The Candidates and The World

Transition 2012

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

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Midday Update: Zoellick Heads Mitt’s Foreign Policy Transition

by Newsteam Staff
August 9, 2012

Photo of the Day: Supporters of President Barack Obama at a campaign rally at the Auraria Event Center in Denver, Colorado, August 8, 2012 (Jason Reed/Courtesy Reuters). Photo of the Day: Supporters of President Barack Obama at a campaign rally at the Auraria Event Center in Denver, Colorado, August 8, 2012 (Jason Reed/Courtesy Reuters).

Former World Bank President Robert Zoellick has already begun work as the head of national security transition planning for GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s potential administration (FP), though some inside the campaign’s foreign policy advisory team and the Republican party oppose the pick.

Critics complain that Zoellick, who served as deputy secretary of State under President George W. Bush before being appointed to head the bank, is considered “a foreign policy realist” who has seemed too friendly toward China and not friendly enough toward Israel. Romney has campaigned on his plans to be tougher on China and closer with the Israeli government.

An unnamed Romney campaign foreign policy adviser tells Foreign Policy’s Josh Rogin that Zoellick and the transition process will be “walled off from policy” as the campaign continues, but doubters say Zoellick hopes to become Secretary of State and may not be able to keep his policy opinions to himself between now and November.


Campaigning in Colorado, President Barack Obama is attempting to woo women voters with policy talk of healthcare (Politico) and women’s rights.

“I don’t thinking a working mom in Denver should have to wait to get a mammogram just because money is tight. I don’t think a college student in Colorado Springs should have to choose between textbooks and the preventive care she needs,” he said.


In a one-on-one interview with Businesweek’s Josh Tyrangiel, Romney talked about his plans to balance the budget without cutting defense or Social Security or raising taxes.

“[M]athematically there are three ways of balancing a budget. One is by cutting spending; one is by growing the economy; and the last is by raising taxes,” said Romney, who has signed Grover Norquist’s pledge to not raise taxes if elected president. “The challenge of raising taxes is that it depresses growth. And so like a dog chasing its tail, you can’t get to a balanced budget by simply raising taxes. As a matter of fact, it is ultimately counterproductive. So my plan is based upon reducing spending and putting in place a program of policies that put more people to work and raise wages.”

– Gayle S. Putrich, Contributing Editor

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