Republican presidential candidates battled it out Wednesday evening in their second televised debate ahead of the November 2016 elections.
The GOP hopefuls appeared split on whether to immediately reverse the Iran nuclear agreement should they enter office. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul and Ohio Gov. John Kasich all agreed that the next president should not reverse the nuclear accord.
Paul argued it would be “absurd” to “cut up the agreement immediately,” with Bush reiterating “it’s not a strategy to tear up an agreement.”
The former Florida governor added that instead of reversing the deal, he would work on strengthening ties with Israel. “The first thing that we need to do is establish our commitment to Israel which has been altered by this administration,” he said.
“And, make sure that they have the most sophisticated weapons to send a signal to Iran that we have Israel’s back. If we do that, it’s going to create a healthier deterrent effect than anything else I can think of,” Bush explained.
Former HP executive and overall winner of the debate Carly Fiorina expressed even stronger support for Israel in the face of a nuclear armed Iran. The GOP candidate, who won a coveted spot in the second debate and has been moving up in the polls, promised her first phone call as president would be to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
“On day one in the oval office, I will make two phone calls,” she said. “The first to my good friend Bibi Netanyahu to reassure him we will stand with the State of Israel. The second to the Supreme Leader.”
Fiorina vowed that she would demand the Islamic Republic open up access to each of their nuclear and military sites “anytime, anywhere” for inspections by “our people, not his.”
Should Iran disagree, Fiorina said she would make it as “difficult as possible” for the country to take part in global financial markets, signaling that “America is back in the leadership business.”