Earlier this month, when Mitt Romney swiftly denounced President Obama's handling of the attacks on U.S. missions in Egypt and Libya as news of the deadly Benghazi assault was still developing, the Republican challenger was showered with criticism from both sides of the aisle.
"Sometimes when really bad things happen, when hot things happen, cool words or no words is the way to go," conservative columnist Peggy Noonan argued. A Pew poll released last week found that 45 percent of respondents who followed news about the attacks approved of Obama's handling of the crisis, while only 26 percent supported Romney's condemnation of the president's actions.
In a provocative column today, the Washington Post's Charles Krauthammer argues that Romney should issue a sweeping indictment of Obama's foreign policy in light of the president's response to the violence in Libya, especially as the administration shifts its position on whether the incident constituted a terrorist attack.
Earlier this week, Romney briefly criticized Obama for referring to the Mideast unrest as "bumps in the road" and for not classifying the Libya assault as a terrorist attack. But when it comes to foreign policy critiques, Romney has spent much more time this week on pending defense cuts and unfair Chinese trade practices. Conservative pundits and the Republican National Committee (and now even some Democrats) have been far more relentless in hammering Obama on Libya.
Here's Krauthammer on Romney's missed opportunity on Libya:
Here was a chance to make the straightforward case about where Obama's feckless approach to the region's tyrants has brought us, connecting the dots of the disparate attacks as a natural response of the more virulent Islamist elements to a once-hegemonic power in retreat. Instead, Romney did two things:
He issued a two-sentence critique of the initial statement issued by the U.S. Embassy in Cairo on the day the mob attacked. The critique was not only correct but vindicated when the State Department disavowed the embassy statement. However, because the critique was not framed within a larger argument about the misdirection of U.S. Middle East policy, it could be - and was - characterized as a partisan attack on the nation's leader at a moment of national crisis.
Two weeks later at the Clinton Global Initiative, Romney did make a foreign-policy address. Here was his opportunity. What did he highlight? Reforming foreign aid.
Yes, reforming foreign aid! A worthy topic for a chin-pulling joint luncheon of the League of Women Voters and the Council on Foreign Relations. But as the core of a challenger's major foreign-policy address amid a Lehman-like collapse of the Obama Doctrine?
I'm not sure I agree with Krauthammer's critique of Romney's foreign aid speech; the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) wasn't exactly the right forum to proclaim the spectacular failure of the Obama doctrine. Obama, after all, devoted his CGI address not to championing his counterterrorism record or celebrating his commitment to ending America's wars but rather to discussing human trafficking.
But I also wonder whether Krauthammer's larger assessment is accurate. Is Romney's decision not to seize on the mounting controversy over the Libya attack a strategic blunder -- a sign that Mitt has a self-destructive preference for small ball? Or has the GOP candidate heeded Noonan's advice and concluded that silence is the best policy as the administration contends with a gathering storm of criticism?
A Fox News poll released on Friday shows that 39 percent of registered voters approve of the Obama administration's handling of the situation in Libya -- down from 48 percent in a Fox News survey in August. That's a trend the Romney campaign may not want to meddle with.
Alex Wong/Getty Images
Foreign policy assumed a more prominent role in the election in September, fueled by the emphasis on national security at the Democratic convention, the attacks on U.S. missions in Egypt and Libya, and the tensions between Israel and the United States over Iran's nuclear program. And the campaigns and their support groups have taken notice, injecting international affairs -- or, more accurately, a selective and often misleading reading of international affairs -- into the political ads now blanketing America's airwaves.
In early September, for example, the Koch brothers-supported Americans for Prosperity released an ad starring a Canadian woman named Shona Holmes, who told the story of how she'd sought treatment for a life-threatening brain condition in the United States to avoid long waits under Canada's government-run health care system. The message: Oust Obama and repeal health-care reform so that the United States doesn't become Canada. Holmes even held a press conference in Charlotte during the Democratic convention.
CBS criticized the ad when it was released, noting that the "U.S. law is insurance-based and runs through the private market, while Canada's is a public system largely run and administered by the government." Bloomberg, meanwhile, pointed out that back in 2009, when Holmes appeared in another Americans for Prosperity ad campaign, a Canadian neurosurgeon had accused Holmes of exaggerating the gravity of her condition (back in Canada, Holmes confronted death threats and a Facebook campaign to deport her).
When the Democrats caused an uproar at the convention by not affirming Jerusalem as the capital of Israel in their platform -- and then hastily added the language during a messy floor vote -- the right-wing Emergency Committee for Israel, which had run ads slamming Obama's position on Jerusalem before, pounced. The spot below includes footage of the embarrassing vote on the Jerusalem amendment (with the voice votes of delegates who supported the amendment conveniently edited out), before a narrator asks, "Is this still your Democratic Party? Or Obama's?"
So far, the Romney campaign hasn't released an ad attacking Obama over the U.S. mission attacks, but it did release a spot shortly after the incidents denouncing the president for failing seven times to stop China's "cheating" (code for labeling China a currency manipulator) and losing half a million manufacturing jobs -- all while China secured a competitive advantage in manufacturing.
