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Carly Fiorina takes on foreign policy

Carly Fiorina

(Washington Examiner) – Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina has been doing her homework, and revealed her foreign policy chops Thursday night in an interview with conservative talk radio host Hugh Hewitt.

Her host, who had just moments earlier interviewed GOP frontrunner Donald Trump on the very same topic, queried Fiorina on topics ranging from Hezbollah, to the Quds to Russia’s ongoing provocations in the East.

Unlike Trump, Fiorina appeared to have a firm grasp of the topics discussed, especially when it came to Middle Eastern politics.

Hewitt lead off by asking her if she was familiar with Iranian General Qasem Soleiman. She answered in the affirmative.

“Look, we know that the general of the Quds force has been a powerful tool of the Iranian regime to sow conflict. We also know that the Quds forces are responsible for the deaths and woundings of American soldiers,” she said. “We also that the Quds forces have been in Syria and a whole bunch of other countries in the Middle East. The Iranian deal — which sadly, has just been approved by Congress — starts a massive flow of money, and that money is going to be used not only to build up an Iranian nuclear weapon — which they have been hell-bent on getting for thirty years — that money is also going to go to the Quds forces, going to go Hezbollah.”

“It’s going to go to all of Iran’s proxies which is why I’ve said to you on other occasions, Hugh, that we have to stop the money flow,” she added.

Fiorina warned that even if Congress manages to stop the White House’s nuclear deal with Iran, money from China, Russia and Europe will continue to flow into Iran, which has been identified by the State Department as a state sponsor of terrorism.

“[T]hat’s why I’ve said I’d cut off the money flow by letting the Supreme Leader know that, hey, there’s a new deal, and we’re going to make it as hard as possible for you to move money around the global financial system so that we cut off the money flow from the Iranian regime to whomever, including the Quds force,” she said.

Prior to Fiorina’s Thursday evening interview, Trump was quizzed on the same questions. But he appeared to struggle with Hewitt’s questions, prompting him to complain at one point that the radio host was going after him with “gotcha” questions.

Hewitt defended himself later in his interview with Fiorina.

The host also noted the contrast between how she and Trump handled discussing Soleiman (Trump responded to the question by accusing the United States of treating the Kurds “horribly”).

“Do you think that’s ‘gotcha?’ Because I don’t want to do that at the debate. I don’t want to put people in the position of not knowing names and dates, but I do worry that people have a general grasp of Islamist radicalism,” Hewitt asked.

Fiorina responded, “I don’t think they’re ‘gotcha’ questions at all. The questions you’re asking are at the heart of the threat that we face, that our ally, Israel, faces, that the world faces.”

“It is critically important that America lead again in the world. It is critically important that we have a leader in the White House who understands the world and who’s in it and how it works,” she added.

Fiorina currently polls at 5.8 percent, right behind Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson and former reality TV star Donald Trump, according to RealClearPolitics’ polling average.

The Republican presidential candidates will meet again for primary debate hosted by CNN on Sept. 16. The debate will be moderated by Jake Tapper and feature input from Hewitt.

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