News / USA

    Republican Presidential Contenders Speak Out on Israel, Iran, China

    US Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is seen on the screen during the presidential candidate debate in Ames, Iowa, August 12, 2011 (file photo)
    US Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is seen on the screen during the presidential candidate debate in Ames, Iowa, August 12, 2011 (file photo)

    In U.S. presidential politics, the economy and jobs are expected to dominate next year’s election. But many of the Republicans running for their party’s presidential nomination have some strong views on foreign policy and they are making them known as the campaign rolls on.  

    The latest entrant into the presidential race is Texas Governor Rick Perry, who has served as governor for more than 10 years. But like most of his rivals for the Republican Party nomination, he has little experience in foreign policy.

    During a recent visit to the early presidential contest state of Iowa, Perry left little doubt that he has strong views on U.S. relations with Israel and on national security in general.

    “We are going to stand with our friends. Israel is not going to have to worry if I am the president of the United States where we are going to be. We are going to be standing with our friends. And if you are our enemy we are not going to just give you some lip service. If you try to hurt the United States, we will come defeat you,” said Perry.

    U.S. troops in Afghanistan


    The war in Afghanistan also is drawing attention from the candidates, especially during debates.

    Republicans have long supported the U.S. military presence in Afghanistan, but even the Republican frontrunner, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, took note of the public’s war fatigue during a recent debate.

    “Sometime in the next two years we are going to draw down our troop strength and reach a point where the Afghan military is able to preserve the sovereignty of their own nation from the tyranny of the Taliban. That has to happen,” said Romney.

    Focus on Iran

    Iran is a favorite target of several of the Republican contenders, who say it remains the number-one threat to Israel and a major security concern for the United States.

    The only one who strays away from this line of attack is Texas Congressman Ron Paul. Paul says he would not impose sanctions on Iran even if it developed nuclear weapons, and he is also the only contender in the crowded Republican field who opposes the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

    “I say a policy of peace is free trade, stay out of their internal business, do not get involved in these wars, and just bring our troops home!” said Paul.

    Paul’s comments drew a strong response from fellow contender Rick Santorum, a former senator from Pennsylvania.

    “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,” said Santorum.

    China relations

    Former Utah governor Jon Huntsman is one of the few Republican candidates with extensive foreign policy experience. Earlier this year, Huntsman completed a tour as President Obama’s ambassador to China and he is fluent in Mandarin. He previously served as U.S. ambassador to Singapore under President George H. W. Bush in 1992.

    Huntsman noted his experience during a recent debate.

    “As far as you can see into the 21st century, we are going to have to deal with the Chinese. We better get it right. I understand this relationship. I have been at it for 30 years. I think it would be a great thing to have a president of the United States who knew something about China,” said Huntsman.

    Political analysts say that while the campaign likely will be dominated by the domestic economy, events overseas, particularly unexpected ones, could have an impact on next year’s election.

    Stuart Rothenberg said on VOA’s Encounter program, “It is all about results. What is going to happen on the ground between now and the next election in Afghanistan and in Iraq? Are we going to have stable environments? Are we going to have talk about terrorists being allowed to gather and train?”

    Public-opinion polls show Americans generally have more confidence in President Obama’s ability to handle foreign policy issues than the domestic economy, another reason why the Republican candidates are likely to focus their lines of attack on jobs and other domestic issues.




    Jim Malone

    Jim Malone has served as VOA’s National correspondent covering U.S. elections and politics since 1995. Prior to that he was a VOA congressional correspondent and served as VOA’s East Africa Correspondent from 1986 to 1990. Jim began his VOA career with the English to Africa Service in 1983.

    You May Like

    Top US General: Turkish Media Report ‘Absurd'

    General Dunford rejects ‘irresponsible' claims of coup involvement by former four-star Army General Campbell, who led NATO forces in Afghanistan before retiring earlier this year

    Video Saving Ethiopian Children Thought to Be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at efforts of one African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children

    Protests Over Western Troops Threaten Libyan 'Unity' Government

    Fears mount that Islamist foes of ‘unity' government plan to declare a revolutionaries' council in Tripoli

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    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.
    London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunitiesi
    X
    VOA News
    July 25, 2016 5:09 PM
    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Four Brother Goats Arrive in Brooklyn on a Mission

    While it's unusual to see farm animals in cities, it's become familiar for residents of Brooklyn, New York, to see a little herd of goats. Unlike gas-powered mowing equipment, goats remove invasive weeds quietly and without adding more pollution to the air. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this is a pilot program and if it proves to be successful, the goat gardener program will be extended to other areas of New York. Faith Lapidus narrates.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora