News / USA

Foreign Policy an Issue for Republican Presidential Hopefuls

Katie McCann, and Bev Stogdill (L-R) from Johnston, Iowa, await the beginning of the Iowa Faith & Freedom Coalition's Spring Event at Point of Grace Church in Waukee, Iowa. Five possible Republican White House hopefuls courted conservative voters in Iowa,
Katie McCann, and Bev Stogdill (L-R) from Johnston, Iowa, await the beginning of the Iowa Faith & Freedom Coalition's Spring Event at Point of Grace Church in Waukee, Iowa. Five possible Republican White House hopefuls courted conservative voters in Iowa,

In U.S. presidential politics, some of the Republicans who would like to challenge President Barack Obama in next year’s election are starting to speak out forcefully against some of the president’s policies, including foreign policy issues.

Although it is very early in the U.S. presidential election campaign cycle, several Republicans have already taken steps toward running for the White House and several more are expected to do so in the weeks ahead.

Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum has set up an exploratory campaign committee and has been traveling to early presidential contest states like Iowa and New Hampshire to gauge interest in a White House bid.

Santorum lashed out at President Obama’s foreign policy in a speech in Washington this week that criticized the administration for its handling of Libya, Iran and Venezuela.

Like many conservatives, Santorum likes to promote the theme of "American Exceptionalism," which holds that the United States has special virtues as a nation and should exercise a unique leadership role in world affairs. "A president who doesn’t understand the greatness of America and the American experiment cannot confidently advance her interests.  If he will not or cannot lead, who around the world will follow?" said Santorum.

Another Republican who is moving toward a presidential bid is Congressman Ron Paul of Texas.  Paul ran four years ago in the Republican primaries and also ran as the Libertarian Party candidate in 1988.

Paul says if he decides to run, he will focus on reducing the size of the central government and its influence on the lives of Americans.  Paul has broken with many Republicans in his opposition to U.S. involvement in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. "It is the excessive spending, the entitlement system, the foreign policy as well as the monetary system," said Paul.

In addition to Santorum and Paul, other Republicans who are expected to formalize their White House intentions soon include former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty and Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann.

On the other hand, Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour considered making a run but recently decided against it.

Most of the contenders who are testing the presidential waters have been visiting early contest states like Iowa, which kicks off the presidential nominating process next February.

Associated Press correspondent Mike Glover has covered numerous presidential caucuses in Iowa.  Glover was a recent guest on the CSPAN public affairs television network and says time is running short for those interested in running in 2012.

"We are 10 months from the Iowa caucuses; we have got field organizations in place.  If you are going to start campaigning in Iowa, you better be here doing it now,” said Glover.  “There is not a lot of time for somebody to leap in at the last minute except for some huge name like Sarah Palin."

So far, former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin has shown little interest in joining the Republican race.  But that is not the case for another celebrity figure, New York businessman Donald Trump.

Trump visited New Hampshire this past week and soared in several public opinion polls in large part because he questioned whether President Obama had been born in the United States.

The president released his original birth certificate from his home state of Hawaii this week in an effort to put an end to the controversy.

Despite the early campaign activity, some recent polls suggest Republicans are not excited about the small but growing field of potential White House contenders.

Iowa political expert Mike Glover says grassroots Republicans are eager to find someone who they believe would be able to defeat President Obama next year, but many believe the current crop of likely candidates is not up to the task. "It is difficult for a lot of Republicans to see them actually beating Barack Obama in a general election and I think Republicans are craving somebody who might have the gravitas, the money and the name ID (identification), whatever it takes, to actually win a general election matchup with Barack Obama," explained Glover. "Donald Trump, some people think, may bring that kind of gravitas to the table."

Public opinion polls suggest there is no frontrunner for the Republican Party’s presidential nomination at this early stage of the process.  Recent surveys show Mitt Romney, Donald Trump and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee as favorites for the Republican nomination, with Palin and former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich further back.

Like Palin, Huckabee has so far shown little interest in joining the race.  

