Former President Bill Clinton greets Staci Appel
Former President Bill Clinton greets Staci Appel at Senator Tom Harkin’s 2014 Steak Fry.
Photo credit: Dave Davidson –
Former President Bill Clinton greets Staci Appel
Former President Bill Clinton greets Staci Appel at Senator Tom Harkin’s 2014 Steak Fry.
Photo credit: Dave Davidson –

As expected Staci Appel’s asinine comments about Americans fighting with ISIS during last week’s debate in Iowa’s 3rd Congressional District race are campaign fodder for Republicans this week.  During the debate Appel stated that she would not take away passports of known American terrorists – even if they admit to joining organizations like ISIS.

Below is video of that exchange during the IPTV debate:


Appel said, “I would not be urging taking away their passports. I think we need to make sure that we work through the system and look through it on a very diligent basis.”

This is not some hypothetical problem.  ABC News reports that Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel indicated over 100 Americans are involved in fighting in the Middle East with ISIS.  The Pentagon clarified that number includes other rebel groups fighting in Syria, but thought at least a dozen were fighting with ISIS.

Still.  There were only 19 hijackers involved with 9/11.  A dozen is not such a small number, and Appel doesn’t believe they should have their passports taken away.  So she’s comfortable with them freely traveling back to the United States?

Yesterday in a released statement Iowa GOP Chair Jeff Kaufmann criticized her answer, “Staci Appel was asked outright if she would confiscate passports from known American terrorists and inconceivably said she wouldn’t. This is a dangerous and ignorant position, and it is clear she does not fully understand the threat posed by the new Islamic State.”

“The security of the United States should be a top concern, and Appel has spectacularly failed this leadership test. It’s simply shocking how naive she is on foreign policy issues,” Kaufmann added. “In contrast, David Young understands the dangerous threat posed by Islamic radicals, and he will do everything in his power to keep Iowa families safe. We simply can’t risk our safety and security with a vote for his opponent.”

The Iowa GOP then provided this *flattering* picture to accompany their press release.


The New York Times reported yesterday about warnings that ISIS plans to enter the United States through Mexico, but Appel’s opponent David Young’s campaign questions whether she supports terrorists being brought to Iowa’s eastern border.

Young for Iowa campaign is asking Staci Appel if she supports efforts to close down Guantanamo Bay and bring those terrorists to the Thomson Correctional Center in Thomson, IL, just 12 miles from Clinton, IA.

“We know where Staci Appel stands on passports for terrorists, and that is she won’t revoke them, as stated at last Thursday’s debate,” said Young for Iowa Campaign Manager Cory Crowley. “Knowing she has this dangerous and naive position, it’s worth asking if she supports efforts to bring terrorists to a prison within miles of Iowa’s eastern border. Now is not the time to play political games with the safety of Iowa’s citizens. Just because Nancy Pelosi supports an idea doesn’t mean Staci should turn her backs on Iowans and bear hug it.”

I think it’s worth asking, based on last week’s debate performance, if she’s taken much time to think through national security policy at all.

I highly doubt it.  From what I can see she’s a national security policy lightweight and will only serve to do Nancy Pelosi’s bidding in Congress.  I agree with Jeff Kaufmann.  Her position is dangerous and ignorant.  That is ignorance we can’t afford in Washington.

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