Pataki: Fighting Islamic State should be higher priority

AP News
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Posted: Aug 16, 2015 8:36 PM
Pataki: Fighting Islamic State should be higher priority

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The latest from the presidential candidates as they meet and greet voters at the Iowa State Fair (all times are local):

5:30 p.m.

Former New York Gov. George Pataki is telling Iowans he would make fighting the Islamic State group a higher priority of the federal government by increasing U.S. airstrikes against the violent militant group in the Middle East.

During an appearance at the Iowa State Fair, the Republican presidential candidate says the group that has claimed a swath of Iraq and Syria, and has gained a presence in other countries such as Egypt and Libya can be defeated without the U.S. sending front-line ground forces overseas.

To about 100 onlookers, he said at The Des Moines Register's Political Soapbox: "I would send in American special ops to destroy those recruiting centers, those planning hubs, and kill them there, and get out before they have the chance to kill us here."

Pataki, who was governor from 1995 to 2007, is among the lesser-known candidates in the large Republican field. He said his time as the Republican governor of heavily Democratic New York shows he can work with his political adversaries.

He said: "I know I can do it, because I did it in New York."

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4:30 p.m.

Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson has been holding court with hundreds of Iowans, declaring that he can be president of the United States.

At The Des Moines Register's Political Soapbox at the Iowa State Fair, Carson, a Republican candidate for president, said Sunday: "We shouldn't let the political class pick our presidents."

Carson, who has a rags-to-riches story, has ignited curiosity and enthusiasm from conservatives with his call for a more civil, less partisan dialogue in the federal government. On the stage, he said: "Just because you disagree with someone doesn't mean you're their enemy."

He sprinkled his 15-minute speech with jokes about aspiring to be a doctor while growing up in inner-city Detroit.

Though offering little details on how to address it, he said the chief problem facing the country is its long-term liabilities, which Carson said amount to $211 trillion over time.

He said: "The problems that threaten to destroy us are not Democrat problems or Republican problems. They are American problems."