MIAMI (Reuters) – On the eve of the first Democratic presidential debate, U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren, rising in public opinion polls, slammed President Donald Trump’s posture toward Iran at a raucous town hall on Tuesday.
“He has created a crisis that has taken our country to the brink of war,” Warren said. “He has not made us safer. He has made the United States more at risk. He’s made the Middle East more dangerous. He has made the entire world a more dangerous place.”
Warren called on the United States to work with its allies to pursue a diplomatic solution. “Foreign policy by tweet is not working for us,” she said.
Her remarks came on a day when Trump on Twitter threatened Tehran with “great and overwhelming force” should Iran attack “anything American.”
“In some areas, overwhelming will mean obliteration,” Trump tweeted.
But later Trump suggested at the White House that he was open to talks with Iran to ease tensions that have escalated since the downing of a U.S. drone last week. Trump called off a retaliatory strike at the last minute over fears of loss of life.
Warren’s town hall was attended by 1,300 ardent supporters at Florida International University in Miami, reflecting her surge in the 2020 Democratic primary.
She has been one of the few Democratic candidates to see her support climb over the last several weeks with polls now consistently placing her third behind former Vice President Joe Biden and U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders.
Asked point-blank by one attendee if she would go to war on Iran based on current circumstances, Warren responded with a simple “No.” She received a lengthy ovation.
Warren will be among 10 Democratic candidates on the debate stage in Miami on Wednesday night. Another 10 Democrats, including Biden and Sanders, will debate on Thursday. Trump’s Iran policy is likely to be a topic.
(This story was refiled to delete extraneous characters in 1st sentence)
Reporting by James Oliphant; Editing by Leslie Adler