it with airpower and military power and creating a strategy and sticking with it.” (Voters First Forum, August 3, 2015)
“Barack Obama became president, and he abandoned Iraq. He left, and when he left Al Qaida was done for. ISIS was created because of the void that we left, and that void now exists as a caliphate the size of Indiana.
To honor the people that died, we need to — we need to — stop the — Iran agreement, for sure, because the Iranian mullahs have their blood on their hands, and we need to take out ISIS with every tool at our disposal.” (Fox News Debate, August 4, 2015)
“What we are facing in ISIS and its ideology is, to borrow a phrase, the focus of evil in the modern world and civilized nations everywhere, especially those with power, have a duty to oppose and defeat this enemy.”
“That premature withdrawal was the fatal error, creating the void that ISIS moved in to fill — and that Iran has exploited to the full as well.”
“ISIS grew while the United States disengaged from the Middle East and ignored the threat.” (Washington Post, August 11, 2015)
“What we are facing in ISIS and its ideology is, to borrow a phrase, the focus of evil in the modern world and civilized nations everywhere, especially those with power, have a duty to oppose and defeat this enemy.”
“We do not need, and our friends do not ask for, a major commitment of American combat forces, but we do need to convey that we are serious, that we are determined to help local forces take back their country.”
“So why was the success of the surge followed by a withdrawal from Iraq, leaving not even the residual force that commanders and the Joint Chiefs knew was necessary?” That premature withdrawal was the fatal error, creating the void that ISIS moved in to fill — and that Iran has exploited to the full as well.” (Washington Post, August 12, 2015)
“The Islamic State and its followers are an asymmetric threat –needing just one big strike to inflict devastation. What we are facing in ISIS and its ideology is, to borrow a phrase, the focus of evil in the modern world. And civilized nations everywhere, especially those with power, have a duty to oppose and defeat this enemy.
The threat of global jihad, and of the Islamic State in particular, requires all the strength, unity, and confidence that only American leadership can provide. Radical Islam is a threat we are entirely capable of overcoming, and I will be unyielding in that cause should I be elected President of the United States. We should pursue the clear and unequivocal objective of throwing back the barbarians of ISIS, and helping the millions in the region who want to live in peace. Instead of simply reacting to each new move the terrorists choose to make, we will use every advantage we have to take the offensive, to keep it, and to prevail.
In all of this, the United States must engage with friends and allies, and lead again in that vital region. Egypt and Saudi Arabia, the most populous Arab country and the wealthiest, are important partners of the United States. Those relationships have been badly mishandled by this administration. Both countries are key to a better-coordinated regional effort against terrorism. We need to restore trust, and work more closely with them against common threats. We have very capable partners, likewise, in the United Arab Emirates, who are willing and able to take the fight to the extremists. We have a moderate and quite formidable leader in King Abdullah of Jordan. We have an ally in the new democratic government in Tunisia, and a fragile democracy in Lebanon – nations that are both under assault by radicals and terrorists. Across the region, responsible governments need no persuading of what the moment requires.
It requires action, coordination, and American leadership to bring it all together. My strategy meets the unique circumstances in each of the two countries, Iraq and Syria, in which ISIS now has territory. And let’s start with Iraq, and the five broad actions I would take as president to help remove the threat from that country.
First, we must support the Iraqi forces, which right now have the will to win, but not the means. As matters stand, the United States has been helping to reconstitute Iraqi security services and to aid the Kurdish peshmerga. We need to broaden and expedite our efforts to help ensure Iraqis rebuild their security sector – not only to win against ISIS, but to break free of Iranian influence. And that effort should also involve even greater engagement with the Sunni tribes, whose fighting units served side-by-side with Americans to defeat al-Qaeda-in-Iraq and were then disbanded by the Maliki government.
Second, we must give these forces the consistent advantage of American air power, to cover their operations and to strike with fierce precision. The strategy has to include forward air controllers, whose skill and accuracy would severely hinder the enemy’s freedom of movement. This would greatly improve the ability of fighter aircraft and Apache attack helicopters to provide necessary close air support to local ground forces. ISIS fighters try blending into the civilian landscape. Our spotters on the ground will enable us to hit them hard,
and rarely miss.
Third, we must make better use of the limited forces we have by giving them a greater range of action. Right now, we have around 3,500 soldiers and marines in Iraq, and more may well be needed. We do not need, and our friends do not ask for, a major commitment of American combat forces. But we do need to convey that we are serious, that we are determined to help local forces take back their country. Our unrivaled warfighters know that it is simply not enough to dispense advice and training to local forces, then send them on their way and hope for the best. Canadian troops are already embedded in Iraqi units to very good effect. Our soldiers and marines need the go-ahead to do that as well, to help our partners outthink and outmaneuver the enemy.
Fourth, we should provide more support to the Kurds, giving them decisive military power against ISIS. In Iraq’s Kurdish region, we have loyal friends and brave and skilled fighters. If I am commander in chief, the United States will make certain that the Kurds have everything they need to win.
And finally, our strategy in Iraq has to restart the serious diplomatic efforts that can help that country move in the right direction. Only Iraq’s Shiites, Sunnis, and Kurds can decide if they will live together and share power and resources in a way that will serve their interests, assuring the survival of their country. But these partners have to know that while the United States is there in measure, we are also there in earnest and for the long haul. They will come through for their country, but they’ve got to be certain that we have their back.
Our ultimate goal in Syria is to defeat ISIS and to achieve long-term political stability in that country. Defeating ISIS requires defeating Assad, but we have to make sure that his regime is not replaced by something as bad or worse. The last thing we need in Syria is a repeat of Libya, with its plan-less aftermath, where the end of a dictatorship was only the beginning of more terrorist violence, including the death of 4 Americans in Benghazi. Syria will need a stable government, and a transition free of more sectarian blood-letting will depend on the credible moderate forces we help unite and build up today. To that end, my strategy would bring American influence to bear in four all-important areas of action.
First, a coordinated, international effort is essential to give Syria’s moderate forces the upper hand. As it is, the Qataris, the Turks, the Saudis, and others have been supporting fighting groups in Syria. But these groups are not always working to common purpose. And if there’s anything that moderate forces in Syria cannot afford right now, it’s confusion and disunity.
Under my strategy, the aim would be to draw the moderates together and back them up, as one force. And we should back that force up all the way through – not just in taking the fight to the enemy, but in helping them to form a stable, moderate government once ISIS is defeated and Assad is gone. It’s a tough, complicated diplomatic and military proposition, even more so than the current situation in Iraq. But it can be done. We saw in the Iraq surge how Islamic moderates can be pulled away from extremist forces. And the strategic elements in both cases are the same – we have to support local forces, and we must stay true to our word.
Second, we have to expand and vastly improve the recruitment and training of Syrian forces fighting ISIS. At the moment, too many in Syria doubt that they can count on us, which explains why our recruiting and training have basically come to nothing. When a five hundred million dollar program gets you 54 recruits, you know the plan’s not working out. The reality is, our recruitment efforts have been failing in Syria because we are not respected anymore as a reliable actor in the region. And we have to change that impression with the kind of clear, consistent, and credible action that every nation should expect from the United States of America.
Third, we must over time establish multiple safe zones in Syria. It’s a measure of progress that we have joined with the Turks to create a small, “ISIS-free zone” in the northern part of the country. But we need to go beyond well this, by establishing safe zones to protect Syrians not only from ISIS, but also from Assad.
Fourth, we and our partners should declare a no-fly zone in Syria, and then work to expand that zone to prevent more crimes by the regime. Enforce that no-fly zone, and we’ll stop the regime’s bombing raids that kill helpless civilians. It could also keep Iranian flights from resupplying the regime, Hizballah, and other bad actors. A no-fly zone is a critical strategic step to cut off Assad, counter Iranian influence, keep the pressure on for a settlement, and prevent more needless death in a country that has seen so much of it.
When we talk about no-fly zones in Syria, precision airstrikes in Iraq, or any projection of military power to meet or deter threats, all of this assumes that such power is there when we need it. Yet here as well, the shortsightedness of the present administration will leave a cost. We are in the seventh year of a significant dismantling of our own military, in almost inverse proportion to the threats that are multiplying. And I assure you: the day that I become president will be the day that we turn this around and begin rebuilding the armed forces of the United States of America.
A winning strategy against the Islamic State, or against any threat to ourselves and our friends, depends ultimately on the military strength that underwrites American influence. Let that slip away, and what would America be in world affairs, except one more well-intentioned voice at the United Nations? In any effort of ours to overcome violence and secure peace, a winning strategy depends on maintaining unequaled strength, and we can never take it for granted.
