During Saturday night’s ABC News debate in New Hampshire, Texas Gov. Rick Perry pledged that he would send American troops back into Iraq if he were elected president.
After Perry’s declaration, which contrasted strongly with those of other presidential candidates on the stage, ABC News anchor George Stephanopoulos, formerly President Bill Clinton’s press secretary, asked a one-word follow-up question: “Now?”
“I think we start talking with the Iraqi individuals there,” Perry said. “The idea that we allow the Iranians to come back into Iraq and take over that country, with all of the treasure, both in blood and money, that we have spent in Iraq, because this president wants to kowtow to his liberal, leftist base and move out those men and women. He could have renegotiated that timeframe.”
“I think it is a huge error for us. We’re going to see Iran, in my opinion, move back in at literally the speed of light,” Perry added. “They’re going to move back in, and all of the work that we’ve done, every young man that has lost his life in that country will have been for nothing because we’ve got a president that does not understand what’s going on in that region.”
President Obama withdrew the final U.S. troops from Iraq in December.