The Candidates and The World

Transition 2012

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

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Overnight Roundup: Campaigns Step Up Battle on Foreign Policy

by Newsteam Staff
April 27, 2012

Photo of the Day: Vice President Joe Biden delivers a foreign policy speech in New York, April 26, 2012 (Lucas Jackson/Courtesy Reuters). Photo of the Day: Vice President Joe Biden delivers a foreign policy speech in New York, April 26, 2012 (Lucas Jackson/Courtesy Reuters).

Republican candidate Mitt Romney’s campaign adviser Richard Williamson warned (FP) that developments in North Korea, continued unrest in Syria and Iran’s nuclear ambitions, could signal an unraveling of President Obama’s foreign policy, likening it to the troubled last months of the Carter administration.

“Jimmy Carter’s stewardship of foreign affairs came to a culmination in the twin disasters of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and the Iranian hostage drama,” Williamson said. “We can only hope that the final months of Barack Obama’s term are not an occasion for similar disasters.”

Also on Thursday, the Romney campaign released a statement announcing the support of former secretary of defense and national security adviser Frank Carlucci, who worked under President Ronald Reagan, and former national security adviser Stephen Hadley, who worked under President George W. Bush.

“Governor Romney understands that America’s future security depends on restoring our economy and maintaining a military and diplomatic posture that advances both American interests and American values. Indeed, in the tradition of Ronald Reagan, Governor Romney grasps the deep interconnection between the two,” Carlucci said in the statement.


Vice President Joe Biden, as anticipated, took the general election battle directly to the foreign policy and national security arena, touting President Obama’s international successes from the last three years while also criticizing Romney’s foreign policy vision.

In a broad speech, Biden praised Obama’s foreign policy (NYT), from the risky mission to kill Osama bin Laden and the fight in Libya to his attempts to thwart Iran’s nuclear program and ending the war in Iraq.

“I’d respectfully suggest President Obama has made those hard calls with strength and steadiness,” Biden said. “And the reason he has been able to is because he had clear goals and a clear strategy how to achieve those goals. He had a clear vision and has a clear vision for America’s place in the world.  He seeks all the help he can get from experts as to how to realize that vision, but ultimately he makes the decision.”

Obama may be looking to further boost his national security credentials today with a visit to Fort Stewart in Hinesville, Georgia, to court military families and veterans (WashPost), both considered crucial groups of voters.

– Gayle S. Putrich, Contributing Editor

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