(Photo: Reuters / Sean Gardner)
Republican presidential hopeful Herman Cain says if he were commander-in-chief and Iran attacked Israel, he would not “sit back and wait” to get permission from the United Nations before retaliating in cooperation with the Jewish nation.
The Baptist minister and CEO, speaking with the Washington Times Monday, cautioned that the very first option in his “Cain Doctrine” would be to explain the Unites States' policy in regard to Israel.
Reporters had asked the Republican candidate if he agreed with former United Nations Ambassador John Bolton's comment that a preemptive strike against Iran was the only option to prevent that nation from advancing its nuclear weapons program since diplomacy has failed to deter them.
Cain responded in the affirmative, but explained that he would need all the relevant information necessary before making such a decision.
However, he added, “My first option would be to make it crystal clear, and to use the words that I've used previously, if you mess with Israel, you're messing with the United States of America.”
If Iran or any other nation failed to heed his warning, Cain said, “They already know what plan B is.”
The politician criticized President Barack Obama early in his campaign when he declared on a Fox News program that the president had thrown Israel “under the bus” for insisting the Jewish nation negotiate with Palestinians based on Israel's borders before the 1967 war.
In his interview Monday with the paper, Cain said that he also believes Obama's unclear stance on the United States' true relationship with Israel could invite Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to test how far America would go to protect the Jewish nation.
“If we don't have a clear position with respect to Israel, Iran and other countries are going to continue to threaten Israel. So by saying that that's the Cain Doctrine...if Israel is attacked, I'm going to consider that an attack against the United States of America. And I'm going to go to the United States Congress and get their blessing on that position.”
Cain, currently on the campaign trail, was cast as a relative unknown just a few months ago when he announced the start of his campaign. He has since been gaining recognition among conservative voters as well as Tea Party supporters.