Republican Texas Gov. Rick Perry has been blasting the Obama administration for what he called “second-guessing” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over recent clashes in Gaza.
“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,” Perry told CNN’s Candy Crowley on “State of the Union” on Sunday.
Despite recent public praise from Netanyahu for the United States, Perry insisted the Obama administration has sent mixed messages during efforts to create calm in the region.
“I think that there have been messages sent both publicly and privately that have not been strong in their support of Israel,” Perry said. “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.”
Perry’s CNN interview dovetails neatly with his appearance last week at a unity rally for Israel and an op-ed in Politico on Friday entitled ”Stand with Israel.”
These high-profile foreign policy comments are yet another burst of activity that could stoke suspicion of Perry’s 2016 presidential intentions, especially given his party’s staunch support of Israel. A Pew Research survey released in July shows that only “6% of Republicans sympathize more with the Palestinians than Israel.”