The Paris attacks loomed over the Democratic debate on Saturday evening. Hillary Clinton still wants to allow approximately 60,000 Syrian refugees into the United States. The former Secretary of State was forced to defend her role in the fight against the rise of ISIS during her time at the podium.
“This election is not only about electing a president, it’s also about choosing our next commander in chief,” Hillary Clinton said during the Democratic debate. “All of the other issues we want to deal with depend upon us being secure and strong.”
— National Review (@NRO) November 15, 2015
Clinton was forced to defend her national security record during the Democratic debate. The second meeting between the candidates boasted a decidedly less jovial tone than the first debate several weeks ago. Democratic Socialist candidate Bernie Sanders criticized Clinton’s vote to authorize military action in Iraq, maintaining that the move “unraveled” the Middle East region, the Christian Science Monitor reports.
Hillary Clinton attempted to fight back against Sanders’ claim and defended Barack Obama’s policy to deal with the threats of terrorism. Clinton said that Obama did not underestimate ISIS and added that terrorism had been erupting in the region for decades, MSN reports. The recent violence in Libya and other locations in the Middle East is due to a symptomatic “arc of instability from North Africa to Afghanistan,” according to the former First Lady.
— The Weekly Standard (@weeklystandard) November 15, 2015
Democratic presidential candidate and former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley joined Bernie Sanders in challenging Clinton’s national security and foreign policy decision-making skills. Earlier this year, O’Malley made national headlines when he apologized for saying “all lives matter” when chastised by Black Lives Matter activists.
Clinton was also painted as a Wall Street lackey by her opponents on the Democratic debate stage. Bernie Sanders stated that Hillary had accepted “millions” in donations from Wall Street bankers.
“Let’s not be naive about it,” the Democratic Socialist candidate said. “They expect to get something. Everybody knows that.”
Accepting donations from special interest groups who expect something in return, like Wall Street bankers and labor union bosses, is likely a question which will plague many candidates — except Donald Trump, who is self-funding his run for the presidency.
Hillary Clinton lays out her No. 1 requirement for accepting refugees into the U.S. https://t.co/Us5aZ7QXYH
— Mashable (@mashable) November 15, 2015
Bernie Sanders said he wants an approach to dealing with ISIS and the mounting problems in the Middle East that is far more hands-off. The socialist candidate advocated for Muslim nations to lead the fight in their own region. Sanders also said that the fight against ISIS is about the “soul of Islam.”
Clinton called for the United States to embark upon a more aggressive role in Syria. She advocated for a no-fly zone to be created over the region, a measure President Obama has opposed. Hillary also stood by her refusal not to seek a formal declaration of war against the Islamic State.
“We are at war with violent extremism, we are at war with people who use their religion for purposes of power and oppression,” Hillary Clinton said when arguing the United States is not at war with Islam or all Muslims. “I don’t want us to be painting with too broad a brush.”
Clinton, Martin O’Malley, and Sanders all deemed the use of the term “radical Islam,” used by Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio, as “offensive” to American Muslims.
When advocating for allowing 65,000 Syrian refugees to come into the United States, Clinton said that all the individuals would be properly vetted before gaining entry. Exactly how such vetting would occur remains unclear. Concerns that ISIS would have trained terrorists mingle in with the refugees became quite real after the Paris attacks.
Unless the fingerprints of a refugee pop up in a governmental database, it would be almost impossible to determine the background of the person — or if they are even using their real name. The same vetting and identification concerns have been voiced in reference to the millions of illegal immigrants who have streamed across the Mexican border, perhaps one of the reasons support for both Donald Trump and Ted Cruz’s illegal immigration policies continue to garner increased poll numbers for the GOP candidates.
[Image via AP Photo/Charlie Neiberga]