By Greg Bluestein and Daniel Malloy
If you listened closely to Democratic Senate hopeful Michelle Nunn’s comments Thursday, you might have heard an attempt to distance herself undefined ever so slightly undefined from President Barack Obama’s foreign policy.
Nunn called Obama’s much-criticized recent remarks that he had no strategy to encounter the growing threat of ISIS an “unfortunate choice of words” and urged the administration to “quickly develop the right military strategy” against the militant group that’s carving out a caliphate in parts of Iraq and Syria.
But Obama a few days later backed off in the face of overwhelming opposition in Congress, and Nunn drew flak in her Democratic primary for the position. She has since focused much of her campaign rhetoric on domestic policy, such as the jobs plan she rolled out Thursday.
She said in an interview that ISIS is a “dangerous terrorist organization that has to be defeated and that we must take a lead in that” through air strikes and cooperation with regional partners.
“I also believe we need to recognize that we cannot fight a civil war on the ground in Iraq or Syria,” she said. “We have to look to the leadership of that region to resolve the long-term historic undefined but I think resolvable undefined schisms and conflicts with the right leadership there.”
And then she came close to siding with some legislative leaders pushing for more Congressional oversight of the nation’s growing role in the conflict.
“The president has to work closely with Congress. Especially at this moment in time, it’s incumbent for the president and Congress to come up with a unified strategy.”
Republicans took quick aim at Nunn’s jobs plan on Thursday, in part for not vowing to repeal Obamacare and for seeking to raise the minimum wage. Republican David Perdue’s spokeswoman, Megan Whittemore, had this to say:
“After reading Michelle Nunn’s so-called ‘jobs plan’ it’s clear her campaign will stop at nothing to deceive Georgians about who she really is and what she stands for. This confusing attempt to describe her vision for job creation is full of contradictions. Michelle Nunn mimics many of David’s ideas and then immediately undercuts them by advocating some of the same failed liberal approaches that caused the economic problems in the first place.
“Missing from the ‘jobs plan’ are obvious solutions to address the economic crisis President Obama and Democrats in Washington have created. For example, Michelle Nunn claims she is for reducing the regulatory burdens on small businesses, but completely ignores the negative impacts of Obamacare, which is cutting back workers hours and increasing costs for families. Similarly, she claims she supports energy independence, but refuses to address how burdensome regulations on the coal industry will raise energy prices and destroy jobs.”
And the Georgia GOP’s Leslie Shedd:
“In Nunn’s latest so-called jobs plan – in which ‘there’s no pricetag for her pledges’ – she claims she will support No Budget, No Pay legislation. The problem? Nunn’s loyalties lie with Harry Reid, who, in addition to endorsing Nunn, also said it would be ‘foolish’ for Senate Democrats to even propose their own federal budget. So long as Harry Reid is leader, he will block any chances of passing a budget.
“But it gets worse, a recent study by the Georgia Restaurant Association shows that [the minimum wage hike in] Michelle Nunn’s so-called jobs plan could cost more than 21,000 jobs statewide. It could cost state and local governments an additional $164 million annually because of the 60,000 public workers that could be affected.”
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