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Gen. James Mattis: 'I Haven't Given Any Thought to' Presidential Run

Image: Gen. James Mattis: 'I Haven't Given Any Thought to' Presidential Run
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By    |   Friday, 22 Apr 2016 06:55 PM

Former Marine Gen. James Mattis is discounting speculation about a dark horse run for the White House, but in a reported blast at President Barack Obama and Congress – and a veiled swipe at Donald Trump – he sure sounded the part.

Speaking Friday at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, the former four-star commander of U.S. Central Command and a current fellow at the Hoover Institution in California said he was mystified by the talk of his candidacy, Military.com reports. 

"No, I haven't given any thought to" a presidential run, he curtly declared, Military.com reports.

"It's been going on for 15 months," he said. "Since coming back from overseas, this is more of a foreign country than the places overseas. I don't understand it. It's like America has lost faith in rational thought."

Mattis' speech instead focused on condemnation of U.S. foreign policy – and the part Obama and Congress have played, Military.com reports.

"The bottom line on the American situation is that the next president is going to inherit a mess," Mattis said, Military.com reports. "That's the most diplomatic word for it."

Mattis called Iran the "single most enduring threat to stability and peace in the Middle East," suggesting it was only a matter of time before it defied the recent accord on its nuclear proliferation.

"[Iran's Ayatollah Ali Khamenei] summed it up very well when he said those who say that the future lies in negotiations, not in missiles, are either ignorant or traitors," Mattis said, Military.com reports. "That is the Supreme Leader. I think we should take him at his word."

America needs to remain staunch in its policy to regard Iran not as a responsible nation state but as a "revolutionary cause devoted to mayhem," he asserted, adding that strong ties with U.S. allies are "'worth more than 10 battleships or five armed divisions is a sense of American political resolve."

Mattis noted a profile of Obama's foreign policy in March in Atlantic magazine sounded more like that of Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump, Military.com reports.

"It wasn't Trump; it was the president saying that our allies are free riders and that sort of thing," Mattis said, Military.com reports. "For a sitting U.S. president to see our allies as freeloaders is nuts."

Mattis also laid into Congress for not putting into "standby" economic sanctions to inflict if Iran did not keep its end of the nuclear deal – and for not officially authorizing the use of military force against ISIS to send a message about America's resolve, Military.com reports.

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Former Marine Gen. James Mattis is discounting speculation about a dark horse run for the White House, but in a reported blast at President Barack Obama and Congress – and a veiled swipe at Donald Trump – he sure sounded the part.
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Friday, 22 Apr 2016 06:55 PM
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