The Candidates and The World

Transition 2012

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

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Weekend Roundup: Obama-Medvedev Sidebar Still at Play

by Newsteam Staff
April 2, 2012

Photo of the Day: Sen. Ron Johnson, Rep. Paul Ryan and GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney at a pancake breakfast in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, April 1, 2012 (Darren Hauck/Courtesy Reuters). Photo of the Day: Sen. Ron Johnson, Rep. Paul Ryan and GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, April 1, 2012 (Darren Hauck/Courtesy Reuters).


A spokesperson for GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s campaign said President Obama “should release the notes and transcripts of all his meetings with world leaders” (NationalJournal), amid the ongoing campaign controversy over comments  Obama made to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.

The Democratic National Committee responded (Politco) with a statement from a former Defense Department official, who said: “Our friends around the world need to trust that they can speak with the President of the United States in confidence, and that these conversations will not be politicized during an election. Such a dramatic and unprecedented step would undermine the ability of the United States to successfully conduct foreign policy at a time when our nation faces numerous challenges abroad.”

On Face the Nation Sunday (CBS), Vice President Joe Biden defended those comments, in which Obama said he would have more flexibility on missile defense after the elections, from Romney’s extended criticism, saying that the president was simply stating the obvious. Biden and other Democrats argue Romney does not have a good grasp of foreign policy (Bloomberg).

President Barack Obama over the weekend urged voters to pressure Congress to make necessary tax code changes to keep the United States competitive and its economy improving.

The country cannot afford to “keep investing in things that will grow our economy and keep us secure” while giving tax breaks to the wealthy, he said. The Senate is set to vote early this month on the so-called Buffett Rule, which would require taxpayers who make more than $1 million a year to pay at least a 30 percent tax rate on their entire income.

Romney also focused on the economy (WashPost) while campaigning in Wisconsin. “In short, government must make America the best place in the world for entrepreneurs, innovators, small business and big business — for job creators of all kinds,” he said.

Republican presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich, on Face the Nation (CBS), said that the Obama administration’s energy policies are keeping oil prices from dropping in the same way natural gas prices have gone down as U.S. production has risen, discounting the suggestion that turmoil in the Middle East and increased demand from China also factor into pricing.

“Nobody in Washington has noticed the revolution in technology which should make America the leading oil producing country in the world,” Gingrich said.

Ron Paul, also on Face the Nation, argued for policy change on Afghanistan (CBS), given the war’s mounting cost and increasing voter opposition. “Seventy-five percent of the American people said, we have had enough,” Paul said. “It’s cost us too much money. It’s time to come home.”

Paul also said that while he likes Mitt Romney “as a person,” he would not run on a ticket with — or possibly not even endorse him as the Republican nominee — because they differ too much on the economy and foreign policy.

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