You May Like

US, China Have Dueling Definitions of Cybersecurity

Analysts say attribution or or proving that a particular individual or government is responsible for a hack, is a daunting task More

Snowden: I'd Go to Prison to Return to US

Former NSA contractor says he has not received a formal plea-deal offer from US officials, who consider him to be a traitor More

Goodbye Pocahontas: Photos Reveal Today's Real Native Americans

Weary of stereotypes, photographer Matika Wilbur is determined to reshape the public's perception of her people More

This forum has been closed.
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Making a Minti
October 07, 2015 4:17 AM
While apples, corn, and cranberries top the list of fall produce in the US, it’s also the time to harvest gum, candy, and toothpaste—or at least the oil that makes them minty fresh. Erika Celeste reports from South Bend, Indiana on the mint harvest.

Video Making a Mint

While apples, corn, and cranberries top the list of fall produce in the US, it’s also the time to harvest gum, candy, and toothpaste—or at least the oil that makes them minty fresh. Erika Celeste reports from South Bend, Indiana on the mint harvest.

Video Activists Decry Lagos Slum Demolition

Acting on a court order, authorities in Nigeria demolished a slum last month in the commercial capital, Lagos. But human rights activists say the order was illegal, and the community was razed to make way for a government housing project. Chris Stein has more from Lagos.

Video Self-Driving Cars Getting Closer

We are at the dawn of the robotic car age and should start getting used to seeing self-driving cars, at least on highways. Car and truck manufacturers are now running a tight race to see who will be the first to hit the street, while some taxicab companies are already planning to upgrade their fleets. VOA’s George Putic has more.

Video TPP Agreed, But Faces Stiff Opposition

President Barack Obama promoted the Trans-Pacific Partnership on Tuesday, one day after 12 Pacific Rim nations reached the free trade deal in Atlanta. The controversial pact that would involve about 40 percent of global trade still needs approval by lawmakers in respective countries. Zlatica Hoke reports Obama is facing strong opposition to the deal, including from members of his own party.

Video Clinton Seeks to Boost Image Before Upcoming Debate

The five announced Democratic party presidential contenders meet in their first debate next Tuesday in Las Vegas, Nevada. Former secretary of state Hillary Clinton continues to lead the Democratic field, but she is getting a stronger-than-expected challenge from Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. VOA National correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.

Video Music Brings Generations Together

When musicians over the age of 50 headline a rock concert, you expect to see baby boomer fans in the audience. Boomer rock stars have boomer fans. Millennial rock stars have millennial fans. But this isn’t always the case. Take the Lockn’ Music festival which took place in mid-September in rural Arrington, Virginia. Here, Jacquelyn de Phillips discovered two generations of people who are considered quite different in the outside world, spending 4 days together in music-loving harmony.

Video Ukranian Artist Portrays Putin in an Unusual Way

As Russian President Vladimir Putin was addressing the United Nations in New York last month, he was also being featured in an art exhibition in Washington. It’s not a flattering exhibit. It’s done by a Ukrainian artist in a unique medium. And its creator says it’s not only a work of art - it’s a political statement. VOA’s Tetiana Kharchenko has more.

Video South Carolina Reels Under Worst-ever Flooding

South Carolina is reeling from the worst flooding in recorded history that forced residents from their homes and left thousands without drinking water and electricity. Parts of the state, including the capital, Columbia, received about 60 centimeters of rain in just a couple of days. Authorities warn that the end of rain does not mean the end of danger, as it will take days for the water to recede. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Russia’s Syria Involvement Raising Concerns in Europe

European nations are joining the United States in demanding that Russia stop targeting opposition groups other than the Islamic State militants as Russian warplanes continue to conduct raids in Syria. The demand came in a statement from Britain, France, Germany, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States Friday. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video Nano-tech Filter Cleans Dirty Water

Access to clean water is a problem for hundreds of millions of people around the world. Now, a scientist and chemical engineer in Tanzania (in East Africa) is working to change that by creating an innovative water filter that makes dirty water safe. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.

Video Demand Rising for Organic Produce in Cambodia

In Cambodia, where rice has long been the main cash crop, farmers are being encouraged to turn to vegetables to satisfy the growing demand for locally produced organic farm products. Daniel de Carteret has more from Phnom Penh.

Video Botanists Grow Furniture, with Pruning Shears

For something a bit out of the ordinary to furnish your home, why not consider wooden chairs, crafted by nature, with a little help from some British botanists with an eye for design. VOA’s Jessica Berman reports.

VOA Blogs