Boston Globe questionnaire on Executive Power: on War & Peace


Barack Obama: Congress decides deployment level & duration, not president

Q: Can the president disregard a congressional statute limiting the deployment of troops--either by capping the number of troops, or by setting minimum home-stays between deployments?

A: No, the President does not have that power. To date, several Congresses have imposed limitations on the number of US troops deployed in a given situation. As President, I will not assert a constitutional authority to deploy troops in a manner contrary to an express limit imposed by Congress and adopted into law.

Source: Boston Globe questionnaire on Executive Power Dec 20, 2007

Barack Obama: No action against Iran without Congressional authorization

Q: In what circumstances would the president have constitutional authority to bomb Iran without seeking a use-of-force authorization from Congress?

A: The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation. In instances of self-defense, the President would be within his constitutional authority to act before advising Congress or seeking its consent. History has shown us time and again, however, that military action is most successful when it is authorized and supported by the Legislative branch. It is always preferable to have the informed consent of Congress prior to any military action. As for the specific question about bombing suspected nuclear sites, I recently introduced S.J.Res.23, which states in part that ďany offensive military action taken by the United States against Iran must be explicitly authorized by Congress.Ē

Source: Boston Globe questionnaire on Executive Power Dec 20, 2007

Bill Richardson: Only Congress has authority to declare war on Iran

Q: In what circumstances, if any, would the president have the constitutional authority to bomb Iran without seeking a use-of-force authorization from Congress? (Specifically, what about the strategic bombing of suspected nuclear sites--a situation that does not involve stopping an IMMINENT threat?)

A: The Constitution assigns to Congress, not to the President, the power to declare war. However, in the case of an imminent threat, when there is no time to go to Congress, the Commander in Chief may, and indeed must, act to protect the United States. Given that the Iranian nuclear program does not pose such an imminent threat, if the President believed it was in the US national interest to attack Iranian nuclear sites, he should seek prior authorization from Congress.

Source: Boston Globe questionnaire on Executive Power Dec 20, 2007

John McCain: Strategic bombing of Iran OK only if imminent threat

Q: In what circumstances without imminent threat would the president have constitutional authority to bomb Iran without authorization from Congress?

A: Well he doesnít. But if there is an imminent threat, the president has to act in Americaís security interest.

Q: But in terms of a strategic bombing, then heís got to go to Congress?

A: He should, absent an imminent threat. But in the event of an imminent threat, the President has a constitutional obligation to protect the American people.

Source: Boston Globe questionnaire on Executive Power Dec 20, 2007

John McCain: Congress can only declare war; not micromanage wars

Q: Does the Constitution empower the president to disregard a congressional statute limiting the deployment of troops--either by capping the number of troops that may be deployed to a particular country or by setting minimum home-stays between deployments? Is that beyond Congressí authority?

A: Itís beyond Congressís authority to micromanage wars. Congress has the power of the purse and the power to declare wars; the President is responsible for leading the armed forces as Commander in Chief

Source: Boston Globe questionnaire on Executive Power Dec 20, 2007

Ron Paul: No presidential authority to bomb Iran without Congress

Q: In what circumstances, if any, would the president have constitutional authority to bomb Iran without seeking a use-of-force authorization from Congress? (Specifically, what about the strategic bombing of suspected nuclear sites that does not involve stopping an imminent threat?)

A: None.

Source: Boston Globe questionnaire on Executive Power Dec 20, 2007

Ron Paul: Congress can defund war, but not micromanage it

Q: Does the Constitution empower the president to disregard a congressional statute limiting the deployment of troops--either by capping the number of troops that may be deployed to a particular country or by setting minimum home-stays between deployments?

A: I have not voted to [restrict] the president on troop movements. So my thinking is if the president has some type of authority or he assumes it, I donít want the solution to be by capping the number of troops or setting any type of troop movement. The solution there for me would be to remove the authority and defund it, not to micromanage troop movement. At least the thing that I follow on some of these votes in the Congress, when the Democrats come up with restricting troop movements or saying you have to move so many out by so many months, unless the bill is complex that is a basic premise I try to follow. I do not like to vote for, and have voted against, micromanaging troop movements.

Source: Boston Globe questionnaire on Executive Power Dec 20, 2007

  • The above quotations are from Boston Globe questionnaire on Executive Power: sent to all major candidates and published in Dec. 20-22, 2007.
  • Click here for definitions & background information on War & Peace.
  • Click here for other issues (main summary page).
  • Click here for more quotes by Ron Paul on War & Peace.
  • Click here for more quotes by John Edwards on War & Peace.
Candidates and political leaders on War & Peace:
Incoming Obama Administration:
Pres.:Sen.Barack Obama
V.P.:Sen.Joe Biden
State:Hillary Clinton
Staff:Rahm Emanuel
Treas.:Tim Geithner
DoD:Robert Gates
A.G.:Eric Holder
DHS:Janet Napolitano
DoC:Bill Richardson
Outgoing Bush Administration:
Pres.:George Bush
V.P.:Dick Cheney
A.G.:John Ashcroft(2005)
DEA:Asa Hutchinson(2005)
USDA:Mike Johanns(2007)
EPA:Mike Leavitt
HUD:Mel Martinez(2003)
State:Colin Powell(2005)
State:Condoleezza Rice
HHS:Tommy Thompson(2005)
2008 Presidential contenders:
AIP: Frank McEnulty
Constitution: Chuck Baldwin
GOP: Sen.John McCain
GOP VP: Gov.Sarah Palin
Green: Rep.Cynthia McKinney
Independent: Ralph Nader
Liberation: Gloria La Riva
Libertarian: Rep.Bob Barr
NAIP: Amb.Alan Keyes
Socialist: Brian Moore
Please consider a donation to OnTheIssues.org!
Click for details -- or send donations to:
1770 Mass Ave. #630, Cambridge MA 02140
E-mail: submit@OnTheIssues.org
(We rely on your support!)