President Barack Obama must keep the military option on the table to foil rogue nation Iran’s nuclear ambitions, Rep. Bob Turner tells Newsmax.TV in an exclusive interview.
“I think the military option has to remain on the table. A nuclear weapon in the hands of the Iranian regime is a game changer,” said Turner, a New York Republican who was elected in September to fill out the remaining term of disgraced Democratic Rep. Anthony Weiner.
Iran’s willingness to “attempt to assassinate an ambassador in Washington, D.C., leads all the way up to the highest level in the Iranian government. This bespeaks a mentality that is threatening to everything this world holds dear and cannot allow a nuclear weapon,” he said, referring to reports that Iranian factions recently plotted to assassinate Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to Washington.
“Sanctions have had some effect in slowing down their development [of nuclear weapons] and destabilizing the regime, but we need a far more aggressive approach,” said Turner, a member of the House Foreign Affairs and Homeland Security committees.
“We need to do whatever we can – from Internet operations, cyber warfare, information warfare – as we did in the Cold War, supporting in a very strong way operations against this regime.”
Turner, a former television industry executive, said the country faces enormous challenges the Obama administration hasn’t handled concerning the deficit, spending, and foreign relations.
“We have now had three years of this administration, and I think the administration is somewhat constrained with the thought of a re-election next year,” he said. “If they are re-elected, the damage that will be done from both legislative and regulatory edicts will be quite profound. I think this election will influence this country for the next 10 or 20 years.”
Turner, whose 9th Congressional District in New York is heavily Jewish, said he could not allege that Obama is anti-Israel, but the president has approached the conflict between Israel and its neighbors “with a mentality of moral equivalency.
“It is not,” he said. “We have a strategic partner, a democratic Israel against a Muslim world that is hostile to us in every way. I think it is time for the president and this administration to decide who their friends are and act accordingly.”
On other issues, Turner said:
• Obama is more interested in campaigning now than governing, and “it’s quite apparent that every decision here is made with politics in mind, it’s political rhetoric.”
• The Occupy Wall Street movement has “lost its steam” and has become infiltrated with radicalized socialists appealing to a very small percent of the American population.
• That a balanced-budget amendment is needed because you “cannot trust those guys in Washington to do what’s right and they haven’t.”
• That, until “60 Minutes” revealed that members of Congress are not covered by insider trading laws, he “was not even aware that these laws did not apply to Congress,” adding, “This is outrageous.”