Ed Gillespie on War & Peace



Keep troops in Afghanistan; military on table with Iran

There was general agreement on foreign policy: Both Warner and Gillespie agreed that the U.S. should never take military action off the table against Iran, and that Israel is America's closest ally in the Middle East.

On keeping troops in Afghanistan, [the debate moderator] asked whether Gillespie is closer to Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) or Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY). He did not directly answer, but he sounded a lot closer to the McCain view in arguing that troops should be there "as long as they're serving our national security interests."

Warner said he thinks Colin Powell was right when he said "you break it, you own it."

"Pottery Barn," Gillespie interjected.

Source: Politico.com weblog on 2014 Virginia Senate debate , Jul 26, 2014

Foolish to say that Iran is not a serious threat

The Republican nominee should use the president's own words and actions to portray him as naive and weak on foreign affairs. Obama's failed promises, missed opportunities, and erratic shifts suggest he is out of touch and in over his head. For example, before he was elected, he promised to meet with the leaders of Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Syria, and Venezuela "without precondition." Nothing came of that except a serious blow to the image of the United States as a reliable ally. During the 2008 campaign, he also argued that Iran was a "tiny" country that didn't "pose a serious threat." How foolish that now seems.

The Republican candidate must make clear the existential threat to Israel from a nuclear-armed Iran.

Source: Karl Rove & Ed Gillespie in Foreign Policy mag, "Beat Obama" , Feb 27, 2012

Victory against Islamic terrorism must be our national goal

The Republican candidate must address at least four vital areas.
  1. The most important is the struggle that will define this century's arc: radical Islamic terrorism. He should make the case that victory must be America's national goal. As in the Cold War, victory will require sustained U.S. involvement and a willingness to deploy all tools of influence--from diplomacy to economic ties, from intelligence efforts to military action.
  2. He must condemn the president's precipitous drawdown in Afghanistan and his deep, dangerous defense-budget cuts.
  3. He should focus on the dangers of rogue states, particularly Iran and North Korea.
  4. The fourth line of attack must be about America's fragile economy and how to restore it. Source: Karl Rove & Ed Gillespie in Foreign Policy mag, "Beat Obama" , Feb 27, 2012

    As Bush spokesperson, defended Iraqi surge & al Qaeda link

    Another new arrival in the West Wing set up a rapid-response PR unit hard-wired into General David Petraeus' shop. Ed Gillespie, the new presidential counselor, organized daily conference calls between Washington and the military in Baghdad to map out ways of selling the surge.

    From the start of the Bush plan, the White House communications office had been blitzing an e-mail list of as many as 5,000 journalists and others with talking points or rebuttals of criticism, in various categories--"Myths/Facts" or "Setting the Record Straight" to take issue with negative news articles, and "In Case You Missed It" to distribute positive articles or speeches.

    Gillespie arranged several presidential speeches to make strategic arguments, such as comparing Iraq to Vietnam or warning of Iranian interference. When critics assailed Bush for overstating ties between al-Qaeda and the group called al-Qaeda in Iraq, Gillespie organized a Bush speech to make his case.

    Source: Washington Post on 2014 Virginia Senate race , Sep 8, 2007

    Bush was insightful and resolute in War on Terror

    President Bush's historic re-election will prove seminal in our nation's history, in terms of both domestic policy and national security. History will judge his firm sense of direction in what it takes to win the War on Terror as insightful and resolute. His economic policies are fostering growth and creating jobs. At the same time, his innate sense of decency and compassion will prove important as our country comes to terms with significant moral and ethical issues like stem cell research, same-sex marriage, and the general coarsening of our culture.
    Source: Winning Right, by Ed Gillespie, p. 6 , Sep 5, 2006

    We should stand by Bush doctrine of pre-emption

    President Bush's most important principle is that after September 11, the US will act preemptively to protect its citizens. This principle was central to the war in Iraq, and because of failures in intelligence relative to Iraq's possession of weapons of mass destruction it is now subject to immense second-guessing and criticism.

    As a party we should stand by the Bush doctrine of pre-emption. In a time when the greatest threat to our country is chemical or biological weapons in the hands of Islamic extremists who want to bring an end to the Western way of life, an unwillingness to act preemptively could result in a tragedy that could dwarf the destruction of the Twin Towers.

    Source: Winning Right, by Ed Gillespie, p.236 , Sep 5, 2006

    Fight War on Terror in Kabul or it will be waged in Kansas

    America prevailed in the Cold War because Republicans prevailed in 1980s presidential elections and embraced Reagan's willingness to confront the Soviet Union.

    We will prevail in the War on Terror by embracing Bush's willingness to fight the terrorists where they live, knowing that if the fight is not waged in places like Kabul & Baghdad it will be waged in places like Kansas & Boston. A majority of Americans intuitively understand this, despite frustration over the pace of progress in Iraq.

    Source: Winning Right, by Ed Gillespie, p.237 , Sep 5, 2006

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