Businesswoman Carly Fiorina said Monday she has the foreign policy chops and expertise to start restoring the United States’ reputation on the world stage starting on day one of her presidency, touting her personal relationships around the globe with people such as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and King Abdullah of Jordan.
“I know more world leaders on the stage today than anyone else running, with the possible exception of Hillary Clinton, only I didn’t do photo ops — I did substantive meetings,” Ms. Fiorina said at the Iowa State Fair to applause. “I know, whether it is sitting with Vladimir Putin privately or sitting with Bibi Netanyahu privately or doing business [in] China for decades or understanding may of our Arab allies, I know this: when the United States of America does not stand with our allies and confront our adversaries, the world is a very dangerous place.”
The former Hewlett-Packard CEO turned heads with her performance in the “undercard” round at the GOP presidential debate in Cleveland earlier this month, and was in a tie for fifth in Iowa in a CNN/ORC poll conducted after the debate. She joined other presidential contenders in speaking at the Des Moines Register’s political soapbox at the state fair.
She said the U.S. must have “the strongest military on the face of the planet” and that “we must care those that have served us.”
“It is a stain on our nation’s honor that the VA has been broken for 20 years,” she said. “And the professional political class in Washington, D.C., talks a lot about [fixing] a lot of things, but somehow they have never fixed that. We need someone in the Oval Office who knows how to translate a good speech into results — I do.”
She reiterated that on her first day as president, she would make two phone calls: first, a call to Mr. Netanyahu to reassure U.S. support for Israel, and second, to the Supreme Leader of Iran demanding unfettered inspections of military and nuclear facilities.
“Those two phone calls are critically important, but they are also a signal, loud and clear, to every ally we have and every adversary we have that the United States of America is back in the leadership business,” she said to applause.
“I would not call Vladimir Putin — we have spoken way too often to him,” she added.
She said she would immediately begin rebuilding the U.S. 6th fleet and the missile defense program and would move military in and out of the Baltic states “and conduct aggressive military exercises and Mr. Putin would get the message.”
As the U.S. and its allies work to combat the Islamic State terrorist group, also known as ISIS or ISIL, she also said she’d hold a summit at Camp David with Arab allies.
“King Abdullah of Jordan, a man I’ve known for a long time, has asked us for bombs and [material] we have not supplied them — he is fighting ISIS on the ground as we speak, so he’s going to China trying to get that help,” she said. “The Egyptians have asked us to share intelligence. We haven’t; I would. The Kurds have been asking us to arm them for three years. We haven’t; I will.
“The point is our Arab allies know this is their fight and they are prepared to fight it and ISIS must be defeated, but they cannot fight without leadership and support and resolve from the United States of America,” she said to cheers and applause.
• David Sherfinski can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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