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: Convention Spotlights Foreign Policy

by Newsteam Staff
August 30, 2012

Photo of the Day: Convention goers listen to former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice during the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida August 29, 2012 (Eric Thayer/Courtesy Reuters). Photo of the Day: Convention goers listen to former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice during the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida August 29, 2012 (Eric Thayer/Courtesy Reuters).

Signature moments of the Republican National Convention Wednesday night included vice presidential nominee Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), who spoke on reinvigorating White House leadership of an economic turnaround (WashPost), and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who stressed the need for the U.S. president not to shirk from leadership (Reuters) on a range of global issues.

Mitt Romney is set to accept his party’s presidential nomination tonight.


Romney slipped away from the GOP convention briefly Wednesday to address the American Legion convention in Indianapolis (IndianapolisStar), where he pledged to expand programs to help veterans if elected (WSJ) and discussed his foreign policy plans:

“A fundamental principle of American foreign policy has long been to work closely with our allies so that we can deter aggression before it breaks out into open conflict.  We used to nurture our alliances and stand up for our common values.  But when it comes to friends and allies like Poland, the Czech Republic, and Israel … and with nations that oppose us like Iran and Cuba … President Obama has moved in the opposite direction. Our foreign policy should take a page from the US Marine Corps: No better friend, no worse enemy.”

“A just and peaceful world depends upon our strength and our confidence.”

“Our foreign policy must demonstrate confidence in our cause, clarity in our purpose, and resolve in our might. Confidence in our cause compels us in our relations with other nations to promote liberty, free enterprise and human rights. Clarity in our purpose requires that when we act, we honestly describe our mission, how we will know when it has been accomplished, and what will have been achieved when it is completed. And resolve in our might, means that in those exceptional cases where a substantial American interest demands that we take military action,  we will employ overwhelming means to protect our troops and to achieve our objectives.”


The New York Times’s Peter Baker writes that what a candidate says about foreign policy on the campaign trail and what they actually do once elected are not always the same thing.

“[I[f recent presidents have kept more of their predecessor’s foreign policy than expected, Mr. Romney may also put his own stamp on international affairs in ways both surprising and not. If his policy prescriptions at this point do not vary radically from Mr. Obama’s — they both want to exit Afghanistan by 2014 — his outlook and emphasis, and the pressures that will bear on him, may push him in different directions,” Baker writes.

– Gayle S. Putrich, Contributing Editor

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