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Sen. Tom Cotton Of Arkansas Offers Preview Of Primetime GOP Speech

Tom Cotton
Michael Hibblen

U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., has been selected for a primetime speaking slot in the Republican National Convention. He will speak on the final night, Thursday, Aug. 27, just ahead of President Donald Trump.

Sen. Cotton, who is running for re-election in 2020 against Libertarian Ricky Harrington, discussed his speech ahead of delivering it with Talk Business & Politics Editor-in-Chief Roby Brock.

ROBY BROCK: You are delivering a primetime speech on the last night of the convention. What will be the essence of this speech, Senator?

SEN. TOM COTTON: Barack Obama’s Secretary of Defense Bob Gates once said that Joe Biden has been wrong on nearly every major national security decision of the last 40 years. I’m going to expand on Secretary Gates’s statement and explain why and how Joe Biden has been wrong from the very beginning, going back now, 47 years.

I’ll contrast, for instance, Joe Biden’s votes to slash defense spending, Donald Trump rebuilding our military. Joe Biden, opposing, yes, the mission to kill Osama bin Laden. Whereas Donald Trump directed the killing of the ISIS leader and Iran terror mastermind. And especially their records on China, Joe Biden, consistently voting to assist, aide and abet China’s rise.

For instance, he supported giving it the most favored nation status or admission to the World Trade Organization, decisions that helped hollow out our factories, and since, so many of our jobs overseas versus Donald Trump standing up for our workers.

It’s going to be a long series of contrasts about why Joe Biden has been weak and wrong on national security for 50 years. And why we need to re-elect President Trump to continue the successes we’ve had over the last four years of protecting our interests of defending our prosperity and security without getting into a new war.

BROCK: Mr. Biden has advocated for an independent Hong Kong. He has said on the record that China has been violating international trade rules. He’s called for a global summit to pressure tech companies to prohibit surveillance state activities from Chinese companies. Are there some things that you agree with Joe Biden on his foreign policy?

COTTON: Well, talk is cheap. He’s doing that in the middle of a campaign season when China has unleashed a pandemic on the world. Look what he said and look what he did whenever he actually held power. He was largely the architect of Barack Obama’s foreign policy in China. I mean, Barack Obama specifically deputized him to develop a relationship with Xi Jinping, the General Secretary of the party. And he celebrated them. He said that China’s rise benefits the United States. He said in the middle of this campaign, this isn’t even ancient history, in the middle of this campaign he said that they’re not our competitors. They’re not bad folks. If you just look at his record, his new claims of being tough on China simply don’t hold water.

BROCK: There’s nothing in Joe Biden’s foreign policy experience of 47 years that you agree with?

COTTON: It’s hard for me to think of any. If I can rack my brain and come up with one, I’ll let you know. But I agree with Bob Gates on this one, wrong on nearly every major foreign policy decision.

BROCK: Your speech is being touted as a preview to the 2024 Presidential election. It’s a prime time spot. Will you run for President in 2024 or do you support the President’s notion that he should be given 12 more years?

COTTON: What did he say – 12 more years? He really wants to cause the media to blow a gasket. My speech previews the case that the President and I and others will make for President Trump against Joe Biden over the next two months. It also previews some of the themes in which I’m running on re-election as well, to help keep America safe and keep us out of war and defend our interests and defend our prosperity. But it is not a preview of anything further.

BROCK: Seriously though, will you serve out six years as a U.S. Senator, assuming you’re re-elected in November?

COTTON: Let’s not get ahead of ourselves and presume that I’ll be re-elected. I still have to earn six more years in the U.S. Senate and the people of Arkansas.

BROCK: Your odds are good. I think it’s a legitimate question to ask. It’s been asked of other politicians when they’ve had these national opportunities.

COTTON: Well, again, I don’t want to get ahead of ourselves,

BROCK: Let’s talk on November 4th.

Roby Brock is the Editor-in-Chief and Host of Talk Business & Politics.
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