News / USA

US Republican Presidential Candidates Tackle Foreign Policy Issues

Republican candidates who want to replace President Barack Obama sparred in Washington Tuesday night in one of the few televised debates centered on foreign policy issues.  

The candidates gathered just a few blocks away from the White House - where they each hope to spend the next four years.  

Two former governors - Jon Huntsman of Utah and Mitt Romney of Massachusetts - clashed over Afghanistan.

First, Romney asked Hunstman, "Are you suggesting, governor that we just take all our troops out next week? What's your proposal?"

"Did you hear what I just said?  I said, 'We should draw down from 100,000.'  We don't need 100,000 troops," said Hunstman. "We don't need 100,000 troops, many of whom can't even cross the wire [engage the enemy]."

But the Heritage Foundation's Jim Carafano says global issues will change before any of these candidates can become president.

"The most important thing in the debate is listening less to say 'What would I do if I were president today' - which is irrelevant - to what kind of character do they have," said Carafano. "What kind of commander-in-chief they are going to be.  Are they going to put what's right over what's easy."

A current governor, Rick Perry of Texas, explained how he would handle Iran if elected president:

"When you sanction the Iranian Central Bank, that will shut down that economy," said Perry. "At that particular time, they truly have to deal with the United States."

But what about American allies in Europe that depend on Iranian oil?

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said, "We ought to have a massive, all sources energy program in the United States designed to once again create a surplus of energy here," said Gingrich. "So we could say to the Europeans, pretty cheerfully, that with all the various sources of oil we have in the United States we could literally replace the Iranian oil."

The Republican candidates criticized current U.S. foreign policy, even though opinion surveys show it is President Barack Obama's strength.  

"There's going to be a referendum on that on how well it's worked," said James Carafano. "I think what's important is people have to distinguish what that is and how what they want to do is different than that.  And, I don't think I heard that yet from any of these candidates."

In six weeks, the Republican candidates will face their toughest test yet. The Iowa caucuses are the first major event leading up to selection of the Republican presidential nominee.

Quotes from the debate:


Carolyn Presutti

Carolyn Presutti is an Emmy and Silver World Medal award winning television correspondent who works out of VOA’s Washington headquarters.   She has also won numerous Associated Press awards and a Clarion for her coverage of The Syrian Medical Crisis, Haiti, The Boston Marathon Bombing, Presidential Politics, The Southern Economy, and The 9/11 Bombing Anniversary.  In 2013, Carolyn aired exclusive stories on the Asiana plane crash and was named VOA’s chief reporter with Google Glass.

You can follow Carolyn on Twitter at CarolynVOA, on Google Plus and Facebook.

You May Like

Hong Kong Democracy Calls Spread to Macau

Macau and Hong Kong are China’s two 'special administrative regions' which gives them a measure of autonomy More

After Nearly 2 Years, Pistorius Remains Elusive

Reporter Anita Powell reflects on her experience covering the Olympic athlete's murder trial More

Kenyan Coastal Town Struggles With Deadly June Attacks

Three months after al-Shabab militants allegedly attacked their town, some Mpeketoni residents are still bitter, question who was really behind the assaults More

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.
Obama to Ramp Up Anti-Ebola Efforts in Africai
X
Luis Ramirez
September 15, 2014 11:01 PM
President Barack Obama on Tuesday will unveil his plan to ramp up efforts against the spread of the Ebola virus in Africa. VOA White House Correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Obama to Ramp Up Anti-Ebola Efforts in Africa

President Barack Obama on Tuesday will unveil his plan to ramp up efforts against the spread of the Ebola virus in Africa. VOA White House Correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Americans' Reaction Mixed on Obama Strategy for Islamic State Militants

President Barack Obama’s televised speech on how the United States plans to “degrade and destroy” the group known as the Islamic State reached a prime-time audience of millions. And it came as Americans appear more willing to embrace a bolder, tougher approach to foreign policy. VOA producer Katherine Gypson and reporter Jeff Seldin have this report from Washington.
Video

Video Authorities Allege LA Fashion Industry-Cartel Ties

U.S. officials say they have broken up crime rings that funneled tens of millions of dollars from Mexican drug cartels through fashion businesses in Los Angeles. Mike O'Sullivan reports that authorities announced nine arrests, as 1,000 law enforcement agents fanned out through the city on Wednesday.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid