Chuck Todd vs. Sen. Cotton: You Made The Case Against Hillary, But You Can't Make One For Trump


(relevant portion begins at 2:50 mark)

CHUCK TODD: In many ways what you outline as a foreign policy is the exact opposite of Donald Trump and seems really closer to Hillary Clinton. Or Hillary Clinton seems closer to you. How do you explain this?

SENATOR TOM COTTON: Well, I can assure you that I'm not very close to Hillary Clinton. I think she's disqualified herself from Commander-in-Chief by her cavalier attitude towards our nation's secrecy laws. And she has been responsible for many of the worst decisions of the Obama administration.She was literally present when we pressed the reset button with Russia just a few months after Russia had invaded Georgia. In 2011, when our commanders said they needed more troops in Iraq and when every Iraqi leader wanted a new agreement to keep those troops there, she couldn't achieve that even though she was Secretary of State.And she was the strongest advocate inside the Obama administration for the Libyan misadventure which has now led to the strongest ISIS cell around the world. So I am far from a supporter of Hillary Clinton. Nor do our worldviews match up very well.

CHUCK TODD: Okay, fine, but you just gave the case against Clinton. What's the case for Trump? You just did a whole speech by the way earlier this weekend. You didn't even mention his name. You laid out a strong case against her. But you did not make a case for him. Make the case for him.

SENATOR TOM COTTON: Well, Chuck, the case against Hillary Clinton's judgment in foreign policy is very strong to say nothing of her support for Obamacare or immigration or the fact that she would--

CHUCK TODD: Okay, but what's the case for Donald Trump?I understand the case against Hillary Clinton. What's the case for Donald Trump?SENATOR

TOM COTTON: Donald Trump can ultimately make the case for himself. But Donald Trump, like most Americans, like most Republicans, believe in protecting America's core national interests. He believes as do I, as do most Americans, that we aren't yet doing enough to take the fight to the Islamic State.That the intervention in Libya was ill-considered and slapdash at the time. And we're living with the consequences of it now. That we have to get tougher when it comes to our intelligence and law enforcement practices to stop Islamic terrorism. On those matters, our party is largely united. And I say that we have the vast majority of Americans with us.

CHUCK TODD: You don't come across as an enthusiastic Trump supporter. Is that fair?

SENATOR TOM COTTON: Maybe I don't just demonstrate enthusiasm much in life, Chuck, especially in such dangerous times as these.

CHUCK TODD: No, I understand that. But it does seem as if you-- I mean, this is somebody who-- he is not running on a foreign policy that is anywhere close to what you would like to see. How do you square that into your support for him?

SENATOR TOM COTTON: Well, Chuck, I'm a Senator. And as a Senator, I play an important role in crafting foreign policy. And it's important to remember that whatever the presidential candidates of either party say, they will have to interact with the United States Congress, particularly the Senate, when it comes to crafting policy.There's been some talk in this campaign for instance about our troop presence in Japan and South Korea. That's not unprecedented. Jimmy Carter proposed when he was president withdrawing all of our troops from South Korea. He was stopped by the United States Congress. We play an important role. And I'm going to continue to play that role whoever is president.

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