GOP candidates for Iowa’s U.S. Senate seat against U.S. strikes into Syria

(Radio Iowa) – Four Republican candidates for Iowa’s U.S. Senate seat agree: the U.S. should not send military strikes into Syria.

The four spoke tonight at the Polk County Republican Party’s annual summer picnic and the crowd applauded each for their stand on the issue. Sam Clovis of Hinton is a retired U.S. Air Force colonel who signed off his radio talk show in Sioux City in June to run for the senate.

“I’m amused at the fact that Bruce Braley has to go out and put a poll on the internet to find out where he stands on Syria,” Clovis said, getting a few laughs from the crowd. “He ought to know where he stands on Syria. I know where I stand on Syria and that’s that we have no business being in Syria — not now, not ever. Ever!”

Congressman Braley is the only Democrat running for the seat Democrat Tom Harkin has held since January of 1985.

GOP candidate Joni Ernst of Red Oak is a lieutenant colonel in the Iowa National Guard and the commander of a battalion with 1200 soldiers.

“We are not going to Syria, not at this time,” Ernst said, telling the Polk County crowd there’s been a “lack of leadership” from the president on this issue.

Candidate Matt Whitaker, a lawyer from Ankeny who was the GOP’s nominee for state treasurer in 2002, also served as a U.S. Attorney during George W. Bush’s administration.

“I don’t see how it is in our strategic interest and I would be a note on military action in Syria,” Whitaker said.

David Young of Van Meter, who quit his job as Senator Chuck Grassley’s chief of staff this spring in order to run for the U.S. Senate, would be another “no” vote on a congressional resolution to authorize U.S. military strikes into Syria.

“Assad is a mad man, obviously, gassing people,” Young said. “…But I would not support this. I certainly don’t want boots on the ground, that’s for sure.”

Congressman Tom Latham of Clive also spoke at the event, telling the crowd of fellow Republicans it is “irrational” to attack targets in Syria and kill men, women and children as a response to the Syrian government’s use of chemical weapons to kill men, women and children. Latham also faulted the president for failing to build an “international coalition” to respond to Syria.