Romney vs. Obama on foreign policy
Reaction to GOP nominee's address
- Duration 8:13
- Date Oct 8, 2012
Reaction to GOP nominee's address
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Let's talk about it now what Michael Lohan know Paul -- I'm sorry that coauthor of bending history.
Barack Obama's foreign policy he is also a senior fellow on foreign policy studies of the Brookings Institution.
Also what -- general Bob scales are retired US army general and a Fox News military analyst.
General -- to you first.
-- he suggested that -- a more muscular foreign policy especially with regards to the Middle East is needed right now did you hear -- That way.
Boy I sure did John one of the things I find so uninteresting as this is the first speech I've seen the governor give.
Where he establishes a clear separation with the current administration.
First of all he focuses almost exclusively on.
The Middle East did not own China or Russia secondly.
His tone there's more -- more confrontational.
And a clear swing away from sort of the soft power approach of this administration.
Over -- more strident.
And -- -- a harder power approach to our national security also talked about.
Not reducing the defense budget substantially.
And increasing our level of of security and armed forces which we haven't heard before so this speech I think sort of -- -- his national security for the first time and there is a clear separation between what he said.
Just a few minutes ago and what we've heard from.
The -- you know my -- Michael general scales picking up on something that we've really heard a lot about over the last couple lines in the criticism that the Romney campaign is that they.
They haven't drawn.
-- clear -- distinction between their foreign policy in the foreign policy of this current administration how did you hear it.
Why would you point -- -- in the major differences between what -- Romney administration will look like.
And what another four years of President Obama might look like.
-- I thought it was a good speech to even for a person who doesn't tell think badly of president Obama's foreign policy I thought it was actually useful.
Partly because it -- reinforce the need for American engagement in the world.
That in general scales is correct there was a military aspect to that which I personally may not consider necessary but I still welcome.
The general tone of more engagement even if I don't think defense spending has to go up.
-- stay where governor Romney proposes because there's a lot of Americans as we know who are tired of these wars tired of the unrest.
Discouraged by the anti Americanism they see throughout the broader Islamic world in particular.
And maybe in a mood of let's come home America let's.
You know what let's mend our own problems and heal our own wounds for awhile.
And that's understandable and it's partly I think right but if we take it too far we can get ourselves in -- trouble.
Now we hear governor Romney arguing not just for more military spending but for more foreign -- or at least more effective four and a better coordinated.
We hear him arguing even for a word dare I say that sounds like nation building and places like Libya where he wants to do more to help these countries get on their feet.
After the revolutions that they've been through he didn't use the word nation building of course but he was talking about staying engaged in helping them build up institutions.
And being very patient and getting out of Afghanistan so I like the -- of patience and engagement.
Even if I may disagree on certain specific substantive matters.
One of the things -- -- Mitt Romney -- general scales as his comments that the president first mentioned in June of 2011.
-- the tide of war is receding.
Ann and Mitt Romney said he'd like to believe the president but he obviously doesn't think that's the case of what's your opinion now where we stand -- two points while.
Is the tide of war receding or not.
Well it's it's hard to say -- about one thing that that governor Romney did say.
Is that under his administration he will focus principally on the greater Middle East -- focus on these trouble spots which seemed to getting.
Worse and worse by the day and he sent a message I think to foreign to leaders in the Middle East that he's sort of going to re engage you know more confrontational and aggressive fashion is the world safer today than it was.
Just a few years ago now I don't think so because I think that.
The piece that we try to establish in the in the Middle East frankly is beginning to fray and large measure because.
Many leaders in the in the Middle East are beginning to question American resolve in that region.
And what the governor is trying to do is bring focus back on this region to focus on the wars we have.
Rather the wars we want -- Michael.
The -- lead from behind is something that governor Romney used and and he said I'm gonna throw that out now the Obama administration and you've said that you you have not.
Not been entirely unhappy with Obama administration foreign policy.
But they sort of war that phrase as a badge of honor especially during the NATO bombardment of of Libya.
-- is they're going to be.
-- -- Remarkable change on that score should Mitt Romney become president.
It's a good question you know that that's part twilight governor -- town.
Because I think it'll push the debate on both sides into a place that's more engaged.
You're right that the Obama administration while it may not come up with that term leading from behind.
I did seem to characterize to some extent its approach in Libya which I thought was actually effective.
But here we are in 2012.
And where in a mode.
Trying to bring the forces home.
We're nervous about talking about foreign assistance at a time of big federal budget deficits and what governor Romney's done I think is make it easier to debate.
On both sides in terms of what -- the next steps we need to take as Americans to stay engaged and contribute.
So this region doesn't become more turbulent and more dangerous so it becomes a little bit more.
Politically acceptable to talk about.
Perhaps offering -- -- more assistance for their security forces rewarding president -- in Egypt is willing to stay engaged in a positive fashion with -- -- with Israel to maybe offer him.
A little more assistance and that's a tall and and -- style of debate that I would welcome because I feel.
That politicians otherwise tend to fear we've got to talk about retrenchment and withdrawal.
Given the problems we're having back here in the United States -- -- as this fairly good for our foreign policy I think -- pushed it in about.
-- direction with the murder of our first ambassador in thirty years more than thirty years and those other three Americans turbulent and dangerous is.
It is appropriate language -- Let's kind of question for both the the reason why ask the question about whether or not that the tide of -- receding is because.
From that standpoint a lot of philosophy is made right in a lot of foreign policy can come from whether you believe the tide of war is receding -- that receiving more or whether or not it's it's not indeed.
So we had his big vice president.
The price and vice presidential debate on Thursday.
And I'm curious as quickly as general scales Chris you and and Michael -- you what do you want to hear more about and that could be what do you think it's crucial.
For the American people to hear more about.
General say I want -- Yeah thanks I want the American people to hear how committed both sides are to forwarding gauge would particularly in the Middle East I want the American people.
Do you get a sense the tone if you will of both candidates.
To get a sense.
Between the two who has the more forward looking aggressive confrontational.
Style of a policy vs the other will be very very interesting John -- I like that but I I would say I want to hear on Russia and China despite the fact this speech was largely on the Middle East I wanna hear a little more about how.
I president Romney -- President Obama would address the current problems we face with them right now governor Romney said he didn't want to -- -- any missile defense options.
I understand his logic I also understand president Obama's logic to -- come up with a better plan I think that he inherited.
Of the so Russia and China are complicated big countries we need nuanced policies we have to avoid either we're just friends or we're just adversaries.
And I think hearing more nuanced and those two countries and a discussion about them would be helpful on Thursday night.
Very interesting observation there about we didn't hear too much about them in this speech we'll see if we hear more on Thursday -- -- and general -- pleasure to have you both today thank you so much.
Thanks to thank you.