Most of the 2012 campaign has focused on domestic policy, particularly the economy. But President Barack Obama’s acceptance speech at the close of the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., made room for foreign policy concerns as well, tying them with his plans for the U.S. economy:
“But for all the progress we’ve made, challenges remain. Terrorist plots must be disrupted. Europe’s crisis must be contained. Our commitment to Israel’s security must not waver, and neither must our pursuit of peace. The Iranian government must face a world that stays united against its nuclear ambitions. The historic change sweeping across the Arab World must be defined not by the iron fist of a dictator or the hate of extremists, but by the hopes and aspirations of ordinary people who are reaching for the same rights that we celebrate here today.”
“And while my opponent would spend more money on military hardware that our Joint Chiefs don’t even want, I’ll use the money we’re no longer spending on war to pay down our debt and put more people back to work rebuilding roads and bridges and schools and runways. After two wars that have cost us thousands of lives and over a trillion dollars, it’s time to do some nation-building right here at home.”
Vice President Joseph Biden accepted his nomination for the vice presidency and offered voters insight into the Obama administration’s decision-making process, saying the president showed the same determination and decisive action in moving to rescue the U.S. auto industry as he did when giving the order to go after Osama bin Laden.
“Ladies and gentlemen, I’m here to tell you what I think you already know but I watch up close: bravery resides in the heart of Barack Obama. And time and time again, I witnessed him summon it. This man has courage in his soul, compassion in his heart, and a spine of steel. And because of all the actions he took, because of the calls he made, because of the determination of American workers and the unparalled bravery of our special forces, we can now proudly say what you’ve heard me say the last six months: Osama Bin Laden is dead, and General Motors is alive.”
Sen John Kerry (D-MA), the Democrats’ 2004 presidential candidate, touched on a wide variety of foreign policy and defense issues, including President Obama’s record and GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s foreign policy shortcomings.
“President Obama kept his promises. He promised to end the war in Iraq—and he has—and our heroes have come home. He promised to end the war in Afghanistan, responsibly—and he is—and our heroes there are coming home. He promised to focus like a laser on al-Qaeda—and he has—our forces have eliminated more of its leadership in the last three years than in all the eight years that came before. And after more than 10 years without justice for thousands of Americans murdered on 9/11, after Mitt Romney said it would be ‘naive’ to go into Pakistan to pursue the terrorists, it took President Obama, against the advice of many, to give that order to finally rid this earth of Osama bin Laden. Ask Osama bin Laden if he is better off now than he was four years ago.”