Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani said March 23 that Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton “could be considered a founding member of ISIS.”
When pressed by Fox News anchor Bill O’Reilly, Giuliani explained that her role as Secretary of State during the United States withdrawal from Iraq and America’s intervention in the Syrian civil war lead to the creation and expansion of ISIS:
“By being part of an administration that withdrew from Iraq. By being part of an administration that let (Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki) run Iraq into the ground, so you forced the Shiites to make a choice. By not intervening in Syria at the proper time. By being part of an administration that drew twelve lines in the sand and made a joke out of it,” Guiliani said.
O’Reilly countered that Clinton wasn’t directly responsible for the president’s decisions, and that the only way she could have protested Obama’s foreign policy was by resigning.
“Which is what a patriot does,” Giuliani returned.
This rhetorical escalation against the Democrat frontrunner was a response to Clinton’s speech about foreign policy on March 23 outlining her plans to fight ISIS in the wake of the terror attacks in Brussels.
“The threat we face from terrorism is real, it is urgent, and it knows no boundaries,” said Clinton in her speech.
She was critical of the proposed policy by Republican candidate Ted Cruz to patrol areas with heavy muslim populations, calling it “wrong” and “counterproductive” to treat Muslims “like criminals.”
She also took a shot at Donald Trump’s proposal to withdraw from NATO as detrimental to U.S. relations with Russia:
“If Mr. Trump gets his way, it will be like Christmas in the Kremlin.”
Giuliani has not endorsed a candidate for president but had sympathetic words for Cruz and Trump, who he said were the “most specific” in their plans to defeat ISIS.