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: Romney Advisers Talk Mideast Response

by Toni Johnson
September 14, 2012

Photo of the Day: A supporter of U.S. Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney in Fairfax, Virginia, September 13, 2012. (Jim Young/Courtesy Reuters)


GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s campaign advisers on Thursday said that the deadly protests in the Middle East would not be happening if the Republican nominee were president (WashPost).

Senior foreign policy advisers, Eliot Cohen and Richard Williamson said Romney would tell the Egyptians that if they wanted the $1 billion in debt forgiveness promised by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton earlier this month, they would have to put far more effort into protecting the U.S. embassy and interests in Egypt, according to the New York Times.

They also offered specifics on how a Romney administration would have handled other parts of the Middle East. Cohen and Williamson said a Romney presidency would mean putting Iran on notice that would not allow it to get close to building a nuclear bomb and more aid for the Syrian opposition, including, according to one adviser, “facilitating” the provision of lethal arms from other Arab states. But, like President Obama, he would stop short of arming them directly.

President Obama told a Spanish news agency Thursday that, while he wanted to push through immigration reform in his first term (FoxNewsLatino), he had not promised he would be able to do so when campaigning in 2008, only that he would begin working on it.

In an exclusive interview with Agencia Efe, Spain’s international news agency, the president also highlighted items from his agenda he has accomplished, including ending the war in Iraq, reforming student loan system, and providing access to healthcare for more people, including many Latinos.

On Monday, Romney and his running mate, Paul Ryan, will begin receiving intelligence briefings (TheHill) similar to that which the president and vice president receive–a courtesy usually extended the opposing party’s nominees once they are formally nominated.

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