Washington (CNN)Former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore is already showing his stripes as he prepares to enter the crowded field of Republican presidential candidates next month.
Jim Gilmore goes after Iran deal ahead of campaign launch
Gilmore slammed the Iran nuclear deal President Barack Obama signed off on this week, arguing the accord "has sent a serious message of danger into the Middle East."
"We're sending a message to the other people in the Middle East who have been traditionally our allies and are telling them that in 15 years, at the very least, that Iraq's (sic) going to be a legitimate nuclear state," he said, referring to Iran, on CNN's "New Day."
Instead, Gilmore, who previously chaired a national advisory panel to assess U.S. capabilities to respond to terrorism involving weapons of mass destruction, argued that the U.S. should "build a coalition" and "build a very strong case" that Iran should not be allowed to have any nuclear capabilities, even for peaceful uses.
But Gilmore said his presidential campaign will focus on creating jobs and improving the economy.
"I think I could help the country," Gilmore, who is set to becoming the 17th Republican running for president, said.
"I want to run for office in order to help people get back to work again, get wages improving, get people off this part time gig that they're on, get people off of food stamps ... We need to get people employed so they can be more independent," he said.
Gilmore told a local Virginia newspaper last week that he will join the GOP field in August.
Gilmore's candidacy is a long-shot bid and comes eight years after he first briefly ran for president in 2008.