The Candidates and The World

Transition 2012

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

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Weekend Roundup: Candidates Respond to Afghan Killings

by Newsteam Staff
Photo of the Day: An Afghan man next to the bodies of people allegedly killed by a U.S. soldier in Kandahar, March 11, 2012. (Ahmad Nadeem/Courtesy Reuters) Photo of the Day: An Afghan man next to the bodies of people allegedly killed by a U.S. soldier in Kandahar, March 11, 2012. (Ahmad Nadeem/Courtesy Reuters)

GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich responded to news Sunday that sixteen Afghan civilians were allegedly killed by a U.S. soldier. Appearing on Face the Nation (CBS), Gingrich said if he were president, his first step would be to assure the Afghan people justice will be done, offering condolences and compensation. He said it also would be time to make major policy changes in Afghanistan, including immediate withdrawal. Read more »

Tracking the Issues: Santorum Wants to Help Arm Syria Rebels

by Newsteam Staff
A boy shows empty shells and cartridges after government forces shelled Sermeen, Syria February 28, 2012. (Zohra Bensemra/Courtesy Reuters) A boy shows empty shells and cartridges after government forces shelled Sermeen, Syria February 28, 2012. (Zohra Bensemra/Courtesy Reuters)

GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum said Monday that the United State should help to “arm and supply” the Syrian rebels. “When the United States says, ‘This guy should go,’ then the expectation is that the United States will stand behind limited and reasonable efforts to do so,” he said in an interview with TIME. Read more »

Overnight Roundup: Candidates Speak at AIPAC Super Tuesday

by Newsteam Staff
Workers listen as Mitt Romney speaks during a campaign stop at Gregory Industries in Canton, Ohio March 5, 2012. Photo of the Day: Workers listen as Mitt Romney speaks during a campaign stop in Canton, Ohio March 5, 2012. (Brian Snyder/Courtesy Reuters)

GOP presidential candidates Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney, and Rick Santorum will speak to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AP) as ten states (Tribune) hold their primaries and caucuses on Super Tuesday. Gingrich, Romney, and Santorum will likely showcase their strong support for the country. According to a recent Gallup poll, 71 percent of voters view Israel favorably. The poll found a far less favorable view of Iran, at 10 percent, and the Palestinian Authority, at 19 percent. Read more »

Weekend Roundup: Obama Calls for Diplomacy with Iran

by Newsteam Staff
Israel's President Shimon Peres at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee policy conference in Washington, March 4, 2012. Photo of the Day: Israel's President Shimon Peres in Washington, March 4, 2012. (Jonathan Ernst/Courtesy Reuters)

In remarks to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) policy conference in Washington Sunday, President Obama, while calling for diplomacy, said that he would take “no options off the table” in preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, including a military contingency. “I firmly believe that an opportunity still remains for diplomacy–backed by pressure–to succeed,” Obama said, adding that a nuclear Iran is counter both Israel and the United States’ national security interests. “Iran’s leaders should understand that I do not have a policy of containment; I have a policy to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.” Read more »

Tracking the Issues: Romney — Put ‘Crippling Sanctions’ on Iran

by Newsteam Staff
View of the Bushehr nuclear power plant, some 746 miles south of Tehran, October 26, 2010. View of the Bushehr nuclear power plant, some 746 miles south of Tehran, October 26, 2010. (Mohammad Babaie/Courtesy Reuters)

At a town hall in Ohio (Politico) Wednesday, GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney said that it was important to support dissident voices in Iran to try to prevent the country from acquiring a nuclear weapon, but also called for more aggressive actions. “We have to put in place crippling sanctions. We also need to make sure that we have military options we are prepared to execute, and if we do those things, I think we have prospects of dissuading them,” he said. “At the same time, we have to be ready to take military action.” Read more »

Overnight Roundup: Economy Important to Registered Voters

by Newsteam Staff
Ron Paul holds up a silver coin as he questions Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke February 29, 2012. Photo of the Day: Ron Paul holds up a silver coin February 29, 2012. (Jonathan Ernst/Courtesy Reuters)

More than nine in ten registered U.S. voters said that the economy was very or extremely important to their vote in the upcoming presidential election, with unemployment also a major concern for more than eight in ten voters, according to a Gallup poll released Wednesday. The federal budget deficit, the 2010 health care law, and terrorism and national security are also major considerations for voters, the poll found. Read more »

Tracking the Issues: Paul Opposes DOD Benefit Cuts

by Newsteam Staff
An Army medic treats a gunshot wound in Afghanistan, April 8, 2011. (Denis Sinyakov/Courtesy Reuters) An Army medic treats a gunshot wound in Afghanistan, April 8, 2011. (Denis Sinyakov/Courtesy Reuters)

GOP presidential candidate Ron Paul on Tuesday said he opposed cuts to health care benefits for veterans and active military and called on Congress and the other GOP presidential candidates to support legislation he co-sponsored that would prohibit the Defense Department from increasing TRICARE health program fees without congressional approval. Read more »

Overnight Update: Romney Wins in Michigan and Arizona

by Newsteam Staff
Photo of the Day: U.S. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney in Novi, Michigan, February 28, 2012.  (Rebecca Cook/Courtesy Reuters) Photo of the Day: U.S. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney in Novi, Michigan, February 28, 2012. (Rebecca Cook/Courtesy Reuters)

GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney won the Michigan and Arizona primaries Tuesday (CNN), vowing in his victory speech to “restore America’s promise through more jobs, less debt, and smaller government.” A CNN exit poll shows that, in Michigan, the economy was the top issue for 55 percent of voters with the budget deficit ranking second at 24 percent. Similarly exit polling in Arizona showed that these issues are of major importance with 49 percent of voters polled picking the economy and 30 percent the deficit. Read more »

Overnight Roundup: Santorum Traces 100-Day Economic Plan

by Newsteam Staff
Photo of the Day: The first two Indian-American governors, South Carolina's Nikki Haley and Louisiana's Bobby Jindal, at the White House February 27, 2012. (Kevin Lamarque/Courtesy Reuters) Photo of the Day: The first two Indian-American governors, South Carolina's Nikki Haley and Louisiana's Bobby Jindal, at the White House February 27, 2012. (Kevin Lamarque/Courtesy Reuters)

In a Wall Street Journal op-ed the day before the Michigan and Arizona primaries, GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum outlined a “comprehensive pro-growth and pro-family” economic agenda that he said he would work with Congress to pass in the first 100 days of his administration. His plan calls for only two income tax rates of 10 percent and 28 percent, along with a corporate tax rate of 17.5 percent. He also said he would approve the Keystone XL Pipeline, cut spending by $5 trillion over five years, and submit five free trade agreements during his first year in office to increase exports. Read more »

Tracking the Issues: College, the Economy, and the Campaign

by Newsteam Staff
New York University graduation, May 13, 2009. (Mike Segar / Courtesy Reuters) New York University graduation, May 13, 2009. (Mike Segar / Courtesy Reuters)

The sluggish economy has sparked new debate about the role of U.S. education, such as whether liberal arts or specialized degrees (WashPost) create the best workforce. It also raises new questions about growing student debt (Slate), which the government said today had reached $867 billion (Bloomberg). Many experts say U.S. educational achievement remains tied to the country’s ability to compete globally, and some argue it affects the overall trajectory of economy. Read more »