I might add that this includes strength among our intelligence services, military and civilian. No men and women receive so little credit for doing so much to track dangers and keep us safe. These skilled and brave Americans can be sure of this: If I become commander in chief, they will receive the tools they need and the gratitude, respect, and support they deserve.” (Tampa Bay Times, August 11, 2015)
Post Iran Nuclear Deal Agreement
“As it relates to Iran, it’s not a strategy to tear up an agreement. A strategy would be how do we confront Iran? And, the first thing that we need to do is to establish our commitment to Israel which has been altered by this administration. And, make sure that they have the most sophisticated weapons to send a signal to Iran that we have Israel’s back.
If we do that, it’s going to create a healthier deterrent effect than anything else I can think of.” (CNN, 2016 Presidential Debate, September 16, 2015)
Nuclear Proliferation: Potential Iran Nuclear Deal
“I think that they signed it out of frustration that there has been no dialogue, no conversation. There’s been a stifling of debate about the properness of this negotiation. Ultimately the best way that the Senate can express its will is through Sen. Corker’s bill, and that is what I hope will happen as soon as possible.” (In response to whether he would have signed the GOP letter to Iran)
“I am not in a position to sign it because I am not a senator.” (In response to questions from the media after visiting Integra Biosciences during a campaign stop in Hudson, New Hampshire March 13, 2015.)
“The reason why this is a bad deal is, Iran hasn’t recognized Israel and its right to be a Jewish state. Iran has destabilized the region that we’re now engaged in. The net result of this is we’re likely to have proliferation in the region, you’re likely to have an emboldened Iran, not a humble Iran, and you’re likely to have our strongest ally in the region be threatened. So I think this is a horrific deal.” (Washington Examiner, April 30, 2015)
Reaction to Iran Nuclear Negotiations and Current Agreement
“[The deal] will only legitimize those activities.”
“Nothing in the deal described by the administration this afternoon would justify lifting U.S. and international sanctions, which were the product of many years of bipartisan effort. I cannot stand behind such a flawed agreement.” (Iran deal: 2016 GOPers and Hillary Clinton react by: Terence Burlij, CNN, April 2, 2015)
“It just looks to me like this is going to be a bad deal, and it legitimizes a regime that wants a nuclear weapon.” (New York Times, March 14, 2015)
“The reported details of the Iran deal include significant concessions to a nation whose leaders call for death to America and the destruction of Israel. Iran remains a major destabilizing force in the region, working against American interests. Today, the Obama administration has agreed to remove U.S. and international sanctions, while permitting Iran to enrich uranium using most of the centrifuges in use today, conduct research into faster, next generation centrifuges, maintain an underground, hardened facility at Fordow, and expand its ballistic missile capabilities. It fails to obtain a guarantee of sufficient inspections. Iran isn’t required to disclose its past weaponization activities and many of the deal’s provisions will expire in the near future. These negotiations began, by President Obama’s own admission, as an effort to deny Iran nuclear capabilities, but instead will only legitimize those activities. Nothing in the deal described by the administration this afternoon would justify lifting US and international sanctions, which were the product of many years of bipartisan effort. I cannot stand behind such a flawed agreement.” (Right to Rise PAC, April 2, 2015)
“One thing that I won’t do is just say, as a candidate, ‘I’m going to tear up the agreement on the first day. That’s great, that sounds great but maybe you ought to check in with your allies first, maybe you ought to appoint a secretary of state, maybe secretary of defense, you might want to have your team in place, before you take an act like that.”(The Huffington Post, July 20, 2015)
“If the Congress does not reject this deal, then the damage must be undone by the next president – and it will be my intention to begin that process immediately. Knowing what has gone wrong, however, is not the same as knowing how to set it right.” (Tampa Bay Times, August 11, 2015)
“Our military is not a discretionary expense. It is an essential asset to keep the homeland safe and for the world to be a more secure place. After all the use of military power is one of the most serious decision as president has to make. Having a military that is equal to any threat is not only essential for the commander in chief, it’s also make it less likely that we’ll need to put our men and women in uniform in harm’s way.” (Speech at Chicago Council on Global Affairs on Feb. 18, 2015)
“Our military is not a discretionary expense.” (MSNBC, February 19, 2015)
“Twelve million illegal immigrants, to send them back, 500,000 a month, is just not — not possible. And it’s not embracing American values. And it would tear communities apart. And it would send a signal that we’re not the kind of country that I know America is.
And even having this conversation sends a powerful signal — they’re doing high-fives in the Clinton campaign right now when they hear this. That’s the problem with this. We have to win the presidency. And the way you win the presidency is to have practical plans. Lay them out there. What we need to do is allow people to earn legal status where they pay a fine, where they work, where they don’t commit crimes, where they learn English, and over an extended period of time, they earn legal status. That’s the path — a proper path.” (Fox Business Network, 2016 Presidential Debate, November 10, 2015)
“A great country needs to enforce the borders for national security purposes, for public health purposes and the rule of law. First and foremost, we need to do that.” (CPAC, February 28, 2015)
“You have to deal with this issue. You can’t ignore it, and so either a path to citizenship, which I would support—and that does put me probably out of the mainstream of most conservatives—or … a path … to residency of some kind.” (Interview with Charlie Rose in 2012)
“Yes, they broke the law, but it’s not a felony. It’s an act of love.” (Bush Presidential Library event, April 2014)
“The next president of the United States will pass meaningful immigration reform. So that will be solved, not by executive order.” (Speech announcing candidacy fore President in 2016, June 15, 2015)
“I believe that the great majority of people coming here illegally have no other option. They want to provide for their family.
But we need to control our border. It’s not — it’s our responsibility to pick and choose who comes in. So I — I’ve written a book about this and yet this week, I did come up with a comprehensive strategy that — that really mirrored what we said in the book, which is that we need to deal with E-Verify, we need to deal with people that come with a legal visa and overstay.
We need to be much more strategic on how we deal with border enforcement, border security. We need to eliminate the sanctuary cities in this country. It is ridiculous and tragic that people are dying because of the fact that — that local governments are not following the federal law. There’s much to do. And I think rather than talking about this as a wedge issue, which Barack Obama has done now for six long years, the next president — and I hope to be that president — will fix this once and for all so that we can turn this into a driver for high sustained economic growth.
And there should be a path to earned legal status for those that are here. Not — not amnesty, earned legal status, which means you pay a fine and do many things over an extended period of time.” (Fox News Debate, August 6, 2015)
“A protected zone in northeast Syria where you could allow for an army to be built, both a Syrian free army and international soldiers with air power from the United States.” (Endorsement for action in Syria, New York Times, March 14, 2015)
“Israel’s elections should be something to celebrate. If only the rest of the region were able to hold peaceful and vibrant multi-party elections . . . “
“Israel and America must work together to build a more prosperous and hopeful future for the region. A state for the Palestinian people, side by side with Israel, will be possible only if the Palestinian people are represented by leaders committed to delivering on the promises made at the negotiating table.” (Op-Ed in National Review, March 25, 2015)
“As we pulled back from Iraq, the vacuum was filled. As we pulled back, or gave the perception at least, because I don’t think we’ve pulled back significantly in Asia … voids are filled … but the United States cannot pull back. It has to lead.” (The Guardian, June 10, 2015)
“I will rebuild our vital friendships. That starts by standing with the brave, democratic State of Israel.” (Campaign announcement speech, June 15, 2015)
Relations with Other Countries
“No, I don’t think so, but we need to be strong against China. We should use offensive tactics as it relates to cyber security, send a deterrent signal to China. There should be super sanctions in what President Obama has proposed. There’s many other tools that we have without canceling a dinner. That’s not going to change anything, but we can be much stronger as it relates to that.” (CNN, 2016 Presidential Debate, September 16, 2015)
“Our largest trading partner, our strongest ally, the country that we can count on to be our partner in establishing a safer world, we need to establish stronger relations, not just with Canada, but with Mexico as well. Our neighborhood should come first.” (Washington Post, May 20, 2015)
“America does not have the luxury of withdrawing from the world. Our security, and our prosperity, and our values demand that we remain engaged and involved in often distant places.” (National Review article, April 8, 2015)
Climate Change/ Environment/Law of the Sea
“I don’t think the science is clear of what percentage is man-made and what percentage is natural. I just don’t — it’s convoluted. And for the people to say the science is decided on this is just really arrogant, to be honest with you.” (Response to a question on whether climate change exists and what is the cause, Huffington Post, May 20, 2015)
“The climate is changing, and I’m concerned about that. We need to work with the rest of the world to negotiate a way to reduce carbon emissions.” (New York Times, June 15, 2015)
“I think we should phase out, through tax reform, the tax credits for wind, for solar, for the oil and gas sector, for all that stuff.”
