Clinton asked about what to do with Putin.
She argues stronger “leadership position” in Syria will help rein in Putin.
Sanders asked abut Syria, calls it “quagmire,” compares it to Iraq which he calls “worst foreign policy blunder in American history.”
Dana Bash tees up Chafee to call HRC “disqualified” over Iraq vote; he obliges.
HRC: Went through this over and over in debates with Obama, Obama chose her to be SoS. Denies supporting U.S. troops in Syria. Notes role in killing bin Laden and negotiating Iran deal.
Bash asks Sanders under what circumstances he’d support use of force in Middle East; Bernie dodges but says he was right about Iraq and supports Obama in avoiding use of force.
On follow-up, Sanders notes he supported Kosovo and Aghanistan actions, opposes unilateral action.
O’Malley invited to critique HRC and Sanders. Says we should never take force off table, but then goes on at great length about Iraq. Finally tells HRC he opposes no-fly zone in Syria. “Assad’s invasion of Syria will be perceived as a blunder.” Wonder what that means.
Clinton notes O’Malley endorsed her in 2008, deplores “loose talk” on Syria, says “no-fly zone” in Syria essential for leverage over Russia.
Webb quoted as opposing Libya action, chooses to talk about Syria as well. Here we go: Webb mentions Iran deal as “sending bad signal.” But then he says China his main priority. “We will do something about that.”
For some reason, Sanders invited to make rebuttal after Webb sorta goes off; decides to say Putin “will regret” what he’s doing.
Now HRC asked about Benghazi!, ostensibly in response to Webb. HRC goes pretty deep on whole Libya policy, reminded to explain Benghazi!. Finally says diplomatic personnel always at risk.
O’Malley says Benghazi! result of poor human intel. Webb says we had no business in Libya anyway.
Whoa! Cooper asks Webb if Sanders–who applied for CO status–qualified to be commander-in-chief. Webb refuses to attack Sanders but touts own military record. Sanders salutes Webb’s military and veterans affairs record, takes partial credit for latter. But then goes back to CO issue; says he opposed Vietnam War, not troops in Vietnam, and “I’m not a pacifist.”
Chafee takes issue with Webb on Iran nuke deal, refers to “Alawite Shi’as.” Webb goes back to “signal.”
Down the line question: Who or what is greatest threat
Chafee: Chaos in middle east.
O’Malley: Nuclear Iran.
Sanders: Climate change.