Democratic presidential candidate Martin O’Malley brought up how old both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are when offering his opinion up on how to handle ISIS and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Saturday during ABC’s Democratic debate, O’Malley interjected after suggesting, “May I offer a different generation’s perspective on this?” Cutting off Sanders as he offered his views that taking on ISIS should take priority over removing Assad as president.
Sanders is 74, Clinton is 68, and O’Malley is a relative spring chicken at 52.
“This is a complicated issue,” Sanders explained. “I don’t think anyone has a magical solution. But this is what I do believe. yes, of course Assad is a terrible dictator. But I think we have got to get our foreign policies and priorities right. The immediate, it is not Assad who is attacking the United States. It is ISIS.”
“And ISIS is attacking France and attacking Russian airliners. The major priority right now in terms of our foreign and military policy should be the destruction of ISIS,” Sanders argued. “And I think — and I think we bring together that broad coalition including Russia to help us destroy ISIS. And work on a timetable. To get rid of Assad, hopefully through Democratic elections. First priority, destroy ISIS.”
O’Malley then interjected, “May I offer a different generation’s perspective on this? During the Cold War, during the Cold War we got into a bad habit of always looking to see who was wearing the jersey of the communists and who was wearing the U.S. jersey.”
“We got into a bad habit of creating big bureaucracies, old methodologies to undermine regimes that were not friendly to the United States… I would suggest to you that we need to leave the Cold War behind us and we need to put together new alliances and new approaches to dealing with this and we need to restrain ourselves. I mean, I know Secretary Clinton was gleeful when Gaddafi was torn apart. When the world no doubtably is a better place without him. But look, we didn’t know what was happening next.”
O’Malley continued: “And we fell into the same trap with Assad, saying as if it’s our job to say Assad must go. we have a role to play in this world. But we need to leave the Cold War and that sort of antiquated thinking behind us.”
“I believe that we need to focus on destroying ISIL,” O’Malley explained. “That is the clear and present danger. And I believe that we can springboard off of this new U.N. resolution. And we should create as Secretary Clinton indicated, and I agree with that, that there should be a political process but we shouldn’t be the ones declaring that Assad must go.”
“Where did it ever say in the constitution, where is it written it is the job of the United States of America or its Secretary of State to determine when dictators have to go?” O’Malley claimed. “We have a role to play in this world. But it is not the world — the role of traveling the world looking for new monsters to destroy.”