As president, Rick Perry “would send troops back into Iraq,” the Texas governor declared during Saturday's ABC/Yahoo GOP presidential debate.
Blasting President Obama for withdrawing American troops from the country, Perry said the decision has made Iraq vulnerable to infiltration from Iran.
“I think the idea that we allow the Iranians to come back into Iraq and take over that country, with all of the treasure, both in blood and money, that we have spent in Iraq because this president wants to kowtow to his liberal, leftist base and move out those men and women – he could have renegotiated that timeline,” Perry said. “I think it is a huge mistake.”
It was a bold statement from a candidate who is struggling to gain his footing in the upcoming primary states of New Hampshire and South Carolina – a state with heavy interest in defense policy – after placing second-to-last among the remaining GOP contenders in the Iowa caucuses earlier this week.