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What the Presidential Candidates Are Saying About the Paris Attacks

The Paris attacks quickly changed the tone of the presidential debate. (Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images)
The Democratic presidential candidates observe a moment of silence for victims of the Paris attacks at the beginning of their debate on Saturday. (Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images)

The terror attacks in Paris on Nov. 13 changed the debate in the presidential race from who is most against the political establishment to who would be the best commander in chief.

On Nov. 14, the Democratic presidential contenders spent more of their debate focused on foreign policy than the planned topics of economic issues, with former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton getting criticized over the Obama administration policy she helped write. Republican candidates, particularly the embattled establishment types, used the weekend to tout their national security credentials and criticize the Obama administration’s national security policy.

Roske on Politics: O’Malley on ISIS

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Hillary Rodham Clinton said the U.S. should respond to the Islamic State terror group, also known as ISIS or ISIL, but not do it alone.

“It cannot be an American fight. And I think what the president has consistently said — which I agree with — is that we will support those who take the fight to ISIS,” she said at the debate. “I don’t think that the United States has the bulk of the responsibility. I really put that on [Bashar Assad] and on the Iraqis and on the region itself.”

Martin O’Malley, the former Maryland governor, challenged Clinton’s view, saying America needs to take a larger role in dealing with the Islamic State.

“It cannot solely be America’s fight,” he said, but, “we must rise to this occasion in collaboration and with alliances to confront it.”

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