On Saturday, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry gave an extensive interview to The Daily Caller about his foreign policy worldview. Below is the transcript of his answer on whether America should have intervened in Libya in 2011:
The Daily Caller: Let me ask you one more scenario. It’s March 2011, the pro-Gaddafi forces are marching on Benghazi. President Obama is being implored to use military force there. He ultimately does. Gaddafi’s overthrown. We have a mess today. What would a President Rick Perry have done? Would he have invaded Libya, or would he not have?
Rick Perry: I would have had a coalition, a coalition that the U.S. was substantially more engaged with than what we had in this case. So what the outcome would have been — most likely, and again knowing what we know today, having the stability in Libya would have been better for that region than this chaos that we see today.
The Daily Caller: So, would you not have moved to remove Gaddafi from power?
Rick Perry: I would have worked with the coalition and if the coalition had come to the decision that this was in the best interest of removing — which I think now, in hindsight, it was was not.
The Daily Caller: But at the time, they did. People in Europe…
Rick Perry: I understand that, but you asked me what I would have done. And I’ve got hindsight. So at that particular point in time — I don’t know if I have all the details — looking at what we know today, not unlike the question that gets asked about, “Would you have invaded Iraq if you knew what you knew today?” And I can’t remove myself from that. For the stability of that region, obviously, having someone, even an individual who we have not gotten along with, but were actually — I mean, it was a relatively peaceful, relatively peaceful, part of the world, so the idea that you’re going to remove someone, it may not have been in America’s best interest to remove Gaddafi.
The Daily Caller: Knowing then, you think it was understandable that they had the coalition because the coalition was pushing to…
Rick Perry: I think that would be a reasonable observation.