Former New York Governor George Pataki is telling Iowans he would make fighting the Islamic State group a higher priority of the federal government by increasing U.S. airstrikes against the violent militant group in the Middle East.
During an appearance at the Iowa State Fair, the Republican presidential candidate says the group that has claimed a swath of Iraq and Syria, and has gained a presence in other countries such as Egypt and Libya can be defeated without the U.S. sending front-line ground forces overseas.
To about 100 onlookers, he said at the Des Moines Register’s Political Soapbox: “I would send in American special ops to destroy those recruiting centers, those planning hubs, and kill them there, and get out before they have the chance to kill us here.”
Pataki, who was governor from 1995 to 2007, is among the lesser-known candidates in the large Republican field. He said his time as the Republican governor of heavily Democratic New York shows he can work with his political adversaries.
He said: “I know I can do it, because I did it in New York.”