DES MOINES – Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton dodged a debate question about her own role in underestimating the terrorist group ISIS during her time as Secretary of State.
“I don’t think the United States has the bulk of the responsibility” for ISIS, Clinton said after a CBS moderator pressed her on the issue just one day after the ISIS-credited terrorist attacks in Paris. “I really put that on Assad and the Iraqis and the region.” Clinton explained that a trained Iraqi army was ready to defend its country when the U.S. left under President Obama, but that former Iraqi prime minister Nouri al-Maliki “set about devastating it.”
Clinton also said that the fight against ISIS “cannot be an American fight…we will support those who take the fight to ISIS…this cannot be an American fight.”
But Sen. Bernie Sanders and Martin O’Malley slammed Clinton for her vote for the Iraq War.
“I would argue that the disastrous invasion of Iraq….led to the rise of al Qaeda and to ISIS,” Sanders said, calling Iraq one of the “worst foreign policy blunders in the history of the United States.”
“I think we have a disagreement, and the disagreement is not only did I vote against the war in Iraq…regime change…these invasions, these toppling of governments, regime changes, have unintended consequences,” Sanders said.
“I’m a little more conservative than the Secretary,” Sanders said of Clinton, when it comes to regime change.
“This is a war for the soul of Islam,” Sanders added about the fight against ISIS in the Middle East.
“This actually is America’s fight,” O’Malley said in response to Clinton. “It can’t solely be America’s fight.”