Courtesy Washington Stakeout Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.) is rumored to be looking at a 2012 presidential run. He’s on the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Middle East and South Asia.
I asked Pence: “Do you know that Israel has nuclear weapons?”
After a long pause, Pence said: “I’m aware that Israel is our most cherished ally….”
I followed up: “Do you think it increases or decreases U.S. credibility around the world when U.S. government officials can’t even acknowledge that Israel has a massive nuclear arsenal?”
Pence: “The American people support Israel. I call Israel our most cherished ally….”
So Pence refuses to acknowledge the empirical fact of Israel’s nuclear arsenal. Unfortunately, he’s not alone. Stakeout also asked this question of John Edwards and then-Director of National Intelligence John Negroponte, who also tried to dodge it. Helen Thomas asked a similar question of Obama at his first news conference. One of the few politicos to answer that question in a remotely straightforward manner was Russ Feingold.