Condi Rice: I Want 'Do-Overs' on Immigration, Iraq

Sunday, 25 Dec 2011 11:28 AM

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Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told CNN today that she would like "do-overs" on a series of foreign policy issues, but none more than immigration reform issues between the United States and Mexico.

"I think that one of the casualties of the preoccupation after 9/11 on securing ourselves, and Afghanistan, and Iraq, the relationship with Mexico, which had great promise given the two governors, Vicente Fox and George W. Bush who came to power together, to do something maybe earlier about the terrible border troubles that we now know are in Mexico with the drug cartels, to do something about immigration reform," Rice said.

Rice, a long time adviser to former President George W. Bush, said immigration reform remains "one of our really great problems."

She also would have liked a stronger effort on rebuilding Iraq after the overthrow of Saddam Hussein.

"I think the overthrow of Saddam Hussein was done brilliantly, but frankly, looking back, I don't think we thought enough about how to build the provinces and use the tribal networks once Saddam was gone," she said. "Ultimately, there weren't enough troops, which was why the surge was important."

Rice also talked openly about her disagreements with former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and former Vice President Dick Cheney. Responding to a question about whether race or gender had anything to do with those differences, she said it was more about people with "strong views."

"I don't think race and gender are much of an explanation here. I think what you are dealing with is people with strong views with differences – policy differences – not personal ones, and to the degree that when people are under pressure, personalities are a little bit more than they otherwise might be. Maybe there was a little bit of that too," Rice said

Rice added that she considered Rumsfeld as a "major champion of my career." In contrast, she said her relationship with Cheney was "respectful."

Earlier this year, Rice and Cheney traded barbs after he questioned her abilities in his book  "In My Time."

"We disagreed, but we were able to disagree in a respectful way," she said. "I think the vice president was disappointed that in the second term we did a number of things with which he didn't agree."



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