Rick Perry Weighs In On Israel-Gaza Conflict: Can't Understand Why U.S. Would Ever Criticize Israel

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Now that it's becoming increasingly obvious he's running for president again in 2016, Governor Rick Perry has been voicing his opinion on all matters lately, including now the war conflict occurring in Israel and Gaza.

During his weekend interview with CNN's State of the Union with Candy Crowley, instead of lament the loss of innocent lives lost and wish for a quick, immediate resolution to this war, Perry turned the conflict into a partisan opportunity to attack the president. Because, Obama.

During the interview, Perry attempted to suggest President Obama and his administration were not supportive of Israel.

Perry criticized Obama's lament of civilian loss as being too critical of Israel — twisting Obama's words to make it seem he was against Israel trying to protect its own citizens.

“I don't understand why this administration would criticize Israel for trying to protect their citizens and their country from a group who have clearly stated that they will not be satisfied until Israel is wiped off the face of the Earth.  We need to be standing up with Israel, sending a strong message to those in the Middle East that would attack this democracy, that we are their ally, and they can count on us,” said Perry.

While Perry continued to try to make his baseless case against the president, host Candy Crowley was quick to point out Israel's Prime Minister Netanyahu has stated he “thinks the president and (Secretary) Kerry have been terrific.”

Perry shrugged off Crowley's comments, and advanced onward with his own real objective: To use the opportunity to attack President Obama.

Video and transcript below:

CROWLEY:  I want to bring in Texas Governor Rick Perry, who of late has been criticizing the Obama administration for its stance toward Israel.

Governor, you have talked about the president's policy of calculated ambivalence.  Where does that manifest itself?  What exactly are you talking about?

PERRY:  Well, even, from my perspective, more than that from the secretary of state.

When – when you have the president and his administration trying to second-guess Prime Minister Netanyahu, then I think you see what I'm making reference to, the idea that our best ally in the Middle East, the longest-serving democracy in that part of the world – and there – there's any air between us and Israel is – is beyond me.

I don't understand why this administration would criticize Israel for trying to protect their citizens and their country from a group who have clearly stated that they will not be satisfied until Israel is wiped off the face of the Earth. We need to be standing up with Israel, sending a strong message to those in the Middle East that would attack this democracy, that we are their ally, and they can count on us.

CROWLEY: Governor, we – we have heard the president and Secretary Kerry talk about Israel's right to defend itself.  They did express their worries about the large number of civilian casualties that seem to be taking place in Gaza.

And, yesterday, we heard Benjamin Netanyahu, the president – I'm sorry – the prime minister of Israel saying that he thinks the president and Kerry have been terrific.

So you don't believe that?

PERRY:  No, I – I think that there have been messages that have sent both publicly and privately that have not been strong in their support of Israel.

I think, when you look back at the rhetoric and the – what they have done, I – I don't think that they have been as strong with Israel as they should be. You know, and the fact is, you have Hamas that are using their children to protect their missiles, and I think Prime Minister Netanyahu was very for forthright, very specific when he said that Israel uses their missiles to protect their children.

And there is a very different perspective, if you will, and a very different result in those two people and their statements, and, frankly, in – in the – in the two organizations.

The conflict occurring in Israel and Gaza is a tremendously complex one.

Making the death and suffering of these nations into a cheap, and baseless opportunity to attack the president continues to prove to the rest of the country the lack of leadership Perry is missing — a virtue Perry has already proven to lack to every Texan these past 14 years in office.

Let's hope Perry isn't planning to use Obama as his go-to excuse for everything, because President Obama's time in office ends in 2017. Perry is going to have to come up with a better excuse real soon if he really wants to convince people to elect him president.

Follow Omar on Twitter at @AraizaTX.

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Omar Araiza

Staff writer Omar Araiza covers immigration, Latino voters, the U.S.-Mexico border, and LGBT issues. He is a proud South Texas native, born and raised in the lower Rio Grande Valley. Omar tweets from @AraizaTX.

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