Cong. Tom Cotton (R) continues to make headlines in Washington as a freshman Congressman.
This week attention has centered on his defense of the Bush administration’s foreign policy, particularly the “war on terror” which Cotton contends is not as strong under President Obama. This defense was highlighted in an article today from Politico.
“When America is standing up in the world and leading the cause of freedom and helping expand freedom’s domain around the world, America is always going to be safer,” Cotton told Politico. “I think that George Bush largely did have it right, that we can’t wait for dangers to gather on the horizon, that we can’t let the world’s most dangerous people get the world’s most dangerous weapons, and that we have to be willing to defend our interests and the safety of our citizens abroad even if we don’t get the approval of the United Nations.”
The article also discusses a closed door meeting in March hosted by the American Enterprise Institute in which Cotton defended the use of drones as part of our national security. His position was contrary to Republican Sen. Ted Cruz from Texas who has been critical of the policy. Cruz joined Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky in a high-profile filibuster last month in an attempt to get more answers from the Obama administration on the policy of the use of drones inside the United States.
The Politico article is an interesting look at the position Cotton is staking out in advance of what most believe will be a Senate campaign against incumbent Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor in 2014.
While many libertarian-leaning Republicans are joining a chorus critical of the Bush doctrine, Cotton has become one of the chief defenders of the policy. While the attention to this has increased, it is consistent with the position Cotton has taken over the years. He first gained national attention in 2006 when, as a soldier fighting In Iraq, he wrote a letter to the New York Times criticizing them for disclosing classified information, which he said “gravely endangered the lives of my soldiers and all other soldiers and innocent Iraqis.”
The article comes on the heels of a speech (see below) Cotton gave on the House floor in which he criticized the Obama administration for its inability to prevent the Boston Marathon bombing and “to stop terrorism before its reaches its targets in the United States.”
Cotton has been criticized for the speech for not noting that Bush was commander-in-chief during the 9/11 attacks as well as subsequent U.S. terrorist events in the years that followed.