Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump once said that he thinks America must strike Iran, preferably through the air.
“You know, the one thing I sort of liked was what they were saying about Iran,” Trump said on MSNBC on January 12, 2007, in response to a speech President Bush gave that day on the latest developments in the war in Iraq.
“I believe you have to go in and strike Iran — not with soldiers,” Trump said. “You know, it’s not a world of soldiers anymore. It’s a world of air. It’s a world of different kinds of, you know, we’ve changed.”
Trump has sharply criticized President Obama’s recent deal with Iran, which could pave the way for Iran to obtain a nuclear weapon, but has avoided affirming whether or not he would attack the Persian theocracy.
But in the race to emerge as the top conservative challenger to Jeb Bush, Trump’s fellow contenders are publicly burnishing their hawkish credentials on the issue..
Republican presidential candidates Scott Walker and Ted Cruz both said that they might attack Iran as soon as they get into office.
Walker said that his promised tough stance on Iran might “very possibly” result in him striking Iran on his first day in office.
Cruz said that a “responsible president would stand up and say unequivocally, in terms that allow no confusion, ‘Under no circumstances will the nation of Iran be allowed to acquire nuclear weapon capability, and they will either halt now or we will use every step necessary including direct military force to stop them.'”
“A real president… would stand up and say on the world stage: Under no circumstances will Iran be allowed to acquire nuclear weapons. Iran will either stop, or we will stop them,” Cruz also said in November at a dinner hosted by the Zionist Organization of America.
But even with his neoconservative pedigree, Jeb Bush isn’t exactly beating the drums of war. And he’s alienating high-dollar supporters because of it.
Bush said that he would not repeal Obama’s Iran deal on his first day in office and urged candidates to be “mature and thoughtful” about the issue.
Republican donor Sheldon Adelson privately expressed disappointment with the Bush campaign for allowing its foreign policy adviser James Baker to give a speech to the left-wing Israel organization J Street.