“I don’t think we should pick winners and losers,” Bush added, saying: “I think tax reform ought to be to lower the rate as far as you can and eliminate as many of these subsidies, all of the things that impede the ability for a dynamic way to get to where we need to get, which is low-cost energy that is respectful of the environment.” (National Journal, July 23, 2015)
“ruthless pragmatist who will push until pushed back.”
“Reacting in a tepid fashion only enables the bad behavior from Putin. We’re beginning to realize the ‘reset button’ didn’t turn out so hot.”
“I don’t think we should be reacting to bad behavior. We need to be clear in advance that there will be consequences to bad behavior to deter that kind of aggression.” (In reference to Putin, The Hill, June 10. 2015)
“Ukraine, a sovereign European nation, must be permitted to choose its own path. Russia must respect the sovereignty of all of its neighbors. And who can doubt that Russia will do what it pleases if aggression goes unanswered?” (MSNBC, June 10, 2015)
“As we grow our presence by growing our ability to produce oil and gas, we also make it possible to lessen the dependency that Russia now has on top of Europe.” (MSNBC, June 10, 2015)
“The Snowden revelations created real problems between Germany and the United States, that I think over time needs to be fixed. Because this relationship trumps everything else … But to say that we’re acting on industrial espionage, I just don’t believe to be the case.” (The Guardian, June 10, 2015)
“We need an American president to go to Havana in solidarity with a free Cuban people, and I am ready to be that president.” (Speech announcing his candidacy for President in 2016, June 15, 2015)
Carly Fiorina (Businesswoman)
DOB: 9/6/1954 in Austin, Texas; Stanford University, B.A., 1976; University of Maryland, College Park,M.B.A., 1980; Massachusetts Institute of Technology Sloan School of Management, M.S., 1989; former president of Lucent’s Global Service Provider Business; former CEO of Hewlett-Packard Corporation; 2010 Republican nominee for U.S Senate.
Policy based on Foreign Policy and National Security topics:
“You know, listening to this conversation, let me just say, we have a lot of argument about laws but none of it solves the problem. Let’s examine what happened, why did we miss the Tsarnaev brothers, why did we miss the San Bernardino couple? It wasn’t because we had stopped collected metadata it was because, I think, as someone who comes from the technology world, we were using the wrong algorithms.
This is a place where the private sector could be helpful because the government is woefully behind the technology curve. But secondly, the bureaucratic processes that have been in place since 9/11 are woefully inadequate as well. What do we now know? That DHS vets people by going into databases of known or suspected terrorists.
And yet, we also know that ISIS is recruiting who are not in those databases. So of course, we’re going to miss them. And then we now learn that DHS says, “No, we can’t check their social media.”
For heaven’s sakes, every parent in America is checking social media and every employer is as well, but our government can’t do it. The bureaucratic procedures are so far behind. Our government has become incompetent, unresponsive, corrupt. And that incompetence, ineptitude, lack of accountability is now dangerous.
It is why we need a different kind of leadership in the White House that understands how to get bureaucracies competent again.” CNN Republican Debate, December 15, 2015
Iran Nuclear Deal
“Let’s not confuse ourselves, China and Russia are not sitting on our side of the negotiating table with Iran.” (Iowa GOP Lincoln Dinner, May 16, 2015)
“The Iranian government has repeatedly, flagrantly violated sanctions put in place by the United Nations. We know that they have flat-out lied about every nuclear facility they have built over the last three decades. This is not the behavior of a potential ally or of a partner. These are the actions of a country trying to bluff its way into persuading the United Nations, the United States, and its allies to allow it the freedom to develop a nuclear weapon for military purposes.” (Washington Post article, April 3, 2015)
Iran’s behavior is not one of a potential ally or partner. We cannot trust anything they sign.” (Twitter, April 2, 2015)
“I’ve never negotiated a nuclear deal, but I’ve negotiated plenty of deals, big deals, and when you want a good deal you have to be willing to walk away from the table.” (MSNBC, April 6, 2015)
“Until Iran is prepared to (and opens its nuclear facilities to) full and unfettered UN-sanctioned inspections and demonstrates that they are willing to halt uranium enrichment, we cannot place any trust in any deal that is made.”
“This is not an agreement which will make Americans proud. It is not a deal that demonstrates our strength and resolve at home and abroad. Our allies will not point to this as a signal of our continued support.”
“This type of foreign policy cannot continue. We must stand up for our allies and for our American interests. We must re-assert American leadership and strength abroad. The world is a more dangerous and tragic place when America is not leading. For these reasons, we cannot and must not accept this deal with Iran.” (Fox News, April 2, 2015)
“I know Vladimir Putin. He respects strength. He lied to our president’s face; didn’t both to tell him about warplanes and troops going into Syria. We need to speak to him from a position of strength. So as commander in chief, I will not speak to him until we’ve set up that no-fly zone; until we’ve gathered our Sunni-Arab allies and begun to deny ISIS territory; until I’ve called the supreme leader of Iran and told him new deal — new deal. We the United States of America are going to cut off the money flow, which we can do; which we don’t need anyone’s permission or collaboration to do.
And I will not speak to him personally until we’ve rebuilt the 6th Fleet a little bit right under his nose; rebuilt the missile defense program in Poland right under his nose; and conducted a few military exercises in the Baltic states.” CNN Republican Debate, December 15, 2015
“One of the reasons I’ve said I wouldn’t be talking to Vladimir Putin right now is because we are speaking to him from a position of weakness brought on by this administration, so, I wouldn’t talk to him for awhile, but, I would do this. I would start rebuilding the Sixth Fleet right under his nose, rebuilding the military — the missile defense program in Poland right under his nose. I would conduct very aggressive military exercises in the Baltic States so that he understood we would protect our NATO allies and I might also put in a few more thousand troops into Germany, not to start a war, but to make sure that Putin understand that the United States of America will stand with our allies. That is why Governor Bush is correct. We must have a no fly zone in Syria because Russia cannot tell the United States of America where and when to fly our planes. We also have a set of allies.” (Fox Business Network, 2016 Presidential Debate, November 10, 2015)
“Having met Vladimir Putin, I wouldn’t talk to him at all. We’ve talked way too much to him.
What I would do, immediately, is begin rebuilding the Sixth Fleet, I would begin rebuilding the missile defense program in Poland, I would conduct regular, aggressive military exercises in the Baltic states. I’d probably send a few thousand more troops into Germany. Vladimir Putin would get the message. By the way, the reason it is so critically important that every one of us know General Suleimani’s name is because Russia is in Syria right now, because the head of the Quds force traveled to Russia and talked Vladimir Putin into aligning themselves with Iran and Syria to prop up Bashar al- Assad.
Russia is a bad actor, but Vladimir Putin is someone we should not talk to, because the only way he will stop is to sense strength and resolve on the other side, and we have all of that within our control.
We could rebuild the Sixth Fleet. I will. We haven’t. We could rebuild the missile defense program. We haven’t. I will. We could also, to Senator Rubio’s point, give the Egyptians what they’ve asked for, which is intelligence.” (CNN, 2016 Presidential Debate, September 16, 2015)
“The Ukrainians have asked for us to arm them. The Baltic States have asked us to defend them. Our own military people have said we need to reinforce the Sixth Fleet. We ought to rebuild our European missile defenses in Poland.” (Town Hall, April 9, 2015)
“Our allies have asked us to do very specific things that are wise… King Abdullah (of Jordan), who I have also known for a very long time, has asked us for … bombs and material for support. We haven’t given it to him. The Kurds have asked us to arm them. We haven’t done it. The Egyptians have asked us to share intelligence. We haven’t … There are a whole set of things we could be doing that would send a clear signal we stand with our allies and that we’re going to oppose our adversaries. And we’re sending the opposite signals.” (Council on Foreign Relations, May 4, 2015)
“Let’s say global warming or climate change has played a role in [the drought]. What all the scientists also tell us is that a single state, or single nation acting alone can make no difference acting alone. If we want to accept the science, we have to read the fine print. California can be the most onerous regulatory regime in the world, which they are, and it won’t make a bit of difference in climate change.”
“Do we really think the Chinese are going to follow our lead on this? No, because they’re focused on their own economic self interest.” (MSNBC, April 6, 2015)
“Climate change is a big issue; informed discussion is desperately needed and solutions are not immediately obvious. It is counterproductive and dishonest to assign people and companies to one of only two possible camps when complicated policy and economic issues need to be addressed. Decisions on climate revolve around energy production and consumption, which in turn have implications in such vital areas as job growth, innovation, global air quality, grid maintenance and power generation.”
