CLINTON: I have been on the forefront of dealing with climate change, starting in 2009, when President Obama and I crashed a meeting with the Chinese and got them to sign up to the first international agreement to combat climate change that they'd ever joined.
Q: Are you referring to the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen?
CLINTON: When we met in Copenhagen in 2009 and, literally, President Obama and I were hunting for the Chinese, going throughout this huge convention center, because we knew we had to get them to agree to something. Because there will be no effective efforts against climate change unless China and India join with the rest of the world. They told us they'd left for the airport; we found out they were having a secret meeting. We marched up, we broke in, we said, "Let's sit down and talk about what we need to do." And we did come up with the first international agreement that China has signed.
CRUZ: Well, let's be clear when it comes to experience. What President Obama wants to do is he's run to the United Nations, and he wants to use the United Nations to bind the United States, and take away our sovereignty. Well, I spent five and a half years as a Solicitor General of Texas, the lead lawyer for the state, in front of the U.S. Supreme Court, and I went in front of the Supreme Court, and took on the World Court of the United Nations in a case called Medellin v. Texas, and we won a historic victory saying the World Court, and the U.N., has no power to bind the United States, and no President of the United States, Republican or Democrat, has the authority to give away our sovereignty.
|Where Ron Paul and Rand Paul agree on Foreign issues|
|Where they disagree:||Ron Paul||Rand Paul|
|Iran:||Stay out of Iran||Keep options on Iran|
|Israel:||Cut off all aid||Maintain alliance|
|Privacy vs National Security:||Privacy first against terrorism||Spying on terrorists ok|
|Foreign aid:||End foreign aid||Limit foreign aid|
|Military Spending:||Cut absolute defense spending||Cut relative defense spending|
Santorum said he has no "doubt" chemical weapons were used, but he is not sure which side used them, differing from the administration and most voices weighing in on the issue. "It wouldn't be a surprise to me that both sides were using them or that the radical Islamists are using them," Santorum said. "While I agree it is very clear that chemical weapons were used--the idea that we need to be punishing Assad and doing things to tip the balance in favor of al Qaeda who are running the rebel forces to me is a very questionable tactic of itself.
STEIN: I think the priority is that we do not bypass the American people who have been routinely bypassed in most of the interventions in recent decades including Iraq and Libya. This is being done without the explicit permission from Congress and is a critical check and balance that has gotten lost in the shuffle and is a violation of the US Constitution and the war powers act. It is very dangerous when politicians declare war and exhaust economic resources and spill the blood of Americans and civilians overseas. Most of the conflicts of the last decade would not have happened had there been a national conversation and discussion about what the true risks and benefits of our national security were.
But the United States already has a strong regulatory regime under the Arms Export Control Act to license the export of American-made weapons.
During the 2001 debate, I spoke at the UN General Assembly in New York, and the reaction to my remarks revealed the gun-controllers' hidden agenda.
I said merely that the United States would not agree to any proposed treaty that would violate our Second Amendment freedoms. From the gun-control lobby's reaction, you would have thought I said something outrageous or even dangerous. In truth, they knew we had uncovered their agenda and spiked it.
A: No, cut all support and aid.
Q: Should the U.S. intervene in the affairs of other countries?
A: Yes, but only in matters of national security.
Q: How should the U.S. deal with Iran?
A: Iran does not threaten our national security and there is no proof they are building a nuclear weapon.
Q: Should the U.S. maintain a presence at the United Nations?
A: Yes, but scale back our current involvement.
But, the Tea Party favorite did express his desires to building coalitions before beginning any foreign entanglement. "America has acted unilaterally in the past--and I believe it should continue to do so in the future--when necessity requires," he said. "But our preferred option since the U.S. became a global leader has been to work with others to achieve our goals."
A: This is another reason why we're running the campaign now--because if you follow the science, we don't have four years to wait. We really have to start tackling this now. It's really important for the climate and it's time that people put their politics where their values and science argue they ought to be. I think Obama supporters are really having a rude awakening right now. The US, as you know, is the largest per capita contributor to climate change and the direction the US pushes goes a long way toward determining what the rest of the world does, and from that perspective, dramatically downscaling carbon emissions goes a long way toward determining the global carbon budget and helps move global policy that way.
ROMNEY: Very simple. You start off by saying that you don't allow an inch of space to exist between you and your friends and your allies. The president went about this all wrong. He went around the world and apologized for America. He addressed the United Nations in his inaugural address and chastised our friend, Israel, for building settlements and said nothing about Hamas launching thousands of rockets into Israel. The right course for us is to stand behind our friends, to listen to them, and to let the entire world know that we will stay with them and that we will support them and defend them. And with regards to Iran, which perhaps represents the greatest existential threat to Israel, we have to make it abundantly clear: It is unacceptable--and I take that word carefully--it is unacceptable for Iran to become a nuclear nation.
Q: Will you support legislation that forbids U.S. troops from serving under United Nations command?
Q: Will you support the American Sovereignty Act to restrict the Executive's ability to forge international agreements that lessen our sovereignty?
Q: Will you oppose the so-called "NAFTA Superhighway" and any move toward a North American Union?
In order to get Russia and China on board, President Obama gutted the sanctions that were once promised to be "crippling' and later downgraded to "biting.' Today's sanctions are so watered down that Russian Prime Minister Putin vowed they would "not put Iran's leadership or the Iranian people into difficulty.'
