June 5th, 2007
08:47 PM ET
12 years ago

Hunter, Giuliani on using nukes against Iran

MANCHESTER, New Hampshire (CNN) - When asked if he would authorize a U.S. strike on Iran's nuclear facilities that were being used to develop dangerous weapons, California Rep. Duncan Hunter said he would - in the unlikely situation that there were no other options.

"I would authorize the use of tactical nuclear weapons if there was no other way to preempt those particular centrifuges," Hunter said at Tuesday's GOP presidential debate sponsored by CNN.

"Probably, it's going to take a little more than that. I don't think it's going to take tactical nukes," he added.

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani warned of the dangers of a preemptive strike.

"Part of the premise of talking to Iran has to be that they have to know very clearly that it is unacceptable to the United States that they have nuclear power," he said.

"I think it could be done with conventional weapons, but you can't rule out anything and you shouldn't take any option off the table," Giuliani said.

"These are real problems. This war is not a bumper sticker. This war is a real war," he added.

- CNN.com Writer Kristi Keck

Filed under: Uncategorized
soundoff (7 Responses)
  1. Rod C. Venger, Colorado Springs, Colorado

    I notice that Hunter speaks his mind while Giuliani doesn't quite answer the question. Rudy was a one-trick pony and has no business running this country. We need a decisive leader, not one that can't or won't speak the truth out of fear of offending someone.

    June 5, 2007 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  2. Tom H. Seattle, WA

    This was the scariest part of the whole debate. Any person who would consider using nuclear weapons in a pre-emptive manner should forfeit their ability to be President. Consider the consequences and who else would like to use a pre-emptive nuclear strike. Russia vs. Georgia. India vs. Pakistan. China vs. who? And do these people know how Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria, and Pakistan would react toward Israel. Toward us? Every country in the world would rush to gain nuclear capability as quickly, and quietly, as they could. This entire conversation was sheer madness. Welcome home Dr. Strangelove.

    June 5, 2007 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |
  3. Angela Thornton, Hoffman Estates IL

    Almost all the candidates up there seemed to support initiating an unprovoked nuclear attack on Iran, and nobody is commenting? Wow.

    June 5, 2007 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  4. Eric, San Diego, CA

    Any candidate that thinks it is proper to use nuclear weapons in a first-strike situation should be immediately disqualified as a candidate for President. It is that simple. That is a line that we SHALL NOT EVER CROSS.

    June 5, 2007 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  5. John Weier, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

    Unbelievable!! These crooks are actually saying that will launch tactical nuclear weapons against Iran, where as a consequence millions of Iranian people will die!!! This would be HIGHLY ILLEGAL AND CRIMINAL in international law. The US attacks a country that is no threat to the US and also not to Israel in that case. Iran has no plans to attack or "wipe out" Israel. It's a very misquote. They don't like the Israeli government but wouldn't be so crazy or willing to attack that country, unless they are attacked themselves of course.
    The US will be a pariah state if they bomb Iran and kill millions of civilians, just like they did in WW2.

    June 5, 2007 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm |
  6. Brett Huebner, Hillsboro, KS

    First, Angela, I don't think Ron Paul supported such a preemptive strike. But yes, wow! Are we headed for another arms race, and Russia seem a likely ally to Iran; and this may well be titled the second war of Yankee aggression, this one aimed at the evil axis around the world.
    What I don't understand is how so few of these candidates {Dems also} don't seem o appreciate that Iran may well feel that a nuclear weapon gives them leverage against the U.S., much as ours did against the USSR? Why must Iran be our enemy anyway? Are we making real diplomatic efforts to understand their needs and wants? Do they really HATE us and FREEDOM as so many of our politicians suggest. Here, I am disappointed in McCAin's final words of teh debate; it was all too Bushesque. I hardly believe Iran is inherently evil. They want something, and we conclude that if they want something we also want, they must be evil, but oh-ho, if we would suggest we, the virtous Americans, are capable of committing. Yet we, the only nation to drop the a-bomb on a large civilian city [and did it twice within a week], somehow ignore that past enough to think we ARE in fact the moral virtuosos of our time, and can choose which other nations in the world have this same weapon? Are we bomb-less right now? Are we? Then what gives us the right to dictate that someone else should not; we are basically saying, "You have to remain in a state of less military prestige than we." And to even deny Iran the comfort of a clean fuel such as nuclear energy, for the FEAR they may make a bomb; when can America start 'trusting' and not assuming everyone wishes to destroy us? Do we all need to return to kindergarten?

    June 6, 2007 02:46 am at 2:46 am |