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2012 field assails Obama on foreign policy
Right calls him ‘wrong’ on Iran, terrorism, more
Question of the Day
Potential Republican presidential candidates for 2012 painted President Obama as a weak commander in chief who appeases foes and spurns allies, as they assailed the administration at an annual conservative gathering in Washington over the weekend.
“The Obama administration is wrong on terrorism, wrong on Iran, wrong on the Muslim Brotherhood, wrong on Hezbollah; and being wrong on that many national security items is an enormously dangerous thing,” said former House Speaker Newt Gingrich at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC).
“This is an administration which doesn’t even have the courage to tell the truth about who wants to kill us.”
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who placed second in a Washington Times straw poll at CPAC, slammed Mr. Obama’s “reset” policy with Russia. He said it “consisted, of course, of our abandoning our missile defense in Poland and in signing a one-sided nuclear treaty.”
He said it is one more example of Mr. Obama’s ” ‘they get, we give’ diplomacy.”
Mr. Romney also took aim at Mr. Obama’s July deadline for beginning the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan.
“While the Taliban may not have an air force or sophisticated drones, they do have calendars,” he quipped.
Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty mocked comparisons between Mr. Obama and Ronald Reagan, saying “Ronald Reagan knew how to stare down our enemies.”
“Bullies respect strength. They don’t respect weakness. So when the United States of America projects its national security interests here and around the world, we need to do it with strength,” he said to chants of “USA! USA! USA!”
“And one more thing,” he added. “Mr. President, stop apologizing for our country! The bullies, terrorists and tyrants of the world have lots to apologize for. America does not.”
Sen. John Thune of South Dakota accused the Obama administration’s of failing to use “all elements of our national power to win” the war on terrorism.
“We need to use lawful interrogation techniques to acquire actionable intelligence,” he said. “And when we are done interrogating terrorists, we should give them their day in court - in a military tribunal, not an American courtroom.”
Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, a libertarian who again won the straw poll this year, said the crisis in Egypt is a good argument for ending all foreign aid.
“Seventy billion dollars we invested in Egypt,” he said, “And guess what? The government is crumbling, and the people are upset, not only with their government; but they’re upset with us for propping up that puppet dictator for all those years.”
Former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson, who finished a distant third in the straw poll, said that if fiscal conservatives are serious about balancing the budget, they need to take a hard look at the defense budget.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Ben Birnbaum is a reporter covering foreign affairs for The Washington Times. Prior to joining The Times, Birnbaum worked as a reporter-researcher at the New Republic. A Boston-area native, he graduated magna cum laude from Cornell University with a degree in government and psychology. He won multiple collegiate journalism awards for his articles and columns in the Cornell Daily Sun.
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