“When discussing climate, scientists may agree that some policy change is warranted, but they also agree that action by a single state or nation will make little difference. China and India are the biggest and third-biggest producers, respectively, of carbon dioxide emissions, and their leaders were absent from the recent U.N. Climate Summit. At a time when American families are still recovering from joblessness and the recession, should the United States commit to an energy policy that puts U.S. jobs, and the economy, at risk?”
“We need more business leaders who are willing to stand up and contribute to our public discourse. Reasonable people can disagree on the substance of policy while they engage in civil discourse, and business leaders should not let the urgency of a manufactured crisis direct their policy priorities. Our democracy has never — and should never — demand consensus, but a forced consensus will surely be on our horizon if companies keep bowing to activist pressure.” (Washington Post, October 24, 2014)
Fight against ISIS/Terrorism
“To solve the problem, we need to do something here at home and something over there in their caliphate. We need to deny them territory.
But here at home, we need to do two fundamental things. Number one, we need to recognize that technology has moved on. The Patriot Act was signed in 2001, roughly. The iPhone was invented in 2007. The iPad was invented in 2011. Snapchat and Twitter, all the rest of it, have been around just for several years. Technology has moved on, and the terrorists have moved on with it.
Let me tell you a story. Soon after 9/11, I got a phone call from the NSA. They needed help. I gave them help. I stopped a truckload of equipment. I had it turned around. It was escorted by the NSA into headquarters. We need the private sector’s help, because government is not innovating. Technology is running ahead by leaps and bound. The private sector will help, just as I helped after 9/11. But they must be engaged, and they must be asked. I will ask them. I know them.” CNN Republican Debate, December 15, 2015
“Let me say first that it is disturbing that every time one of these home-grown terrorist attacks occurs, and, as your question points out, they are occurring with far too great frequency, it turns out we had warning signals.
It turns out we knew something was wrong. It turns out some dot wasn’t connected, and so the first thing we have to do is make sure that everyone and every responsible agency is attuned to all of these possibilities and symptoms.
We even had warnings about the Boston Marathon bombers, and yet the dots weren’t connected. So we need to get on a different mindset.
Secondly, I certainly support that we need to tear down cyber walls, not on a mass basis, but on a targeted basis. But let me just say that we also need down — to tear down the cyber walls that China is erecting, that Russia is erecting.
We need to be very well aware of the fact that China and Russia are using technology to attack us, just as ISIS is using technology to recruit those who would murder American citizens. I do not believe that we need to wholesale destroy every American citizen’s privacy in order to go after those that we know are suspect or are — are already a problem. But yes, there is more collaboration required between private sector companies and the public sector. And specifically, we know that we could have detected and repelled some of these cyber attacks if that collaboration had been permitted. A law has been sitting — languishing, sadly, on Capitol Hill and has not yet been passed, and it would help.” (Fox News Debate, August 6, 2015)
Iran Nuclear Deal
“On day one in the Oval Office, I would make two phone calls. The first one would be to my good friend, Bibi Netanyahu, to reassure him we will stand with the State of Israel.
The second will be to the supreme leader of Iran. He might not take my phone call, but he would get the message, and the message is this: Until you open every nuclear and every military facility to full, open, anytime/anywhere, for real, inspections, we are going to make it as difficult as possible for you to move money around the global financial system.
I hope Congress says no to this deal. But realistically, even if they do, the money is flowing.
China and Russia have never been on our side of the table. The Europeans have moved on. We have to stop the money flow. And by the way, as important as those two phone calls are, they are also very important because they say this. America is back in the leadership business. And when America does not lead, the world is a dangerous and a tragic place.
This is a bad deal. Obama broke every rule of negotiation. Yes, our allies are not perfect. But Iran is at the heart of most of the evil that is going on in the Middle East through their proxies.
Let me tell you what I would do immediately, day two in the Oval Office. I would hold a Camp David summit with our Arab allies, not to talk them into this lousy deal with Iran, but to say to them, “what is it that you need to defeat ISIL?”
You know, Obama has presented the American people with a false choice every time. It’s what I’ve done or not done, or it’s war. It is a false choice.
King Abdullah of Jordan, a man I’ve known for a long time, has been asking for bombs and materiel. We have not provided them. He has gone to China.
The Kurds have been asking us to arm them for three years. We haven’t done so.
The Egyptians have asked us to share intelligence. We’re not doing it. We have Arab allies.
They are not perfect. I know every one. But they need to see leadership, support and resolve from the United States of America, and we can help them defeat ISIS.” (Fox News Debate, August 6, 2015)
“I would say first that we are going to be more aggressive in helping our allies in that region push back against new Chinese aggression, whether those allies are Australia or Japan or the Philippines. I would be conducting, actually now, at a moment when China’s economy is wavering a bit, I would be conducting more flyovers on the South China Sea. We cannot permit China to control a trade route through which passes $5 trillion worth of goods and services every year.”
“And finally, I would say, the Chinese cyberattacks are an act of aggression on the United States, and they must stop.” (Politico, August 13, 2015)
Chris Christie (Governor of New Jersey)
DOB: 9/6/1962; University of Delaware B.A., 1984; Seton Hall University School of Law J.D., 1987; Became a lobbyist for energy companies in 1998, positioning himself to be a top fundraiser for George W. Bush’s presidential campaign of 2000; in 2011 Bush appointed him United States Attorney for New Jersey; Became Governor of New Jersey in 2009; Signed a state law that bans terror watch list members from purchasing weapons (2013); Married, Mary Pat Foster, 4 ch.
Policy based on Foreign Policy and National Security topics:
“Now, I spent seven years of my life in the immediate aftermath of September 11th doing this work, working with the Patriot Act, working with our law enforcement, working with the surveillance community to make sure that we keep America safe.
What we need to do, Wolf, is restore those tools that have been taken away by the president and others, restore those tools to the NSA and to our entire surveillance and law enforcement community.
We need a president who is going to understand what actionable intelligence looks like and act on it. And we need a president and a cabinet who understands that the first and most important priority of the president of the United States is to protect the safety and security of Americans.
As someone who has done it, I will make sure it gets done again.” CNN Republican Debate, December 15, 2015
“The Senate’s failure to extend the Patriot Act is a failure of the US gov’t to perform its most important function – protecting its citizens. This is the unfortunate result of misguided ideologues who have no real world experience in fighting terrorism. This dysfunction is what we have come to expect from Washington, DC, but usually it does not have such dangerous and severe consequences.” (Twitter, May 23, 2015)
“I don’t believe it’s a privacy issue, it’s a national security issue.” (On the USA PATRIOT Act, Fox and Friends interview, May 27, 2015)
“The next attack that comes that kills thousands of Americans as a result, people are going to be looking back on the people having this intellectual debate.” (Defense One, October 2014)
“We should begin by passing a clean extension of the Patriot Act. At the end of May, vital pieces of that legislation are going to expire, including Section 215 – essential for our intelligence agencies to access the data they need to stop suspected terrorists. I used this tool extensively, aggressively and legally as US Attorney and I can tell you this: it works.” (Blog4Presidents, May 18, 2015)
Iran Nuclear Deal
“The President’s eagerness for a deal on their nuclear program has him ready to accept a bad deal. The framework we’ve negotiated here seems pretty flimsy, and I have grave concerns over how we’re going to make the Iranians live up to their end of the bargain and how we can ensure proper, verifiable compliance. So until we get that, we should have the strength to keep our guard up and keep our sanctions up. The deal as structured will lead to a nuclear Iran and, then, a nuclearized Middle East. That not only threatens Israel. It threatens the United States and turns 70 years of nuclear policy on its head.” (Medium, May 18, 2015)
“America must lead … The rest of the world watches in desperation and hope that America will realize and act upon once again its indispensable place in the world.” (Defense One, October 2014)
“We need to fundamentally reform our entire DoD procurement process. Between 2001 and 2011, the DoD spent around $44 billion dollars on weapon programs that were eventually cancelled. Weapons that have overrun their budgets by hundreds of billions of dollars and failed to live up to expectations. And across the board, military officials spend millions of dollars every year dealing with red tape and byzantine reporting requirements just to get the weapons we need. Congress and the President should repeal the 2011 Budget Control Act as soon as humanly possible, get back to regular order in budgeting and restore funding levels to what Secretary Gates proposed in his fiscal 2012 budget — modest increases in defense spending through the end of the decade that will make a massive difference to our troops. It’s the right thing to do — and we should do it now.” (The Medium, May 18, 2015)
“Under our Constitution, the first and most important job of our government is to protect every American and our way of life. That means keeping our military strong must be at the heart of any global agenda.”
