Kaine Dodges on Whether Clinton Would Keep Promise of Never Putting Ground Troops in Iraq or Syria

September 18, 2016

Vice-presidential candidate Sen. Tim Kaine (D., Va.) on Sunday dodged a question about whether Hillary Clinton would keep her promise to never put ground troops in Syria or Iraq.

Kaine appeared on CNN's State of the Union on Sunday morning where host Jake Tapper asked him about Secretary Clinton's plans to stabilize the Middle East. 

At one point during the interview, Tapper read off an op-ed written by former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates that appeared in the Wall Street Journal on Friday.

Tapper read off this section of the editorial:

Mrs. Clinton has ruled out putting U.S. ground troops in Iraq and Syria "ever again." That is a politically driven categorical declaration of a sort no president (or candidate) should make

"Do you stand by Secretary Clinton's declaration that your administration will never put ground troops into Iraq or Syria ever?" asked Tapper after reading this excerpt of the op ed.

Kaine did not answer the question from Tapper but instead deflected to attacking Donald Trump.

Eventually Kaine described his and Clinton's plans to defeat ISIS but would not answer where they could pledge to not commit ground troops.

"The right strategy is for us to train and equip," he said. "Use air assets and that is the strategy we're using. That strategy is, again, we're shrinking their space on the battlefield, Jake. But now what we have to do is make sure that we're sharing intelligence with allies."

Published under: ISIS , Syria , Tim Kaine