Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush speaks at the RedState Gathering, Aug. 8, 2015, in Atlanta, Ga.
Photo by David Goldman/AP

GOP candidates past and present urge boots on the ground

Updated

Past and present presidential candidates urged President Obama to send in U.S. forces to battle ISIS in the wake of the devastating attacks in Paris.

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush called for boots on the ground, as well as a clearer strategy and withdrawal plan.

“This is the war of our time,” he said on Morning Joe. “We cannot do this by leading from behind, this requires American leadership, it doesn’t require us to be the world’s police, but it does require us to lead.”

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The Republican candidate advocated for a strategy “where we fight to win and we pull out,” adding that NATO’s Article Five “should be considered.” Article Five is a part of the Washington Treaty that declares an armed attack against one NATO nation represents an attack on all of them, requiring a response by the organization’s 28 nations.

He and the other 13 candidates running for the Republican presidential nomination have advocated for big changes to the U.S. strategy on ISIS, with many calling for putting U.S. boots on the ground and some even blaming the president – and in turn his former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton – for ISIS’ rise to power.

On “Morning Joe,” Donald Trump maintained that the country wouldn’t be facing these problems if he were president, but in addition to his existing strategy on ISIS — bomb all the oil fields and keep the oil — he said he’d put “some” troops on the ground, to add to the Kurdish forces already fighting ISIS.

The 2008 Republican nominee John McCain and current GOP presidential candidate Sen. Lindsey Graham joined the table on “Morning Joe” to advocate for sending in U.S. forces to fight the Islamic State and stepping up the U.S. Both are hawkish conservatives, but Graham has used his presidential campaign to repeatedly focus on the threat of ISIS and advocate for a stronger military option to fight them. 

“Paris made things more real than ever,” Graham said, calling for a “ground component to supplement the air campaign.” 

The 2012 Republican nominee Mitt Romney appeared on the “TODAY” show to condemn the current strategy.

“If we don’t change our course and take this seriously and go to war against ISIS, we’re going to see what happened in Paris happen in the United States,” Romney said, a day after penning an editorial calling for “whatever resources are required to win — even boots on the ground” to defeat ISIS.

Jeb Bush, John McCain, Lindsey Graham and Mitt Romney

GOP candidates past and present urge boots on the ground

Updated