A quick glance at their travel schedules tells you all you need to know about which Republicans are already reading running hard to win the White House in 2016. Having already visited South Carolina, Texas Senator Ted Cruz will headline an August 23 GOP fundraiser in New Hampshire as part of a summer tour including Iowa and Florida. Meanwhile, his fellow Lone Star Stater Rick Perry has signaled his intentions by announcing a trip to that first in the nation Republican primary battleground, Israel.
As part of that quadrennial rite of passage that is now a routine step in the GOP presidential nominating process, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz and Rand Paul have already visited the Jewish State. Now, the Washington Times reported, soon-to-be former Texas Governor Perry is making his own pilgrimage:
Texas Gov. Rick Perry said Thursday that he will visit Israel in October, a move that signals to the political world that he is seriously considering making another presidential run in 2016.To his credit, Perry remembered all three items in his list this time. And what will he be educating them about? As he explained at a press conference with Jewish leaders two years ago:
"We will be going to Israel to bring together Arabs, Christians and Jews in an educational forum."
"It is time to change our policy of appeasement toward the Palestinians to strengthen our ties to the nation of Israel, and in the process establish a robust American position in the Middle East characterized by a new firmness and a new resolve."Echoing his 2009 declaration that "my faith requires me to support Israel," Perry told his audience:
"As a Christian I have a clear directive to support Israel, from my perspective it's pretty easy both as an American and a Christian. I am going to stand with Israel."Or at least the part that wants to expand settlements in the West Bank territories occupied since 1967. Asked if Israeli should continue to build new settlements in the area some of his hosts refer to as Judea and Samaria, Perry responded:
"I think so, it's their land; it's their right."Not according to American presidents of both parties. And not according to international law. But for the evangelical voters who dominate the Republican base in the early primary states of Iowa and South Carolina, Jewish occupation of all of Eretz Israel is a biblical requirement on the road to the End Times. And, for Republican candidates like Rick Perry, the road to the White House as well.