Kasich: I’d ‘Prefer’ the US Move Its Embassy to Jerusalem

Republican presidential candidate Ohio Governor John Kasich said he would “prefer” the US move its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem on Monday’s broadcast of CNN’s “The Final 5 Candidates.”

When asked if he believes the US should move its embassy to Jerusalem, Kasich said, “Well, I would prefer that. But I think we have other things we have to do up front, which is to make sure they have security, back channels to the Palestinians, and I’m told today that there are — there’s some progress with the Palestinians in terms of keeping some of the lid on the violence. I mean, the stabbings have been terrible. But perhaps there are still some things that they do to try to keep a lid on the situation. My whole point, Anderson as regard[s to] Israel and the whole Middle East, is we look for stability. We’re not going to have any long-term peace. It’s a matter of getting through each day with a lid on things over there. We can make some more progress, but it’s tough right now.”

Kasich was then asked if he thought moving the embassy to Jerusalem on day one was a mistake, Kasich stated, “No, I’m just saying let’s take one thing at a time.”

In response to a follow-up on whether moving the embassy would impact the peace process, Kasich argued, “Look, there’s some things that you say that you know are just going to get you nowhere. But I — but nobody made a stronger speech today about my support, over all of my professional career for Israel, and what I think we need to do vis-a-vis the Palestinians, Hamas, Hezbollah, Iran. I called for the suspension of the Iran nuclear agreement because of their ballistic missile violations and basically violating the spirit of the agreement. But look, Anderson, it’s easy to make a lot of statements. But when you have a lot of experience in this matter, which I had, serving 18 years on the Armed Services Committee, and then being in the Pentagon after 9/11 at the request of Secretary Rumsfeld to help solve some of their problems over there, you learn to choose your words carefully. And you — today, I think I was very strong in that speech. I received an overwhelming response, from the beginning, and all the way through that talk, and I think I’ve said enough at this point.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett


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