- The Washington Times - Saturday, November 14, 2015

DES MOINES, Iowa — Democratic National Committee Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz said Saturday that the party’s presidential debate here later in the day will show why continuing to have a Democrat in the White House is best for U.S. national security and facing crises such as the deadly terrorist attacks in Paris.

Mrs. Wasserman Schultz said that she never considered canceling the debate because of the coordinated attacks Friday by gunmen and suicide bombers in Paris, which killed at least 127 people.

“The next commander-in-chief will be on the stage tonight [and] we will hear each of them talk about their views on how best to keep America safe and help our allies too to fight terrorists,” she said in an interview with Hearst Television outside the debate venue at Drake University.

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“We stand resolutely not only with France but with all of our allies in being committed to fight terrorism and protect our national security,” said Mrs. Wasserman Schultz, a congresswoman from Florida.

She said that Democratic leaders, such as President Obama and the party’s 2016 presidential hopefuls, know how to balance the use diplomacy and military force.

“Continuing to have a Democrat in the White House to make sure that we can appropriately fight terrorism is important,” she said, stressing that “having the ability to understand when it is appropriate to engage in military action and blending that with the right mix of diplomatic outreach efforts and putting diplomacy first but constantly keeping our national security interests in mind and using our military when and wherever appropriate” is important.

She said Democrats also know the importance of “making sure that we strengthen our alliances and make sure that those alliances, whether it is alliances through NATO or our alliances with individual nations, have the strength that they need to be able to make decisions together.”

“Obviously terrorism is a global problem and we need to work closely with our allies to combat it,” Mrs. Wasserman Schultz said.

She said all of the party’s 2016 presidential candidates have experience that would lend itself to handling national security. She noted Hillary Rodham Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state, Bernard Sanders position as a U.S. senator and Martin O’Malley’s time as mayor of Baltimore and governor of Maryland.

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