Sanders believes our first priority should be the destruction of ISIS and our second priority should be getting rid of Assad through a political settlement.
“Where Secretary Clinton and I think…I agree with most of what she said. But where I think we do have an honest disagreement is that in the incredible quagmire of Syria, where it’s hard to know who’s fighting who, and if you give arms to this guy, it may end up in ISIS’s hands the next day. We all know that.
And we all know, no argument, the secretary is absolutely right. Assad is a butcher of his own people, a man using chemical weapons against his own people. This is beyond disgusting. But I think in terms of our priorities in the region, our first priority must be the destruction of ISIS. Our second priority must be getting rid of Assad through some political settlement, working with Iran, working with Russia. But the immediate task is to bring all interests together, who want to destroy ISIS, including Russia, including Iran, including our Muslim allies, to make that the major priority.”
GWEN IFILL: The other thing that has happened since the Paris attacks is what appears to be a pretty strong (in this country especially) anti-refugee backlash. Many many governors saying “no not in my state”. What’s your response to that?
BERNIE SANDERS: I disagree. Look, you know, when we talk about terrorism what it’s really about is the terrorists trying to instill fear and terror in ourselves. And I’m hearing some people talking “well maybe we’ll close down mosques, maybe we won’t let Muslims into this country, maybe we’ll turn our back on hundreds of thousands of people who have been destroyed, whose lives have been destroyed by terrorism, who have had to flee Syria, had to flee Afghanistan”. Now it goes without saying that we need to have a very very strong screening process to make sure that those people who come into this country deserve to be in this country, that they’re not terrorists. I think that we can do that and I’ll tell you something else that if we turn our backs on those people I think that almost in a way we will be destroying what this country is supposed to be about. Throughout our history we welcomed people who were in trouble. Screening yes but turning our backs on people whose lives have been so affected by the war in Syria and Afghanistan I don’t think that’s appropriate.