“The Army and Marines should not be reduced below their pre-9/11 strength, and our active duty forces should be at 500,000 Army soldiers and 185,000 Marines.”
“Our Navy should have more ships. In this century, to secure our global interests our Navy will be called upon to assume even greater challenges and responsibilities.”
“And we need a larger Air Force.”
“We should modernize the Air Force and build up to 2,500 combat coded aircraft as part of a total force of 6,000 aircraft capable of carrying out all the missions we know our pilots will face in the years ahead.”
“That’s why Congress and the President should repeal the 2011 Budget Control Act as soon as humanly possible, get back to regular order in budgeting and restore funding levels to what Secretary Gates proposed in his fiscal 2012 budget – modest increases in defense spending through the end of the decade that will make a massive difference to our troops.” (Blog4Presidents, May 18, 2015)
“And so on ISIS, let’s be clear, the president needs to be a force that is trusted in the world. On this I agree with Marco. You know, this president is not trusted.
“We need to focus our attention on Iran, because if you miss Iran, you are not going to get ISIS. The two are inextricably connected because one causes the other.” CNN Republican Debate, December 15, 2015
“And if you think that a no-fly zone is a reckless policy, you’re welcome to your opinion. But how is it working so far? As we have 250,000 Syrians murdered, slaughtered; millions running around the world, running for their lives. It’s not working. We need to try something else. And that is not reckless.” CNN Republican Debate, December 15, 2015
“We need to stand up to Russian aggression together, and make clear that our commitment to our NATO allies in Eastern Europe is absolute. And if Putin’s Russia wants to rejoin the community of civilized nations, then they’re going to have to behave like one.”
“We need to bolster our allies by helping them get access to the weapons systems and training they need to defend themselves. We should strengthen NATO’s military presence in the Baltic states, and make clear to all our Eastern European allies that we will not allow the freedoms they’ve won since the Cold War to be reversed. We should give Ukraine the weapons it needs to defend itself.”
“We should also put the pressure on all our NATO allies to invest more in their own defense.”
“And as for Russia – until Putin chooses the path of peace, we should keep applying pressure.”
“Instead, we should immediately put travel bans and asset freezes on every member of the Russian parliament and Putin’s entire circle – including Putin himself. We know who holds the leash on the dogs of war. So let’s not mess around on this. And if that still isn’t enough, we should look at tougher sanctions on Russia’s energy and financial sectors – and hit them where it really hurts.” (Blog4Presidents, May 18, 2015)
“Israel is a beacon of freedom in a sea of autocracy, and our friendship should be unshakable.”
“Finally, Israel and its people must be supported by the United States and the American President. Its existence and security is non-negotiable. The Iranians and others who think otherwise must be reminded of that simple fact.”
“Also damaging to our partnership with Israel, is just the staggering strategic incompetence and disinterest in countering the rising threats across the Middle East and North Africa – threats that if left unchecked, will compromise Israel’s security and future. If we truly care about defending Israel, then we need to consider what the region will look like tomorrow – and then take action today.” (Blog4Presidents, May 18, 2015)
“The fact is though that for 15,000 people a day to be deported every day for two years is an undertaking that almost none of us could accomplish given the current levels of funding, and the current number of law enforcement officers. Here’s what we need to do, and I think this is where Donald is absolutely right. What we need to do is to secure our border, and we need to do it with more than just a wall.
We need to use electronics, we need to use drones, we need to use FBI, DEA, and ATF, and yes, we need to take the fingerprint of every person who comes into this country on a visa, and when they overstay their visa, we need to tap them on the shoulder, and say, ‘You have overstayed your welcome, you’re taking advantage of the American people. It’s time for you to go.’
If we had that kind of system in place, we wouldn’t have the 11 million people we have now.” (CNN, 2016 Presidential Debate, September 16, 2015)
Rand Paul (Kentucky Senator)
DOB: 01/07/1963 in Pittsburgh, PA; Duke University (NC), M.D. 1988; Committees: Foreign Relations, Health, Education, Labor & Pensions, Homeland Security & Government Affairs, Small Business & Entrepreneurship. First Elected 2010. Voted yes to Prohibiting the United States from entering into the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty, Voted against the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act of 2015, Voted against the USA FREEDOM ACT of 2014, Voted yes to Requiring the Completion of the Fence Along the United States-Mexico Border, Sponsored bill that Repeals Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq, Co-sponsored a bill for Accelerated Transition of US Military Operations to the Government of Afghanistan. Married, Kelley Paul, 3 ch.
Policy based on Foreign Policy and National Security topics:
Fight against ISIS/Terrorism
“I think that by arming the allies of ISIS, the Islamic rebels against Assad, that we created a safe space or made that space bigger for ISIS to grow. I think those who have wanted regime change have made a mistake. When we toppled Gadhafi in Libya, I think that was a mistake. I think ISIS grew stronger, we had a failed state, and we were more at risk.” CNN Republican Debate, December 15, 2015
“We also have a set of allies in the Arab Middle East that know that ISIS is their fight. They have asked us specifically over, and over again to support them. King Abdullah of Jordan, a man I’ve known for a very long time, has asked us for bombs and material, we have not provided it.
The Egyptians are asking us to share intelligence, we are not, I will. The Kurds have asked us to arm them for three years, we are not, I would. The Egyptians, the Saudis, the Kuwaitis, the Bahrain’s, the Emirati, the Kurds, all of these, I know, by the way, understand ISIS is their fight, but they must see leadership support and resolve from the United States of America- Fiorina
Most of the people who want to the no-fly zone also favored arming the allies of al Qaeda, which became ISIS. That was the dumbest, most foolhardy notion. And most of the people up here supported it. They wanted to arm the allies of al Qaeda. Some of them still do.
That’s how ISIS grew. We pushed back Assad, and ISIS was allowed to grow in the vacuum. So the first thing you do is don’t arm your enemies.” (Fox Business Network, 2016 Presidential Debate, November 10, 2015)
“I think what we need to do, and what we really could use is a president like the first George Bush, who put together a coalition of dozens of Arab countries, including Arab troops on the ground. I think the only way this battle will ultimately be won is with troops on the ground, but they need to be Arab troops. They need to be Iraqis, they need to be Kurds. One of the things we could do is directly arm the Kurds and I’m in favor of this. Right now we’re making the arms go through the Shiite government in Baghdad, and I’m concerned that adequate arms aren’t getting back to the Kurds.”
“I think we do have to militarily confront ISIS. It is a problem though because we allowed, and were somewhat complicit in allowing ISIS to grow within the Syrian Civil War because we, and our allies, sent 600 tons of weapons in that civil war, and most of those weapons ended up in the hands of ISIS.” (Interview with FOXNEWS on Feb. 11, 2015 when asked about his support for Obama’s joint plan for authorization of militarization against ISIS)
“Yes, ISIS is a threat. But I would also put ISIS into the context of things. If we don’t do this, we’re never going to learn. How did ISIS grow stronger? Well, we put 600 tons worth of weapons into the Syrian civil war. You’ve got Assad on one side. You’ve got two million Christians living under Assad. And then you have the Islamic rebels. All the weapons we gave to the Islamic rebels … a lot of them wound up in the hands of ISIS.”
