The Kent County GOP welcomed Condoleezza Rice to Grand Rapids. The former Secretary of State gave the keynote speech for the 124th annual Lincoln Dinner.
Rice, who's on a book tour, spoke to a crowd of roughly 700 people about her days in the White House alongside President George W. Bush. She's covered topics from 911, to foreign policy and the war in Iraq.
Despite the controversy over weapons of mass destruction not being found, she showed no regrets for any of the Bush Administration’s decisions.
“I am glad that Saddam Hussein is not in the Middle East,” she says. “They tried to control the fly zone, having tried to assassinate George H.W. Bush, having taken the region to war three times,” she reasons.
“Having sought and used weapons of mass destruction, having put 400,000 of his own people in mass graves, yea, it’s a much better Middle East,“ Rice adds.
If the United States had not invaded Iraq, Rice says the world would likely face worse threats today. “We might be sitting here, I’m quite certain, talking about a nuclear arms race between Iran’s Ahmadinejad and Iraq’s Saddam Hussein,” she hypothesizes.
Her views aren’t shared by “Occupy” protestors. The group marched and chanted outside of Devos Place expressing their opinions of Rice, Washington D.C., and Wall Street.
“The Bush administration, his government lied to us about weapons of mass destruction and they started an illegal war in Iraq,” says protestor George Shotwell.
Regardless of opposition or support of the war, Rice says Iraq gets another break. “We have a chance to have an Iraq that is democratic, that is not going to invade its neighbors as Saddam did,” she says.
Rice also promoted her book, “No Higher Honor.” It’s a memoir which details her time in the White House. The Kent GOP says this is her only stop in Michigan during her book tour.