If Iran's leadership is not put "into difficulty' by these sanctions, American interests and those of our allies will be. This is the fourth round of U.N. sanctions on Iran, yet Iran continues to work toward a nuclear weapon.
The United States Congress can impose its own sanctions on Iran, real sanctions that would cause Iran's leadership great difficulty.
Since even the most despotic governments are entitled to UN membership, the UN is not limited by elections or the need to keep up democratic appearances. And, lacking America's legal framework for government transparency, the organizatio is more prone to corruption.
The UN's most influential voting block is a group of 130 undeveloped countries called the G-77. Using the UN's one country-one vote system, the G-77 has hijacked the UN to turn it into a mechanism for redistributing wealth from developed to developing countries.
The beneficiaries are not poverty-stricken families suffering under dictatorships. To the contrary, the illicit funds go straight to their oppressors--the privileged bureaucrats that prop up despotic regimes.
In many ways, these efforts succeeded. Yes, terrible wars have been fought, and atrocities committed. But there has been no Third World War. The Cold War ended with jubilant crowds dismantling a wall. Billions have been lifted from poverty. The ideals of liberty, self-determination, equality and the rule of law have haltingly advanced. We are the heirs of the fortitude and foresight of generations past, and it is a legacy for which my own country is rightfully proud.
McCAIN: We obviously would not wait for the United Nations Security Council. Both Russia and China would probably pose significant obstacles.
OBAMA: We cannot allow Iran to get a nuclear weapon. It would be a game-changer in the region. Not only would it threaten Israel, our strongest ally in the region and one of our strongest allies in the world, but it would also create a possibility of nuclear weapons falling into the hands of terrorists. And so itís unacceptable. And I will do everything thatís required to prevent it. And we will never take military options off the table. And it is important that we donít provide veto power to the UN or anyone else in acting in our interests. It is important, though, for us to use all the tools at our disposal to prevent the scenario where weíve got to make those kinds of choices.
However, between now and the Copenhagen Conference next year, we must establish, I think, the preconditions for such progress. Both developed and developing nations must recognize the need to alter their policies and make serious commitments to change. And I believe that our experience in New York City, and the experience of many of the worldís other great cities, too, can help guide that process.
The first precondition for making the Copenhagen negotiations a success, I believe, is that the US, which leads the world in greenhouse gas production, must finally set real and binding carbon reduction targets. And I believe the American people are prepared to accept our responsibility to lead by example.
Of course, being the Mayor of NYC--the worldís most international city--is a bit like presiding over the UN every single day of the year
A: Number one, the Levin amendment, in my view, gave the Security Council of the United Nations a veto over American presidential power. I donít believe that is an appropriate policy for the United States, no matter who is our president. Number two, I have the greatest respect for Senator Levin. He is my chairman on the Senate Armed Services Committee. And immediately after we did have the vote on the authorization, went to work with him to try to make sure that every piece of intelligence we had was given to the UN inspectors. Number three, I actually joined with Senator Byrd on an amendment that would limit the presidentís authorization to one year.
A: Iíve been pushing, on the Foreign Relations Committee for the last seven years, that we hold China accountable at the United Nations. At the UN, we wonít even designate China as a violator of human rights. Now, whatís the deal there? We talk about competition in terms of trade. Itís capitulation, not competition. Name me another country in the world that we would allow to conduct themselves the way China has, and not call them on the carpet at the UN
Q: So you would call them on th carpet?
Q: You would appoint a UN ambassador who would press for this?
A: Itís the one way to get China to reform. You canít close your eyes. You canít pretend. It is self-defeating. Itís a Hobsonís choice weíre giving people here.
In 2006, the Council passed a total of 87 resolutions, of which 76 dealt with specific conflict situations. Of those, 46 addressed African conflicts. As tragic and homicidal as Africa's conflicts have been, however, there is no serious argument that 60% of the aggregate threat to international peace and security is concentrated on that continent, not when compared to the global proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and international terrorism. The Council concentrates on Africa for a variety of reasons, and one could make the argument that this concentration was justified if problems in Africa were actually being solved. The unfortunate reality, however, is that the UN is both ineffective in Africa and inattentive (and often ineffective) to more pervasive problems elsewhere.
A: It is a huge problem. But imagine if millions and millions more go to these countries, whose infrastructure simply canít absorb them. Then you have a destabilized region. One of the things that the US must do is to more strongly insist to the Saudis, the Jordanians, the Turks, the Kuwaitis that their involvement militarily, their involvement financially, their involvement even theologically with the more radical wings of the Islamic faith are critical for us to solve this issue.
A: Well, I donít have enough time to tell you all the mistakes Iíve made in the last many years. Certainly, the mistakes I made around health care were deeply troubling to me and interfered with our ability to get our message out. And, you know, believing the president when he said he would go to the United Nations and put inspectors into Iraq to determine whether they had WMD.
In a floor speech on the measure to authorize the use of force against Iraq, Hillary managed quite a juggling act, keeping a whole cupboard of teacups and saucers spinning in the air. She criticized the United Nations for putting limits on inspection sites. She warned of Saddam Hussein's ambitions for weapons of mass destruction. She worried that an unchecked Saddam could endanger the entire Middle East (read: Israel). She fretted that a "unilateral" attack could prompt Russia to attack Chechen rebels in Georgia, China to attack Taiwan, and India to attack Pakistan. She concluded that going to war against Iraq "on the present facts is not a good option"--but voted to enable George W. Bush to lead the nation into war.