Despite Their Demands For Holder's Resignation, Candidates Brush Past Fast And Furious At Debate

This is mind-boggling: Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry, and Jon Huntsman demand Eric Holder’s resignation over Operation Fast and Furious. Perry went so far as to pen an op-ed for The Washington Times calling for Holder’s resignation. But for some reason CNN doesn’t ask a single question about the operation and honestly, the candidates could have brought it up too, and had ample opportunity.

Mr. Phil Truluck, executive vice president and COO of The Heritage Foundation, finally asked about border security. He asked:

“Let’s — I’d like to turn it back a little bit, a little closer to home, and talk about what’s going on on the borders, our southern border. As all of you know, the drug-related crimes and violence are getting heavier and heavier in that area. First, do you consider that to be a national interest threat? And, secondly, what could we be doing with the Mexican government to help stop these drug cartels?”

This is a perfect set up to talk about Fast and Furious and just gunwalking in general. Wolf Blitzer went right to Mr. Perry and here’s Mr. Perry’s response:

PERRY: Well, let me kind of broaden it out. I think it’s time for a 21st century Monroe Doctrine. When you think about what we put in place in the — in the 1820s, and then we used it again in the 1960s with the Soviet Union. We’re seeing countries start to come in and infiltrate. We know that Hamas and Hezbollah are working in Mexico, as well as Iran, with their ploy to come into the United States.

We know that Hugo Chavez and the Iranian government has one of the largest — I think their largest embassy in the world is in Venezuela. So the idea that we need to have border security with the United States and Mexico is paramount to the entire western hemisphere.

So putting that secure border in place with strategic fencing, with the boots on the ground, with the aviation assets, and then working with Mexico in particular, whether it’s putting sanctions against the banks, whether it’s working with them on security with Mexico, all of those together can make that country substantially more secure and our borders secure.

As the President of the United States, I will promise you one thing, that within 12 months of the inaugural, that border will be shut down, and it will be secure.

Perfect set up to bring up Fast and Furious and Mr. Perry failed miserably. The candidates forget to attack the Obama administration during these debates and this was the exact moment Mr. Perry could have shined. Let’s examine Mr. Perry’s answer and compare it to his op-ed. When he brought up Iran in the debate he should have brought in his op-ed because he mentions Iran using the Mexican drug cartels to assassinate the Saudi Arabia ambassador in Washington.

Perry should have mentioned how he wouldn’t allow guns to walk across the border. He should have mentioned how the Obama administration has to be blamed for the border violence because of Operation Fast and Furious. He should have mentioned how he would work with the Mexican government, unlike the Obama administration do-nothing promises. No mention at all.

The conversation steered to illegal immigration and this is where Mrs. Bachmann joined in. However, she didn’t seize the opportunity to go back to border security and talk about gunwalking or Fast & Furious. Mr. Perry went back to border security, but once again, failed to bring up Fast & Furious.

PERRY: Here we go again, Mitt. You and I standing by each other again and you used the words about the magnets. And that’s one of the things that we obviously have to do is to stop those magnets for individuals to come in here.

But the real issue is securing that border. And this conversation is not ever going to end until we get the border secure. But I do think that there is a way. That after we secure that border that you can have a process in place for individual who are law- abiding citizens who have done only one thing, as Newt says, 25 years ago or whatever that period of time was, that you can put something in place that basically continues to keep those families together.

But the idea that we’re having this long and lengthy conversation here, until we have a secure border is just an intellectual exercise. You’ve got to secure the border first. And I know how to do that. I’ve been dealing with it for 10 years.

And we have to put the boots on the ground and the aviation assets in place, and secure that border once and for all, and be committed to it.

Oh Mr. Perry. You give yourself the opportunity to bring up Fast & Furious and attack the Obama administration. You fail again.

Everyone deserves blame. Mr. Huntsman wasn’t brought into the border conversation, but he could have interjected at any point, as he has done with other topics in previous debates. It really makes me wonder: are they genuinely serious about their demands Mr. Holder resign?


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