In the wake of the Islamic State (ISIS) attacks on Paris,
the race for the White House abruptly shifted to focus on foreign policy – and may ultimately scramble the top of the GOP primary field.
But the reordering may have already begun as Republican presidential contenders Sunday were pressed to respond to America's refugee policy, no-fly zones in Syria, whether the United States has a legal obligation to defend France under NATO's Article 5
and using military force abroad, Politico
According to Politico, Jeb Bush
– who has called for a declaration of war – Ohio Gov. John Kasich, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham – who is urging France to "invoke Article 5
" – all efficiently handled foreign policy questions in Sunday interviews. Politico reports, however, retired pediatric neurosurgeon But Carson, appeared to have difficulty describing how his foreign-policy vision would work in the aftermath of the ISIS strikes at Paris – and Donald Trump kept his comments to his Twitter feed.
"Well obviously, extending, you know, our support to the French," Carson answered when initially asked on Fox News on Sunday what a President Carson’s first steps would have been following the attack. Pressed three times on who he would call first to put together an international military coalition, Carson demurred before saying he'd call on "all of the Arab states" and "all of our traditional allies. I don't want to leave anybody out," Politico reports.
Donald Trump, who before the attack had said his ISIS policy would be to
"bomb the s--t out of them," was not on any Sunday shows, but weighed in on Twitter. Kasich on Sunday laid out specifics for a response to the attacks on Paris that include, arming the Kurds, putting in a no-fly zone, tying in the Saudis and Jordanians, and coordinating intelligence better internationally.
"There’s so many things we need to do and, frankly, we’re behind the curve,” Kasich said, Politico reports.
And Graham touted his foreign affairs experience Sunday. "I have a plan. Please, for God's sake, wake up to the threats we face," Graham told CNN, Politico reports. "Hit them before they hit us. Fight them in their backyard, not our backyard."
Politico notes Bush went on both CNN "State of the Union" and NBC’s "Meet the Press" to talk about the attacks – and when asked on "Meet the Press" if he thought Carson or Trump were ready to be commander in chief, he answered: "I don't know. The words that I hear them speaking give me some concern."
And Rubio took after Democratic presidential primary front-runner Hillary Clinton for her refusal, like that of President Barack Obama, to label the Paris attackers as radical Islamists.
"I don’t understand it,” Rubio said on ABC’s “This Week
." "That would be like saying we weren’t at war with Nazis because we were afraid to offend some Germans who may have been members of the Nazi Party but weren’t violent themselves."
New York Republican Rep. Pete King, a member of the Homeland Security Committee and chairman of the subcommittee on counterterrorism and intelligence, says the discussion is good for voters.
"If anything good can come of this tragedy, I would hope it would steer the debate toward who can handle al-Qaida and ISIS and away from sound bites," King tells Politico.
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