There is no doubt as to how utterly uniformed Rick Perry's remarks about Turkey were Monday night in South Carolina.
Calling one of our staunchest NATO partners a country that is being ruled by "Islamic terrorists" is really not the savviest thing one would expect from a presidential candidate.
But perhaps we are being too unfair toward the Texas governor.
Here's the question posed specifically to Perry by Fox News' Bret Baier:
Governor Perry, since the Islamist-oriented party took over in Turkey, the murder rate of women has increased 1,400 percent there. Press freedom has declined to the level of Russia. The prime minister of Turkey has embraced Hamas and Turkey has threatened military force against both Israel and Cyprus. Given Turkey's turn, do you believe Turkey still belongs in NATO?
"The murder rate of women has increased 1,400 percent there."
"Press freedom has declined to the level of Russia."
"The prime minister of Turkey has embraced Hamas."
"Turkey has threatened military force against both Israel and Cyprus."
And, finally, given all of the horrible things suggested above "do you believe Turkey still belongs in NATO?"
Talk about a loaded question, stacked with dubious premises, thrown out before a raucous, cheering audience along with sufficient red meat to sate a pride of starving lions!
Given Perry's demonstrated, limited foreign policy knowledge and experience, the guy had virtually nowhere to go but to swallow Baier's question hook, line, and sinker and to come up with a doozy of an answer.
Bottom line: Perhaps we should not focus too much on Perry's answers -- we have heard enough of them and have come to expect them -- but more on Fox's "When did you stop beating your wife" question and on the motives for such a question.
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