DNC Chair: GOP Hopefuls ‘Worse’ Than Bush 43
Republican 2016 presidential candidates’ views on national security and the war on terror are worse than the neoconservative approach of former President George W. Bush, DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz said Wednesday.
During a conference call with reporters ahead of the Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC) presidential forum in DC on Thursday, Wasserman Schultz said that as the candidates flock to attend – what she called – the ‘Adelson Primary,’ their foreign policy positions are “deja vu .. the bad days of Bush/Cheney all over again, only worse.”
“Looking at the Middle East, these Republican candidates for president are woefully uninformed and misguided about the role and responsibility of the United States,” she said. “Some support the bush-era-reckless-go-it-alone approach that undermined our international credibility, further destabilized the Middle East and cost thousands of American lives. But, if you can believe it, this new crowd is even worse than President Bush.”
“After 9/11, President Bush had enough nuance to say unequivocally that the U.S. was not at war with Islam but with violent extremism. And he was right – we are still at war with a violent ideology and actions that threaten our homeland and our allies. However, the Republican candidates first instinct was to politicize the [Paris attacks] tragedy… and fear-mongering that amounted to anti-Muslim and anti-Obama attacks,” Wasserman Schultz explained. “The sort of rhetoric we saw from candidates (name checking Donald Trump and Marco Rubio), was shameful and embarrassing, which will make it more difficult for the U.S. to prosecute the war on terror and keep our homeland safe.
Ask to comment, RJC spokesperson Mark McNulty told Jewish Insider, “Per usual, DWS’s comments are filled with hyper-partisan invective and hyperbole devoid of any actual policy.”
“What tomorrow’s event is going to show is that the GOP field has better candidates who have policy plans to keep America safe at home and abroad and recognize the most pressing threat for what it really is, radical Islamic terrorism,” he added.
Also joining on the conference call were NJDC Chairman Greg Rosenbaum and pollster Jim Gerstein.
Gerstein maintained that even if foreign policy will play a larger role in 2016 than in the past, it will benefit Hillary Clinton in the general election. “The front-runner of the Democratic primary, Hillary Clinton, has a uniquely strong and credentialed history on foreign policy matters,” Gerstein told Jewish Insider. “I think, if anything, national security and foreign policy as a big issue will play very well for the Democratic candidate in the general election, as well as among Jewish voters.”
Rosenbaum added, “National security plays a role in all elections, but it doesn’t play a dominant role. I don’t see the current world situation as being particularly any worse than situations we’ve faced in the last 4 elections. So, I don’t think it bodes well for the Republican Party or ill for the Democratic Party to suggest that the current state of world affairs is going to make a difference from what it has done in the past few elections.”