Patty Judge: The United States can be a powerful voice for diplomacy across the globe. We should use our diplomatic power, when appropriate, to help create peace and stability across the globe. We should always prioritize diplomatic vs. military action.
FIORINA: Well, let me tell you this: news flash, President Obama, news flash, Mrs. Clinton--climate change is not our most pressing national security threat. Actually, it is ISIS, followed closely by Iran. And those two things are linked, so that when our president cozies up to Iran, all of our allies in the Middle East, who are ready to help us defeat ISIS, wonder whose side we're on. And the truth is, under this president, we are on Iran's side, not our allies', who would help us defeat ISIS. You know, one of the things we have to start with is understanding that we must stand up to adversaries.
BUSH: No, they shouldn't. And I believe that Puerto Rico ought to have the right of self-determination. If I was a Puerto Rican, I'd vote for statehood so that they have full citizenship. They serve in the military. They would have to pay federal taxes. They would accept the responsibilities of full U.S. citizenship. But they should have the right of self-determination. Before you get to that, though, Puerto Rico is going to have to deal with the structural problems they face. The federal government can play a role in allowing them to do that, but the process of statehood or the status of Puerto Rico won't be solved until we get to the bigger issue of how you deal with the structural economic problems they're facing right now.
CLINTON: Well, I think it's perfectly fair to say that we invested quite a bit in development aid. Some of the bravest people that I had the privilege of working with as secretary of state were our development professionals who went sometimes alone, sometimes with our military, into very dangerous places in Iraq, in Afghanistan, elsewhere. So, there does need to be a whole of government approach, but just because we're involved and we have a strategy doesn't mean we're going to be able to dictate the outcome. These are often very long- term kinds of investments that have to be made.
"In China, I felt like they were becoming more like America used to be," he told a crowd of some 900 activists. "But, sadly, America is becoming more like they used to be. Our government is becoming more oppressive; theirs is beginning to ease up. We have a lot of globalists and frankly corporatists instead of having nationalists who put forward the best interests of the United States and working families," he added.
Perry's remarks took aim at President Obama's decision in January to normalize relations with Havana. The US eased travel and trade restrictions on Cuba as part of the landmark deal.
Perry took issue with Obama's diplomatic priorities. He said the president's decision to deal with Raul Castro, Cuba's dictator, hurts everyday Cubans. "This president missed the point on Cuba's relationship with its people," Perry said. "Cuba has been incredibly onerous to its people" Perry said trading with Castro's Cuba was unlikely to change the communist nation's ways. "I'm not sure you can change the culture of Cuba until Castro is dead and gone," he said.
Huckabee was specifically dismissive of economic inequality as a political issue, telling the crowd that "liberals" would press it in the coming presidential campaign but that "intelligence inequality" was a bigger problem.
A: Agree. I'm all for engaging in dialogue, but I'm absolutely opposed to putting US troops under the command of the UN or any of the other members.
A: I don't think we should send foreign aid to countries that don't like us. It's that simple. I think if you look at whether the foreign aid is going to Egypt or the UN, we need to really take a careful look at where we're sending our tax dollars and the regimes we're supporting.
A member of the House Intelligence Committee, Bachmann said she is the strongest candidate on national security issues. She warned against expecting a change in North Korean foreign policy in the wake of Kim Jong Il's death. North Korea, a state sponsor of terror, has been the "Wal-Mart of missile weapon delivery systems," she said.
GINGRICH: How would he know the difference? Look, is what I said factually correct? Yes. Is it historically true? Yes. Are we in a situation where every day, rockets are fired into Israel while the US tries to pressure the Israelis into a peace process? A Palestinian Authority ambassador said, "There is no difference between Fatah and Hamas. We both agree Israel has no right to exist." Somebody ought to have the courage to tell the truth: These people are terrorists. They teach terrorism in their schools. They have textbooks that say, "If there are 13 Jews and nine Jews are killed, how many Jews are left?" We pay for those textbooks through our aid money. It's time for somebody to have the guts to stand up and say, "Enough lying about the Middle East."
A: I believe that our energy strategy is directly related to national security, as well as stopping Iran in their efforts. The head of Iran has said that he wants to wipe Israel off of the face of the Earth. I take that seriously. That being said, there's more to foreign policy than bombs and bullets. There's bombs and bullets and economics. If we maximize all of our energy resources in this country, we can become a player on the world market. As the price o oil goes down, it puts an economic squeeze on Iran. This is why I believe we should have a serious energy-independent strategy. That's what I meant by using our energy resources, not just oil, but all of our resources to become energy independent.
PAUL: The senator is wrong on his history. We started it in 1953 when we sent in a coup, installed the shah, and the blowback came in 1979. It's been going on and on because we just plain don't mind our own business. That's our problem.
SANTORUM: Anyone that suggests that Iran is not a threat to this country or is not a threat to stability in the Middle East is obviously not seeing the world very clearly. He sees it exactly the way that Barack Obama sees it, that we have to go around and apologize for the fact that we've gone out and exerted our influence to create freedom around the world. I don't apologize for that. I don't apologize for the Iranian people being free for a long time and now they're under a mullacracy that tramples the rights of women, tramples the rights of gays, tramples the rights of people all throughout their society.
PAUL: No, that makes it much worse. This whole idea of sanctions, all these pretend free traders, they're the ones who put on these trade sanctions.
SANTORUM: Well, as the author of the Iran Freedom Support Act, which he is criticizing, it actually imposed sanctions on Iran because of their nuclear program--Iran is not Iceland, Ron. Iran is a country that has been at war with us since 1979. Iran is a country that has killed more American men and women in uniform than the Iraqis and the Afghanis have. The Iranians are the existential threat to the state of Israel, via funding of Hamas and Hezbollah and the support of Syria.
