Foreign policy at forefront of Iowa Caucus campaigning now

IOWA CITY — Foreign policy is front and center of the conversation as Republican presidential candidates campaign for votes in Iowa’s Caucuses. During weekend events, though, candidates offered a variety of responses to what’s happened in Israel, in Gaza and in the United States.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis says President Biden should be blocking humanitarian assistance to Palestinians in Gaza, because it will wind up in the hands of Hamas.  “You see students demonstrating in our owm country in favor of Hamas terrorists. Some of them are foreigners on student visas, When I’m president (and) you’re making common cause with Hamas, I am cancelling your visa and I am sending you home.”

South Carolina Senator Tim Scott says there should be consequences for American colleges and universities that allow anti-Semitic protests.  “As president of the United States, I would sign the bill…that takes away the Pell Grants from any college or any university that says: ‘It’s o.k. to spread terrorism on our campuses…It’s o.k. to be anti-Jewish. I say, ‘No!'” Scott said.

Tech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy says Israel needs to learn the lessons of the mistakes the U-S made after the 9/11 attacks — and the trillions Ramaswamy says was wasted on wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.  “I am deeply worried about the wisdom of this ongoing, potentially imminent ground invasion to Gaza which I do not believe is going to be good for Israel,” Ramaswamy said, “and do not believe it’s going to be good for the United States.”

North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum, former Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson and Texas pastor Ryan Binkley also campaigned in the state this weekend.