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Monday, April 13, 2015

 2:22 PM 

Johnson slams Obama on ISIS strategy

OCONOMOWOC -- U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson said his preferred method for dealing with ISIS is to "wipe them off the face of the Earth" as he blasted President Obama for being too soft on the issue.

"For me, defeat is, you know, defeat. Get rid of them, kill them!" Johnson said. "Wipe them off the face of the Earth. Wipe that evil, that barbarity off the face of the Earth. President Obama's definition of defeat is 'Let's kind of just contain this thing, kick it down the road and let the next guy or gal take care of it.'"

Johnson spoke on national policy at the Wisconsin Conservative Action Conference on Saturday.

He called the recently negotiated Iranian deal "awful," saying, "that negotiation was lost before it before it ever started." Johnson argued that Obama is lifting economic sanctions against Iran "while basically acknowledging their right to enrich uranium."

Johnson said he doesn't believe any nuclear enrichment program in Iran could be peaceful. "If they want peaceful nuclear power, they can buy the fuel like other places. That's an outright lie," he said.

The freshman senator from Oshkosh said he will introduce an amendment on Tuesday to rename the Iran deal a "treaty," which would require 67 votes -- a two-thirds majority -- for Senate ratification. He added, "When I lose that, I'll say let's deem it a congressional executive agreement with filibuster privileges -- 60 votes. When I lose that, I'll say how about a congressional executive agreement, expedited procedures -- 50 votes."

Johnson also blasted Obama for pulling U.S troops from Iraq, saying "the war had been won" but that the U.S should have stayed to build a stable democracy. Obama, Johnson said, "bugged out," causing U.S. casualties and money spent to be "wasted."

"As we see things moving forward with ISIS, he basically allows Iran to be the boots on the ground, spreading their influence," said Johnson, "because (Obama's) not committed to the very goal he set for himself to degrade and defeat ISIS."

Johnson told WisPolitics.com afterward that he supports more U.S troops in Afghanistan but that he would not vote to authorize troops to fight ISIS in Syria and elsewhere because he doubts Obama's commitment to success.

"I certainly don't see that in the authorization to use military force that he presented to us." he said. "It's going to be so difficult right now with this president in office. We're going to have to try in some way, shape or form, to get by the next couple of years."

Johnson also blasted Obama's meeting this weekend with Cuban President Raul Castro, the first high-level meeting between leaders of the U.S and Cuba in a half-century.

"I obviously disagree with the direction President Obama's taking on policy as it relates to Cuba," Johnson said. "Our policy should be focused on two primary goals: to improve the lives of a lot of people in Cuba but also to protect our own national security. Cuba is already open for trade throughout pretty much the rest of the world, and it certainly hasn't done anything in terms of bringing the regime in Cuba in the modern world to allow freedom of expression, lack of oppression."

"It's just like we're doing with Iran," Johnson added. "If we lessen those sanctions we'll just put more money, more economic strength into some regimes that actually harm our national security. It's not a good thing that President Obama is even attending the conference where you've got Raul Castro there. You're raising his profile, you're legitimatizing that regime, which is a completely illegitimate regime."

-- By Kay Nolan
For WisPolitics.com


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