The Turkish government rebuked Gov. Rick Perry of Texas on Tuesday for describing its leaders as "Islamic terrorists," an inaccurate characterization that he made during Monday night's Republican debate in South Carolina.
Asked whether Turkey, a predominantly Muslim democracy of nearly 79 million people and a U.S. ally, belonged in NATO, Perry said it did not.
"Obviously," he said, "you have a country that is being ruled by what many would perceive to be Islamic terrorists," adding that he would take a step further and cut all foreign aid to the country.
Turkey is led by the moderate, pro-Islamic Justice and Development Party. The Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a statement that Turkey had made significant contributions to NATO in the fight against terrorism, and it cautioned voters not to spend time on candidates "who do not even know their allies."
Obama plans another open-air acceptance
President Barack Obama plans to accept the Democratic presidential nomination in the open air of Bank of America Stadium on the final day of his party's convention in Charlotte, N.C., next summer, repeating a page from his 2008 convention playbook. Then, he accepted the nomination under the open skies of Denver's Invesco Field.
Democrats also announced Tuesday that the convention will be shortened from the traditional four days to three to have a day to celebrate the Carolinas, Virginia and the South. That celebration will take place on Monday, Sept. 3, which is Labor Day, at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The convention would run Tuesday through Thursday the first week of September.
Court turns down ballot appeal in Va.
A federal appeals court in Virginia on Tuesday denied another effort by several Republican presidential candidates to appear on the state's primary ballot.
A challenge to the state's ballot rules by four candidates who did not gather the required signatures — Rick Perry, Jon Huntsman, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum — was rejected by a federal judge last week.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, in Richmond, upheld that ruling. Huntsman has quit the race.