I noted here how limp the responses of leading Democratic presidential contenders were to a query by The Israel Project about Iran. Hillary Clinton said “we must not allow” Iran to develop nuclear weapons and promote terrorism, but she apparently failed to answer the question Sean Connery posed to Kevin Costner in “The Untouchables” — “What are you prepared to do?” Barack Obama and John Edwards indicated they are prepared to impose more sanctions and unleash our diplomatic corps. None of the leading Democrats indicated that he or she would consider any military option.
Republican contenders (and potential contenders) received the same questions from The Israel Project, and I now have information about how they responded. I’m told that of the leading declared candidates, Giuliani and McCain declined to respond. Romney gave a forceful response and made it clear that military options would not be off the table in his administration. The Israel Project also contacted Fred Thompson and Newt Gingrich. I’m told that, like Romney, Gingrich made it clear he would not rule out military options. Thompson did not respond (consistent with his status as not a declared candidate). However, Thompson has made public statements indicating that he too would not rule out military options.
SCOTT asks: Paul, does a candidate’s sayiing he does not rule out military options impress you? Is it better than the Democrats’ not mentioning military options? Or does the Republicans’ tough stuff resemble the Democrats’ tough stuff?
PAUL responds: In my opinion, a candidate who talks about the Iranian threat without mentioning military options should be presumed unfit to be president. A candidate who mentions military options should not (without more) be presumed unfit to be president.
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