PAUL: The senator is wrong on his history. We've been at war in Iran for a lot longer than 1979. We started it in 1953 when we sent in a coup, installed the shah, and the blowback came in 1979. It's been going on and on because we just plain don't mind our own business. That's our problem.
A: We need to use a increasing number of tools and measures. As to Iran, I believe we should undertake every plausible step to deny their intentions and their plans to get a nuclear weapon. That will include sanctions. That will include some of the good work that you saw with the computer virus. But in the end, we should take every plausible step to deny that intention. As to Syria, Bashar al-Assad is mowing down and killing his people, up to 2,000 right now. Pres. Obama will not say he should go. Until recently, he and Hillary Clinton suggested that Bashar Assad was a reformer. He's not a reformer; he's a killer. This is another example of naive foreign policy by this president.
A: LOST. What an appropriate acronym. I quite frankly don’t subscribe too much to the UN. I don’t believe the UN has America’s best interest in mind and I don’t trust putting more power in their hands. I don’t think they are around to govern territory or collect taxes. I hope I am answering this enough for you. I am not a huge fan of the UN.
I believe the reason why we won the Cold War is because of our advocacy and our dedication to the principles that all of us are created equal and endowed by our creator with certain inalienable rights.
A: Well, the problem is, sometimes when you get what you want, you don’t want what you get. And this is a great case of that happening. I don’t think it’s the job of the US to export our form of government. It’s the job of the US to protect our citizens, to make us free and us safe, and to create an enviable kind of government and system that everybody else will want.
Q: So it wouldn’t be the core of your foreign policy?
A: Absolutely not, because I don’t think we can force people to accept our way of life, our way of government. What we can to is to create the strongest America, freedom internally, secure borders, a safer nation. That makes a whole lot more sense to me than spending billions to try to prop up some government we don’t even like when we get it.
A: Democracy is not defined by a vote. There have to be the underpinnings of democracy: education, health care, people recognizing they live in a place that has the rule of law. And that’s why our effort to spread democracy should continue, not to just spread votes, but instead to encourage other people in the world to have the benefits that we enjoy and to welcome democracy. There’s no question in this country, we need to reach out, not just with our military might--although that we have, and should keep it strong--but also reach out with our other great capabilities.
Q: Did Pres. Bush fail to appreciate the nuance you’re talking about now?
A: I’m not a carbon copy of Pres. Bush. And there are things I would do differently.
We bring together not just America, but all the nations of the civilized world. We help draw these folks toward modernity, as opposed to having them turn toward the violence and the extreme. And that kind of a campaign of values, combined with our strong arms, speaking softly but carrying a strong stick, as Teddy Roosevelt said, that will help move the world to a safer place.
We’d love it if we could all just come home and not worry about the rest of the world. But the problem is, they attacked us on 9/11. We want to help move the world of Islam toward modernity so they can reject the extreme.
A: Our responsibility is to spread democracy here, make sure that we have it. This is a philosophic and foreign policy problem, because what the president was saying was just a continuation of Woodrow Wilson’s “making the world safe for democracy.” There’s nothing wrong with spreading our values around the world, but it is wrong to spread it by force. We should spread it by setting an example and going and doing a good job here. Threatening Pakistan and threatening Iran makes no sense whatsoever. I supported going after Al Qaida into Afghanistan--but, lo & behold, the neocons took over. They forgot about Bin Laden. And what they did, they went into nation-building, not only in Afghanistan, they went unjustifiably over into Iraq. And that’s why we’re in this mess today.
A: I think the way you’re defining it is incorrect. Democracy is not necessarily immediately going to elections.
Q: Well, that was the way Pres. Bush defined it.
A: The way I look at it, democracy also requires the rule of law. It requires stability. It requires people not being afraid they’re going to be killed every day when they go out on the street. Democracy’s only a theory if you’re living in an unstable situation. So sometimes, democracy is the long-term goal, but in order to get there, you have to first build a rule of law, you have to first build respect for human rights.
TANCREDO: Anybody that would suggest that we should take anything like this off the table in order to deter that kind of event in the United States isn’t fit to be president. My task as president is primarily to protect and defend this country. And that means to deter any kind of aggression, especially the type we are threatened with by Al Qaida, which is nuclear attack.
THOMPSON: I sincerely believe that bombing religious artifacts and religious holy sites would do nothing but unify 1 billion Muslims against us. It makes no sense.
TANCREDO: After we take a hit?
THOMPSON: I think we’ve got to strengthen our military and we’ve got to recognize in this world right now we are fighting a holy war. It’s a jihad. And until we recognize that and stand up to be Americans and for America, we’re going to continue to lose.
A: We have a right to defend our country, but surely a president must know the difference between defense and offense. We went on the offense against Iraq and now we find from Secretary O’Neill that Bush was planning on attacking Iraq before 9/11 and that the American people, in effect, have been misled about this. Everybody ought to be talking about this.
BUSH: I’m glad you brought it up. You’re not for China getting into the WTO. I am. And let me tell you something-the amount of corn that’ll be moved if China gets in the WTO will rise from 250,000 metric tons, to 7.2 million metric tons. Opening up Chinese markets is good for our farmers.
BAUER: Governor Bush, here’s your fallacy: You believe the Chinese government will keep their agreements. They haven’t kept their agreements for 20 years.
BUSH: That’s why we let them in the WTO. That’s part of agreement keeping.
BAUER: That just gives them another agreement to break, Governor.
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