“But now we do have to do something, so I support military action against ISIS.” (Politico article, April 18, 2015)
“ISIS exists and grew stronger because of the hawks in our party who gave arms indiscriminately, and most of those arms were snatched up by ISIS. These hawks also wanted to bomb Assad, which would have made ISIS’s job even easier. They created these people.” (Interview on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, May 28, 2015)
“I’m not saying I’m completely opposed to helping with arms or maybe even bombing, but I am concerned that ISIS is big and powerful because we protected them in Syria for a year.” (Politico, August 12, 2014)
“I still see war as the last resort. But I agree with Reagan’s idea that no country should mistake U.S. reluctance for war for a lack of resolve…As Commander-in-Chief, I would not allow our enemies to kill our citizens or our ambassadors. “Peace through Strength” only works if you have and show strength…And while my predisposition is to less intervention, I do support intervention when our vital interests are threatened…Once we have decided that we have an enemy that requires destruction, we must have a comprehensive strategy—a realistic policy applying military power and skillful diplomacy to protect our national interests…I was repeatedly asked if I supported airstrikes. I do—if it makes sense as part of a larger strategy…The military means to achieve these goals include airstrikes against ISIS targets in Iraq and Syria. ..We should arm and aid capable and allied Kurdish fighters whose territory includes areas now under siege by the ISIS…Since Syrian jihadists are also a threat to Israel, we should help reinforce Israel’s Iron Dome protection against missiles…We must also secure our own borders and immigration policy from ISIS infiltration…Important to the long-term stability in the region is the reengagement diplomatically with allies in the region and in Europe to recognize the shared nature of the threat of Radical Islam and the growing influence of jihadists. That is what will make this a comprehensive strategy…ISIS is a global threat; we should treat it accordingly and build a coalition of nations who are also threatened by the rise of the Islamic State. Important partners such as Turkey, a NATO ally, Israel, and Jordan face an immediate threat, and unchecked growth endangers Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Gulf countries such as Qatar, and even Europe. Several potential partners—notably, the Turks, Qataris, and Saudis—have been reckless in their financial support of ISIS, which must cease immediately…Syria, likewise, has become a jihadist wonderland. Until we acknowledge that arming the Islamic rebels in Syria allowed ISIS a safe haven, no amount of military might will extricate us from a flawed foreign policy…A more realistic and effective foreign policy would protect the vital interests of the nation without the unrealistic notion of nation-building.” (Op-Ed in Time, September 4, 2014)
“I do think that there is a valuable use for drones and as much as I’m seen as an opponent of drones, in military and warfare, they do have some value. I’ve been an opponent of using drones about people not in combat. However if you are holding hostages, you kind of are involved in combat.” (MSNBC, April 27, 2015)
“I don’t think we should just go to war as if it were a game of risk. I’ll look it were something that we have to do on occasion, but I say it shouldn’t be our first resort, it should always be the last resort.” (Voters First Forum, August 3, 2015)
“First of all, only ISIS is responsible for the terrorism. Only ISIS is responsible for the depravity. But, we do have to examine, how are we going to defeat ISIS?
I’ve got a proposal. I’m the leading voice in America for not arming the allies of ISIS.
I’ve been fighting amidst a lot of opposition from both Hillary Clinton, as well as some Republicans who wanted to send arms to the allies of ISIS. ISIS rides around in a billion dollars worth of U.S. Humvees. It’s a disgrace. We’ve got to stop — we shouldn’t fund our enemies, for goodness sakes.
So, we didn’t create ISIS — ISIS created themselves, but we will stop them, and one of the ways we stop them is by not funding them, and not arming them.” (Fox News Debate, August 6, 2015)
“We are not any safer through the bulk collection of all Americans’ records. In fact, I think we’re less safe. We get so distracted by all of the information, we’re not spending enough time getting specific immigration — specific information on terrorists.
The other thing is, is the one thing that might have stopped San Bernardino, that might have stopped 9/11 would have been stricter controls on those who came here. And Marco has opposed at every point increased security — border security for those who come to our country.
If we want to defend the country, we have to defend against who’s coming in.” CNN Republican Debate, December 15, 2015
“I think what’s dangerous in our country is to forget that we have a Bill of Rights, to forget about privacy, to give up on all of our liberty to say, ‘Oh, we’re going to catch terrorism, but you have to live in a police state.’ And it’s really, I think, kind of sad and cheap that he would use the cloak of 9/11 victims and say, ‘Oh, I’m the only one who cares about these victims.’ Hogwash!” (In response to Chris Christie’s criticism in regards to the Patriot Act, May 23, 2015)
“I believe that every American has a constitutionally guaranteed right to privacy which must be protected. Simply put, the phone records of law-abiding Americans are none of the government’s business!”
“If the government has probable cause that an individual is a criminal or suspected terrorist, than they must first go to a judge and obtain a warrant as required by the Fourth Amendment. Mr. Verizon, Mr. Sprint, and Mr. AT&T are not individuals and “general warrants” which authorize this dragnet surveillance on millions of Americans violate the very intent of the Fourth Amendment. Simply owning a cell-phone does not mean you forfeit your constitutional rights. From your phone records, the government can discern the most intimate details of your life–whether you smoke, whether you gamble, what books you read, what magazines you read, whether you see a psychiatrist, or what medications you take. This domestic NSA spying is simply not acceptable in a free society.”
“As President of the United States, I will immediately end the NSA’s illegal bulk data collection and domestic spying programs and protect the Fourth Amendment rights of all Americans. We must remember that our rights are unlimited, unenumerated, and given to us by God. Your rights are who you are, your rights are what you are, your rights are in your DNA – and the government can get over it.” (Campaign website statement)
“I will not let the Patriot Act, the most unpatriotic of acts, go unchallenged. At the very least, we should debate. We should debate whether or not we are going to relinquish our rights, or whether or not we are going to have a full and able debate over whether or not we can live within the Constitution, or whether or not we have to go around the Constitution.”
“I think we’ve made the [collection] haystack so big, no one’s ever getting through the haystack to find the needle. What we really need to do is isolate the haystack into a group of suspicious people and spend enormous resources looking at suspicious people, people who we have probable cause.”
“In the aftermath of 9/11, the Patriot Act was rushed to the floor. Several hundred pages. Nobody read it … But people voted because they were fearful and people said there could be another attack and Americans will blame me if I don’t vote on this.” (Paul’s “filibuster,” May 20, 2015)
“We should never give up our rights for a false sense of security.” (ABC News, May 23, 2015)
“I see an America strong enough to deter foreign aggression, yet wise enough to avoid unnecessary intervention. We must defend ourselves, but we must never give up who we are as a people. We must never diminish the Bill of Rights as we fight this long war against evil.” (Foreign Policy article, April 7, 2015)
“We already don’t catch terrorists with collecting all the data, so should we put television monitors in every house to try to prevent terrorist attacks? There is a zero-sum game here that leads us down a slippery slope to where there would be no freedom left.” (Interview with Laura Ingraham, June 1, 2015)
“I want to collect more records from terrorists, but less records from innocent Americans.” (Fox News Debate, August 4, 2015)
“I think part of our national security is trying not to overburden the country with debt.”
“If we decided as a country that we need more spending for defense, then we have to take it from somewhere else and not just add it to the deficit.”(Politico article by Manu Raju published on March 18, 2015)
“America shouldn’t fight wars where the best outcome is stalemate. America shouldn’t fight wars when there is no plan for victory. America shouldn’t fight wars that aren’t authorized by the American people. . . . America should and will fight wars when the consequences — intended and unintended — are worth the sacrifice. The war on terror is not over, and America cannot disengage from the world.” (Paul’s justification for increasing defense spending and cutting foreign aid, National Review, April 8, 2015)
“I think there are a great deal of problems for people who want to argue that they are fiscal conservatives and yet would simply borrow hundreds of billions of dollars for defense. I think it is irresponsible and dangerous to the country to borrow so much money to add into defense. I think if you want to add money to defense, the difficult vote is mine. And it shows that there is not a great deal of courage out there among people. They went the easy way. They want to keep borrowing it. And that is a great danger for our country.” (Politico, March 26, 2015)
One of the Forty-Seven Republican Senators who Signed the Open Letter to Iran to undermine the President’s Nuclear Negotiations
“There’s no one in Washington more against war and more for a negotiated deal than I am. But I want the negotiated deal to be a good deal. So my reason for signing onto the letter, I think it reiterates what is the actual law, that Congress will have to undo sanctions. But I also signed onto the letter because I want the president to negotiate from a position of strength which means that he needs to be telling them in Iran that ‘I’ve got Congress to deal with.'” (an interview at SXSW in Austin, Texas, via article by Huffington Post, March 15, 2015)
“Everyone needs to realize that negotiations are not inherently bad. Our goal always should be and always is peace, not war.” (Foreign Policy article, April 7, 2015)
“I think that if you believe in regime change, you’re mistaken. In 2013, we put 600 tons of weapons — us, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar — into the war against Assad. By pushing Assad back, we did create a safe space.
We had people coming to our Foreign Relations Committee and saying, “Oh, we need to arm the allies of Al Qaida.” They are still saying this. It is a crazy notion. This is the biggest debate we should be having tonight is is regime change a good idea; has it been a good idea.
There are still people — the majority on the stage, they want to topple Assad. And then there will be chaos, and I think ISIS will then be in charge of Syria.” CNN Republican Debate, December 15, 2015
“Russia flies in that zone at the invitation of Iraq. I’m not saying it’s a good thing, but you better know at least what we’re getting into. So, when you think it’s going to be a good idea to have a no fly zone over Iraq, realize that means you are saying we are going to shoot down Russian planes. If you’re ready for that, be ready to send your sons and daughters to another war in Iraq.” (Fox Business Network, 2016 presidential Debate, November 10, 2015)
“I think this gets to the point of wisdom on when to intervene and when we shouldn’t. Had we bombed Assad at the time, like President Obama wanted, and like Hillary Clinton wanted and many Republicans wanted, I think ISIS would be in Damascus today. I think ISIS would be in charge of Syria had we bombed Assad.
Sometimes both sides of the civil war are evil, and sometimes intervention sometimes makes us less safe. This is real the debate we have to have in the Middle East.
Every time we have toppled a secular dictator, we have gotten chaos, the rise of radical Islam, and we’re more at risk. So, I think we need to think before we act, and know most interventions, if not a lot of them in the Middle East, have actually backfired on us.” (CNN, 2016 Presidential Debate, September 16, 2015)
“Maybe we should think before we act. We’re talking about the Middle East, where history repeats itself.” (Iowa GOP Lincoln Dinner, May 16, 2015)
“I will continue to stand with Israel.” (Campaign website statement)
“Our Middle Eastern policy is unhinged, flailing about to see who to act against next … A more realistic foreign policy would recognize that there are evil people and tyrannical regimes in this world, but also that America cannot police or solve every problem.” (Defense One article, August 2014)
“We need to stay the heck out of their civil war. It is their war and they need to fight it.” (On the crisis in Syria, Washington Post, September 18, 2014)
“You are intellectually dishonest if you argue that something passed in 2001 to deal with the people who attacked us on 9/11 has anything to do with sending arms to Syria.” (Washington Post article, September 18, 2014)
International Economics/Development Assistance/Trade
“There is an argument that China doesn’t like the deal, because in us doing the deal, we’ll be trading with their competitors. You’re exactly right. But I think we’ve sort of missed the point a little bit here.
There is an important point, though, about how we discuss these trade treaties that I do agree with Mr. Donald “My twitter has become so powerful” Trump on. We should negotiate from a position of strength. And we also should negotiate using the full force and the constitutional power that was given to us. I think it’s a mistake that we give up power to the presidency on these trade deals. We give up the power to filibuster, and I’m kind of fond of that power.
We give up the power to amend. And I think, really, one of the big problems we have in our country is, over the last century, really, so much power has gravitated to the executive branch. Really, Congress is kind of a bystander. We don’t write the rules. We don’t make the laws. The executive branch does. So even in trade — and I am for trade — I think we should be careful about giving so much power to the presidency.” (Fox Business Network, 2016 Presidential Debate, November 10, 2015)
“I’m hesitant to give blanket authority on stuff we haven’t seen. I’m not saying there wouldn’t be a time I could be for it, if I’d seen the trade agreement, and it’s fine.”
“I still might vote for the trade agreement, but I hate giving up power. We give up so much power from Congress to the presidency, and with them being so secretive on the treaty, it just concerns me what’s in the treaty.” (In reference to the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement, WMUR, May 11, 2015).
“We do not project strength by borrowing money from China to send it to Pakistan.” (Foreign Policy article, April 7, 2015)
“Beijing extols the remarkable rise of China as the supremacy of a one-party state capitalism, [but] free trade and technology should be the greatest carrot of our statecraft.” (Wall Street Journal article, March 13, 2015)
“Conservatives should not succumb, though, to the notion that a government inept at home will somehow succeed in building nations abroad.” (Foreign Policy article, April 7, 2015)
“Each one of my budgets has taken a meat axe to foreign aid, because I think we ought to quit sending it to countries that hate us.
I think we ought to quit sending it to countries that burn our flag. Israel is not one of those. But even Benjamin Netanyahu said that ultimately, they will be stronger when they’re independent. My position is exactly the same.
We shouldn’t borrow money from China to send it anywhere, but why don’t we start with eliminating aid to our enemies.” (Fox News Debate, August 6, 2015)
I put forward was an amendment that would have temporarily halted immigration from high-risk terrorist countries, but would have started it up, but I wanted them to go through Global Entry, which is a program where we do background checks.
The thing is, is that every terrorist attack we’ve had since 9/11 has been legal immigration.
I want more rules, more scrutiny, and to defend the country, you have to defend the border.” CNN republican Debate, December 15, 2015
“As President, I would secure our border immediately. Before issuing any visas or starting the legal immigration process, we must first ensure that our border is secure.” (Campaign website statement)
“Our immigration system, especially the administration of student visas, requires a full-scale examination. Recently, it was estimated that as many as 6,000 possibly dangerous foreign students are unaccounted for.” (Time Op-Ed, September 4, 2014)
“Securing the border is my first priority. Under my plan, national and border security will move as the first element of any reform and would require annual votes of Congress to establish that the border is truly secure. No other reform can go forward until this happens. In addition to increased border security, our nation needs to modernize our visa system. We need to know who comes and goes on travel, student and other temporary visas. There must be a workable system to ensure that visitors don’t use travel visas as a way to enter the country, then disappear. This will address the problem of visa overstayers.
Strong border security includes using cutting-edge technology. Satellites, physical barriers, screening to bar criminals and terrorists from entry, increased patrols on the border and yes, surveillance drones all should be part of a comprehensive plan to physically protect the border. My idea is to take specific measures at the border and then have the office of inspector general for the Government Accountability Office produce a report to Congress on the progress of border security.
My idea takes border security a step further than the proposals of anybody else in Congress. Under my plan, Congress will vote every year on border security. If Congress votes that the border is not secure, elements of immigration reform will cease going forward and visa programs will be slowed. If Congress does not think the border is secure after five years, every element of immigration reform will be stopped.
Securing the vote is also important in this debate, and I think Congress should look at reforming our “motor voter” laws to prevent fraud as a large bloc of immigrants are legalized but are not eligible to vote. President Clinton signed the National Voter Registration Act in 1993 that allows state governments to register voters when people come in to get driver’s licenses. Still, some of these same states resist the idea that people need to produce a driver’s license to prove who they are when they vote. Preventing noncitizens from being included on the voter rolls is necessary for and consistent with fair immigration reform.
The third plank of my plan is to secure the taxpayers’ dollars through welfare reform. When reforming immigration laws, our nation needs to make sure we don’t explode our national debt with a pathway to the welfare state. In a perfect world, Congress would be debating welfare reform alongside immigration reform.
Immigrants are drawn to the magnet of free-market capitalism in the United States. Our nation should have open arms to immigrants who want to work hard to make a new life in a free nation. As a libertarian-minded senator, I am attracted to the idea of somebody coming to this country with a couple of dollars in his pocket and then, through hard work, making it big.
I want federal and state agencies to coordinate with the Immigration and Customs Enforcement arm of the Department of Homeland Security to make sure immigrants don’t get on the welfare rolls. If you come here to work, we have a place for you.” (Washington Times, April 25, 2013)
“I still have exactly the same policy, and that is that intervention militarily should be through an act of Congress and we should vote on it.” (Defense One article, October 2014)
“If refusing to send Americans to die for a country that refuses to defend itself makes one an ‘isolationist,’ then perhaps its time we finally retire that pejorative. Today, the overwhelming majority of Americans don’t want to send U.S. soldiers back into Iraq. Is Perry calling the entire country ‘isolationist’ too?”
“The let’s-intervene-and-consider-the-consequences-later crowd left us with more than 4,000 Americans dead, over 2 million refugees and over trillions of dollars in debt. If repeating the same mistakes over and over again is what Perry advocates in U.S.foreign policy, or any other policy, he really should run for president.” (In response to Rick Perry’s Op-Ed about U.S intervention, Washington Post, July 2014)
Iran Nuclear Deal
“Should we continue to talk with Iran? Yes. Should we cut up the agreement immediately? That’s absurd. Wouldn’t you want to know if they complied? Now, I’m going to vote against the agreement because I don’t think there’s significant leverage, but it doesn’t mean that I would immediately not look at the agreement, and cut it up without looking to see if whether or not Iran has complied.” (CNN, 2016 Presidential Debate, September 16, 2015)
“I oppose the Iranian deal, and will vote against it. I don’t think that the president negotiated from a position of strength, but I don’t immediately discount negotiations.
I’m a Reagan conservative. Reagan did negotiate with the Soviets. But you have to negotiate from a position of strength, and I think President Obama gave away too much, too early.
If there’s going to be a negotiation, you’re going to have to believe somehow that the Iranians are going to comply. I asked this question to John Kerry, I said “do you believe they’re trustworthy?” and he said “No.”
And I said, “well, how are we gonna get them to comply?” I would have never released the sanctions before there was consistent evidence of compliance.” (Fox News Debate, August 4, 2015)
“I support engagement, diplomacy, and trade with Cuba, China, Vietnam, and many countries with less than stellar human rights records, because I believe that once enslaved people taste freedom and see the products of capitalism they will become hungry for freedom themselves.”
“The 50-year embargo against Cuba has not worked. If the goal was regime change, then it sure does not seem to be working. It also hurts the people more than the regime, because the regime can blame the embargo for hardship.”
“Emotions understandably run high for those whose parents and grandparents had their land and their lives taken from them. But if our goal is to defeat Castro and defeat communism then perhaps we should step back and ask ourselves, “Has the embargo worked?” If we allow the passions to cool, maybe just maybe, we might conclude that trade is better than war and that capitalism wins every time a people get a chance to see its products”.
“Let’s hope cooler heads will ultimately prevail and we unleash a trade tsunami that washes the Castros once and for all into the sea.” (Time, December 19, 2014)
“The same goes with China. I don’t think we need to be rash, I don’t think we need to be reckless, and I think need to leave lines of communication open. Often we talk about whether we should be engaged in the world, or disengaged in the world, and I think this is an example of some who want to isolate us, actually, and not be engaged.
We do need to be engaged with Russia. It doesn’t mean we give them a free pass, or China a free pass, but, to be engaged, to continue to talk. We did throughout the Cold War, and it would be a big mistake not to do it here.” (CNN, 2016 Presidential Debate, September 16, 2015)
DOB: 8/24/1955 in Hope, Arkansas; Ouachita Baptist University, B.A in Religion; Lieutenant Governor of Arkansas, 1993-1996; Governor of Arkansas, 1996-2007.
Policy based on Foreign Policy and National Security topics:
Fight against ISIL/Terrorism
“I will lead with moral clarity in a dangerous world. There’s a difference between right and wrong. There’s a difference between good and evil. I’ll keep all the options on the table in order to defeat the evil forces of radical Islam.” (Council on Foreign Relations, May 5, 2015)
“When you’re dealing with Islamic jihad, that has as its goal the annihilation of everyone who does not agree with their absolute religious fanaticism, you’re dealing with a rattlesnake…As a kid growing up in south Arkansas, one thing I learned about rattlesnakes, you don’t try to get in their head and figure out why they want to bite you. You don’t try to have a conversation with them. You don’t negotiate with them. You sure as heck don’t feed them. You take their heads off with a four ten shotgun or a hoe before they bite you—because the one thing that you can be sure of is that snake will bite you if he can.” (Council on Foreign Relations, May 5, 2015)
“We face real threats from radical jihadism in the form of savage groups like ISIS and state terrorists like Iran, but we put more pressure on our ally Israel to cease building bedrooms for their families in Judea and Samaria than we do on Iran for building a bomb. Dealing with radicals who chant death to America and who fund bombs and rockets to murder civilians in Israel is nonsense. But when I hear the current President say he wants Christians to get off their high horse so we can make nice with radical jihadists, I wonder if he could watch a western from the fifties and be able to figure out who the good guys and bad guys are! As President, I promise you that we will no longer merely try to CONTAIN jihadism; we will CONQUER it! We will deal with jihadis just as we would deal with deadly snakes. And let there be no doubt–Israel will know–as will the world–that we are their trusted friend, and the Ayatollahs of Iran will know that hell will freeze over before they ever get a nuclear weapon! And I will never, ever apologize for America!” (Real Clear Politics, May 5, 2015)
“So when we have a threat, whether it is ISIS, Boko Haram, Al Qaeda, Hamas, Hezbollah, the Iranians, whatever it is, we make it very clear that we plan to push back and destroy that threat to us. And we won’t take 10 years doing it, we hopefully won’t even take 10 months, it will be like a 10 day exercise, because the fierceness of our forces would mean that we can absolutely guarantee the outcome of this film. That’s how America needs to operate in the world of foreign affairs, and foreign policy.” (American Heartland interview, July 13, 2015)
“Whether it’s man-made or not, I know that when I was in college I was being taught that if we didn’t act very quickly, that we were going to be entering a global freezing. And, you know, go back and look at the covers of Time and Newsweek from the early ’70s. And we were told that if we didn’t do something by 1980, we’d be popsicles. Now we’re told that we’re all burning up. Science is not as settled on that as it is on some things.” (The Washington Post, June 25, 2015)
“Let there be no doubt, Israel will know, as will the whole world, that we are their trusted friend. And the ayatollahs of Iran will know that Hell will freeze over before they get a nuclear weapon.” (Council on Foreign Relations, May 5, 2015)
“Everything he does is against what Christians stand for, and he’s against the Jews in Israel. The one group of people that can know they have his undying, unfailing support would be the Muslim community. It doesn’t matter whether it’s the radical Muslim community or the more moderate Muslim community.” (On President Obama’s handling of Middle East issues, Council on Foreign Relations, May 5, 2015)
“it’s self-defeating to try to accomplish too much too soon; you just have elections where extremists win, but it’s equally self-defeating to do nothing.” (Council on Foreign Relations, March 2008)
Nuclear Deal with Iran
“The thought of giving them 6,000 centrifuges—I mean, this is the equivalent of saying, alright we got a pyromaniac in our neighborhood. We’re not going to let him have a 50-gallon drum of fuel and a cigarette lighter, but we are going to let him have a 10-gallon gas can and a book of matches. That way we’ll just hold him back and he can’t burn as much down. I mean, would anyone in his or her right mind allow that? Of course, we wouldn’t. I mean, this is the true essence of insanity when you let people who have violated every agreement they’ve ever, ever made under the ayatollahs, when you believe them for a moment that they’re really not going to use all of that nuclear capacity for some nefarious purpose.” (Council on Foreign Relations, May 5, 2015)
Reaction to Iran Nuclear Agreement
“Shame on the Obama administration for agreeing to a deal that empowers an evil Iranian regime to carry out its threat to ‘wipe Israel off the map’ and bring ‘death to America.”
“John Kerry should have long ago gotten up on his crutches, walked out of the sham talks, and went straight to Jerusalem to stand next to Benjamin Netanyahu and declared that America will stand with Israel and the other sane governments of the Middle East instead of with the terrorist government of Iran.” (USA Today, July 14, 2015)
“It is so naive that he would trust the Iranians. By doing so, he will take the Israelis and march them to the door of the oven. This is the most idiotic thing, this Iran deal. It should be rejected by both Democrats and Republicans in Congress and by the American people.” (Washington Post, July 26, 2015)
“We got nothing out of this deal.”
“And my comments, while the president may have called them ridiculous, what’s ridiculous is that we would ever trust the Iranians who for 36 years have vowed that they will wipe Israel off the face of the map and have vowed that they will bring death to America and chanted it even during the negotiations.”
“As a person who has been going to Israel dozens of times over the past 42 years since 1973 and as a person who has stood in Auschwitz on three different occasions and understood the gravity of the situation, when someone is saying they’re going to kill an entire group of people, we better take it seriously.”
“I believe it’s a money deal. If you look through, there are dozens of pages of all the companies and entities that are going to have their assets unfrozen.”
“I cannot help but believe that a lot of this is being driven not to secure peace in the Middle East, not to make the world safer, but to make sure that a lot of people with a lot of money get their money back and that’s a tragedy.”
“It’s a real sad state of affairs when we put money ahead of national security and security for not just the people of Israel but all of the Middle East and all of the world.” (Face the Nation, August 2, 2015)
“It has to do with the incredibly dangerous place that this world is gonna be as a result of a deal in which we got nothing.
We didn’t even get four hostages out. We got nothing, and Iran gets everything they want.
We said we would have anywhere, anytime negotiations and inspections, we gave that up. We said that we would make sure that they didn’t have any nuclear capacity, we gave that up.
The president can’t tell you what we got. I’ll tell you what the world got. The world has a burgeoning nuclear power that didn’t, as the Soviets, say “we might defend ourselves in a war.”
What the Iranians have said is, “we will wipe Israel off the face of the map, and we will bring death to America.” When someone points a gun at your head and loads it, by God, you ought to take them seriously, and we need to take that seriously.” (Fox News Debate, August 4, 2015)
“You don’t negotiate with people, especially a pyromaniac who’s standing there with a can of gasoline and a book of matches in his hand, and expect him not to start a fire.”
“This president thinks he was anointed king. I don’t know where his crown is, but this is frustrating, because Chuck Schumer is an honorable guy when it comes to issues in the Middle East, nobody is a more staunch supporter of Israel. I — and I know this was painful for Schumer because he would like to be a good party guy and go along, but what Chuck Schumer did was significant, because it’s an act of statesmanship, not an act of blind partisanship, and God knows we need some more of that in Washington right now.” (Breitbart, August 10, 2015)
International Economics/Development Assistance/Trade:
“It’s time we get trade deals right, and that starts by having a clear, transparent discussion on the front end.”
“We need to expand trade and work with partners across the globe to grow our economy.” (Campaign website statement)