The Candidates and The World

Transition 2012

A guide to foreign policy and the 2012 U.S. presidential transition.

Overnight Roundup: Obama Defends Energy Policy

by Newsteam Staff Friday, February 24, 2012
Photo of the Day: President Obama at the University of Miami in Florida, February 23, 2012. (Kevin Lamarque/Courtesy Reuters) Photo of the Day: President Obama at the University of Miami in Florida, February 23, 2012. (Kevin Lamarque/Courtesy Reuters)

In a speech at the University of Miami, where he toured an engineering program for energy efficiency, President Barack Obama on Thursday defended his energy policies (WashPost). He said there are no “quick fixes” for rising gas prices, and argued that his “all of the above” policy, which includes increased domestic production, improved fuel efficiency standards, and clean energy investment, is the smartest way to insulate the United States from the volatility of the global oil market. Read more »

Weekly Video Brief: Climate Change

by Toni Johnson Thursday, February 23, 2012

In this week’s video, CFR’s Michael Levi says the winner of the U.S. presidential election will face at least three sets of climate challenges including reducing U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, facing international pressure, and developing climate-friendly technology.  In particular he notes the challenges the United States will face abroad. “Regardless though of what the United States does at home, it is likely to be inadequate internationally,” Levi argues.  Watch below:

Read more »

Tracking the Issues: Group Charts GOP Budget Proposals

by Newsteam Staff Thursday, February 23, 2012
The National Debt Clock near Times Square in New York, May 16, 2011. (Chip East/Courtesy Reuters) The National Debt Clock near Times Square in New York, May 16, 2011. (Chip East/Courtesy Reuters)

A report released today by the bipartisan Center for a Responsible Federal Budget (CRFB) offers some insight into the potential fiscal outcomes associated with the GOP field running for president. According to an analysis of their tax and spending proposals, all of the Republican candidates would likely keep growing the national debt as a percentage of GDP during a hypothetical two terms as president: Read more »

Tracking the Issues: Arming the Syrian Opposition by Proxy

by Newsteam Staff Thursday, February 23, 2012
Protesters demonstrate against Syria's President Bashar al-Assad in Amman, Jordan, February 4, 2012. (Ali Jarekji/Courtesy Reuters) Protesters demonstrate against Syria's President Bashar al-Assad in Amman, Jordan, February 4, 2012. (Ali Jarekji/Courtesy Reuters)

The GOP candidates were questioned during Wednesday’s presidential debate about the United States’ role in Syria. Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich advocated the use of  allies and other outside groups to arm the rebellion. Read more »

Overnight Roundup: Candidates Spar on Iran at GOP Debate

by Newsteam Staff Thursday, February 23, 2012
Ron Paul, Rick Santorum, Mitt Romney, and Newt Gingrich before the GOP presidential debate in Arizona February 22. Photo of the Day: Ron Paul, Rick Santorum, Mitt Romney, and Newt Gingrich in Mesa, Arizona, February 22, 2012. (Laura Segall/Courtesy Reuters)

With a slew of primary contests and caucuses coming up in the next couple weeks, the four remaining GOP presidential candidates in Arizona debated for the last time before Super Tuesday, touching on a variety of foreign policy issues ranging from foreign aid and defense policy to Iran and immigration. Read more »

Renewing America Watch: All About the Economy

by Toni Johnson Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Senate Budget Committee ranking minority member Sen. Jeff Sessions and Republican Policy Committee Chairman John Barrasso at a news conference, February 13, 2012. (Larry Downing/Courtesy Reuters) Senate Budget Committee ranking minority member Sen. Jeff Sessions and Republican Policy Committee Chairman John Barrasso at a news conference, February 13, 2012. (Larry Downing/Courtesy Reuters)

CFR’s Renewing America project focuses on six challenges the United States faces domestically that impinges on the country’s ability to project power globally. The country’s economic woes are certainly front and center as the presidential campaign heats up and candidates debate the debt and deficits coming  out of Washington as well as how to make the economy thrive. Read more »

Tracking the Issues: Obama’s Business Tax Plan

by Newsteam Staff Wednesday, February 22, 2012
President Obama stands alongside Vice President Biden in Washington February 21. President Obama stands alongside Vice President Biden as Obama delivers remarks on the extension of the payroll tax cut in Washington February 21. (Jason Reed/Courtesy Reuters)

The Obama administration released the president’s proposals for overhauling corporate tax codes (PDF). At the centerpiece of his proposal is a reduction of the top corporate tax rate to 28 percent (NYT), down from 35 percent, with dozens of loopholes and subsidies eliminated in exchange. In addition to the corporate tax rate reduction, Obama’s plan would establish a minimum tax on multinational corporations’ foreign earnings to discourage relocation of production overseas or shifting of profits abroad. Read more »

Overnight Roundup: GOP Gets Set for Tonight’s Debate

by Newsteam Staff Wednesday, February 22, 2012
A vendor sells campaign buttons for GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum before a rally in Phoenix, Arizona February 21. Photo of the Day: A vendor sells campaign buttons for GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum before a rally in Phoenix, Arizona February 21. (Joshua Lott/Courtesy Reuters)

GOP presidential candidates will square off in a debate Wednesday night (CNN) in Mesa, Arizona, the 20th debate so far this election season. According to GOP Governor Jan Brewer, Arizona voters are, like the rest of the country, worried about jobs and the economy. “Here in Arizona people are also concerned with their border security, they are concerned about new federalism and states’ rights, and are very interested in natural resource issues,” she said. Read more »

Tracking the Issues: Gingrich Says He Can Lower Pump Prices

by Newsteam Staff Tuesday, February 21, 2012
A taxicab driver fills his tank in mid-town Manhattan, April 11, 2011. (Brendan McDermid/Courtesy Reuters) A taxicab driver fills his tank in mid-town Manhattan, April 11, 2011. (Brendan McDermid/Courtesy Reuters)

Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich touted the possibility of $2 per gallon gasoline (ABC) if he is elected Monday. Under his policies, Gingrich said that “we will dramatically expand our independence in the world market, dramatically expand our capacity to produce energy without regard to our foreign potential enemies, and in the process prices will clearly be a lot lower.” Read more »

Weekend Roundup: Americans View Iran as Greatest Enemy

by Newsteam Staff Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Photo of the Day: Iran's Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi in Tehran, February 20, 2012. (Courtesy Reuters) Photo of the Day: Iran's Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi in Tehran, February 20, 2012. (Courtesy Reuters)

Iran rates as the country’s greatest enemy, according to 32 percent of voters surveyed in Gallup’s annual world affairs poll released February 20. Rounding out the top five countries are China at 23 percent, North Korea/Korea at 10 percent, Afghanistan at 7 percent and Iraq at 5 percent. Iran has topped the list for the past five surveys and has the most unfavorable U.S. voter rating, at 87 percent, of any country surveyed this year. With the recent arrival of UN inspectors to look at Iran’s nuclear program, this NPR program discusses the country’s regional, diplomatic, and nuclear goals. Read more »