Breitbart News National Security Editor Dr. Sebastian Gorka, author of the best-selling book Defeating Jihad: The Winnable War, joined former White House National Security Council staffer Gillian Turner to discuss how the presidential candidates would handle terrorism on Fox News Saturday.
Gorka said voters were looking for “meat on the bone” of an anti-terrorism strategy.
“It’s clear that Donald Trump believes we are at war. This is refreshing,” he said. “He believes this is a serious threat, and ISIS has to be defeated. And he wants to be a president that wins this war. So let’s hear the details, and Monday could be a perfect time.”
“I think it’s a golden opportunity for him, and people would respond to it really, really well,” Turner agreed. “And we’re not talking about a battle plan – because, you know, a lot of people push back and say, ‘Well, you shouldn’t broadcast to the enemy what we’re going to do.’ Of course not. We’re talking about a sort of macro-level strategy that outlines his vision, outlines the general approach he’s gonna take, what elements it will combine, if he ‘s gonna include military, and diplomatic, and political, and ideological, how that’s going to work together – something that at least gives us the contours.”
“I think Hillary Clinton has done a really good job of putting forward a plan like that,” she continued. “It’s not for everybody. A lot of critics don’t think it’s viable. But to her credit, you can log on to her website and read it, and decide for yourself. I think Donald Trump’s got to step up and do that, too.”
Gorka said voters would also be looking at the temperament of the candidates, and whether Clinton can overcome a poor track record of dealing with Islamist terror threats.
“I think Donald’s proven his temperament towards the threat, that this is a guy who wants to win. And that’s what he’s famous for, right? He’s a winner,” Gorka said. “I think the issue is track record, with regards to Hillary. The threat that we see in ISIS is, in large part, a result of policies that the Obama Administration brought when she was Secretary of State. If you look at Libya, if you look at Syria, the ‘red lines’ that weren’t red lines, if you look at the withdrawal of our troops in 2011 – if Donald Trump simply points these out, that ISIS has become the world’s most powerful insurgency of the jihadist enterprise, whilst she was in Cabinet, that’s a problem for her.”
“What she needs to do is be careful to not hedge herself in, which she’s already doing,” Turner suggested. “My biggest criticism of her kind of strategy on terrorism right now is that she’s already making proclamations, like ‘if I was President, I would never put another American boot on the ground in Iraq, ever again.’ That’s exactly the kind of approach that hedges in our military leaders unnecessarily. It really undercuts us on the international stage. If she can really stay away from reiterating that, I think that would behoove her a lot.”
Asked if the first debate might include a moment where Trump calls Clinton out for supporting the Iraq War, Gorka replied, “He’s done it before. I think he’s probably being advised right now to play it cool on Monday, to continue the presidential – I mean, this campaign has been turned around since Steve Bannon took over. In the last month, we’ve gone from problematic, trailing, trailing, trailing to a guy that, in even states that were a slam-dunk for Hillary, she may lose. So he has to maintain that steady hand.”