Democratic Senator Amy Klobuchar said Wednesday that President Donald Trump was "10 minutes away" from going to war with Iran.
"This president is literally every single day 10 minutes away from going to war, one tweet away from going to war," Klobuchar said in the first debate between Democratic primary candidates in Miami, Florida.
"I don't think we should conduct foreign policy in our bathrobe at five o’clock in the morning," she added.
Her remarks came in response to a question on tensions between Washington and Tehran which have been rising since May 2018, when Washington unilaterally withdrew from a landmark 2015 nuclear deal.
Klobuchar said if she were elected president, she would renegotiate the deal, which she described as "imperfect”, but a "good deal for that moment”.
"Trump told us when he got out of it that he was going to give us a better deal. He’s made us less safe than we were when he became president," she said.
She also accused Trump of giving China and Russia "unlimited leverage", saying she would not do as he did.
Another candidate, Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke, said Trump has alienated America’s friends and allies.
"He’s diminished our standing in the world and he’s made us weaker as a country, less able to confront challenges," said O’Rourke, citing Iran, North Korea and Russia.
He said if he were elected president, he would strengthen the country's alliances, partnerships and friendships.
- Biggest threats
When the presidential candidates were asked what they define as the biggest threats faced by the U.S., their answers included China, climate change and Russia.
Klobuchar, former housing secretary Julian Castro, Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan and former Maryland Rep. John Delaney were quick to say China, whereas New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said Russia.
Climate change was the greatest threat for Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker and O’Rourke.
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee pointed instead to Trump, which triggered applause from the audience. Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard suggested nuclear war.
- Trump's reaction
The president offered his reaction on Twitter more than half an hour into the debate, writing in all-caps "BORING".
The post came, according to The Hill website, during Air Force One's refueling in Alaska to proceed to Japan for the G20 meeting.
Later, he attacked NBC News and MSNBC over a technical issue that forced them to cut to a commercial break during the debate.
"@NBCNews and @MSNBC should be ashamed of themselves for having such a horrible technical breakdown in the middle of the debate. Truly unprofessional and only worthy of a FAKE NEWS Organization, which they are!” Trump tweeted.
He later posted an edited video he shared last week showing him campaigning for office indefinitely.
By Servet Gunerigok in Washington, D.C.