ABC Calls Out Bernie Sanders for Not Addressing Foreign Policy on Website

August 30, 2015

ABC's Martha Raddatz called out Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) Sunday for failing to address national security and foreign policy on his presidential campaign website, leading to a spirited exchange on the candidate's largely undiscussed views on those issues.

"There are two issues that are entirely missing from your campaign website, and those are issues of national security and foreign policy," Raddatz said. "Don't you feel these are issues a president should be very concerned about?"

"Absolutely, Martha, and in all fairness, we've only been in this race for three-and-a-half months, and we've been focusing on, quite correctly as you've indicated, on the economy, on the collapse of the American middle class, on massive income and wealth inequality," he said. "But you're absolutely right. Foreign policy is a huge issue."

Sanders pointed out he was glad to have voted against the war in Iraq while in the House of Representatives, leading Raddatz to note he also voted against the first Gulf war in 1991 after Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait and did not support air attacks against Syria after chemical weapons were used there.

"Can you tell me what your criteria is for the use of force?" Raddatz asked.

Sanders said that the United States had gone to war in too many instances.

"I think my vote against the first war in the Gulf region was the right vote," he said. "I think we could have gotten Saddam Hussein out of Kuwait in a way that did not require a war. And I think certainly my vote against the war in Iraq will go down--"

"Even though he had invaded Kuwait?" Raddatz asked incredulously.

"The point was you had the whole world against him, Martha," Sanders said. "Do we need to go to war in every instance, or we can be bring pressure of sanctions and international pressure to resolve these conflicts? … There are times when you have to use force, no question about it."

"Is that only when we're attacked?" Raddatz asked. "If you look at your record, you supported the invasion into Afghanistan after we were attacked [on 9/11]. Is that the only time you would support it?"

"No, not at all, not at all," Sanders said. "I think using our military is an option, obviously, that we will always have under certain circumstances, but it is the last option."