PolitiFact pointed out that the United States has actually created half a million manufacturing jobs since 2010, though that hasn't been enough to replace the decline that occurred during Obama's first months in office. And it noted that while Obama hasn't labeled China a currency manipulator, it has filed seven complaints over China's trade practices with the World Trade Organization. The Washington Post added that the bar graphs the ad uses to illustrate China's new manufacturing edge are "totally out of proportion."
The Obama campaign quickly responded with an ad accusing Romney of investing in companies that shipped jobs overseas and investing part of his personal fortune in China. "Romney's never stood up to China," the narrator says. "All he's done is send them our jobs." PolitiFact confirmed that Romney did have some Chinese investments (indeed, BuzzFeed reported today that Romney's blind trust sold shares in a Chinese video company in June), but the Washington Post added that "there is no evidence that Romney, through Bain investments in which he had an active role, was responsible for shipping American jobs to China."
This week, the conservative group Let Freedom Ring released an ad criticizing Obama for supporting a bill as a senator to restrict U.S. military aid to countries that use child soldiers, only to waive the restrictions as president. "Why aren't you standing up for these children?" the narrator asks.
The statistics, quotes, and assertions in the ad generally check out. In October 2010, Obama granted waivers to Chad, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan, and Yemen because, as the Christian Science Monitor put it at the time, these countries were considered "key national security interests." Obama took a similar action the following year.
Let Freedom Ring released another ad this week denouncing Obama for inviting Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood to the White House and sending Cairo $1.5 billion in foreign aid, when the Brotherhood wants to "conquer" Israel, "undermine" the United States, and renew ties with Iran. The ad doesn't mention the attack on the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, but Let Freedom Ring President Colin Hanna made sure the subtext was clear. "After our embassies were stormed, President Obama's administration offered apologies while the Muslim Brotherhood stood by as we were attacked," he told US News & World Report on Thursday.
The ad is highly misleading. It begins by showing a fiery speaker pledging to establish a capital in Jerusalem at what the narrator describes as a "Muslim Brotherhood rally for their new Egyptian President Mohamed Morsy." But the spot doesn't mention that the speaker is the Egyptian cleric Safwat Higazi, not Morsy. To support the claim that the new Egyptian leader wants to revive relations with Tehran, the ad cites a Reuters report on an interview with an Iranian news agency that Morsy denies giving. The narrator makes the contentious claim that Iran is "building nuclear weapons" and cites a line from a 1991 memeorandum for the Brotherhood's North American wing to prove that the group's "top leaders" are interested in "taking over America."
Most recently, the group Secure America Now released an ad featuring Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's recent warnings about the progress Iran has made on its nuclear program and the need for the international community to move beyond diplomacy and sanctions to stop it. "The world needs American strength," the ad declares. "Not apologies."
What the ad fails to mention is that Netanyahu was not involved in making the spot and that the Israeli prime minister has avoided expressing support for either candidate in the U.S. election. On Friday, the Chicago Sun-Times reported that Netanyahu had passed along a message to Obama that he is not trying to interfere in the race. That won't stop groups like Secure America Now from invoking his words to prove their point, of course.
Let Freedom Ring/YouTube
Don't let the numbers fool you. Barack Obama may be leading Mitt Romney by a two-to-one ratio in polls of Latino voters, and 58 percent of those voters may approve of the job the president is doing on immigration. But Obama's record on immigration isn't unassailable -- as the president's appearance at an Univision forum in Florida on Thursday, following Romney's participation in the same program yesterday, made clear.
Early on in the interview, for example, Univision host Jorge Ramos asked the president why he hadn't kept his pledge to Ramos in 2008 that "we will have in the first year an immigration bill that I strongly support." Obama responded that unforeseen crises and partisanship -- and the limits of presidential power -- had torpedoed comprehensive immigration reform and specifically the DREAM Act, which stalled in the Senate in 2010 and would have offered legal status to undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children and enrolled in college or joined the military.
"When we talked about immigration reform in the first year, that's before the economy was on the verge of collapse," Obama noted. "What I confess I did not expect," he added, "and so I'm happy to take responsibility for being naive here, is that Republicans who had previously supported comprehensive immigration reform ... suddenly would walk away." He later said his "biggest failure" was not passing immigration reform. Here's a clip from the interview:
Obama also had to address the fact that his administration has pursued a far more aggressive deportation policy than his predecessors, removing nearly 1.5 million illegal immigrants from the country since 2009 (according to PolitiFact, Obama has deported an average of 32,886 people per month, compared with 20,964 under Bush and 9,059 under Clinton). In his Univision interview, Obama argued that immigration authorities have focused on threats to the United States -- criminals, people apprehended at the border -- rather than illegal immigrants with clean records and deep roots in the country. According to government figures, roughly 50 percent of those deported in fiscal year 2012 were convicted criminals, and roughly 40 percent of the non-criminals were removed at or near the border (the group Obama didn't mention: the 50 percent of non-criminals who had repeatedly violated immigration law).
Additionally, Obama had to fend off the criticism that he had politics in mind when he issued an executive order in June halting the deportation of some young undocumented immigrants and allowing them to apply for work permits. The president told Univision's anchors that the executive order was a response to the stories he heard from young people across the country, and that he was winning the Latino vote long before he took the action.
Indeed, Obama's consistent advantage among Latinos may be the most interesting story here. The evidence suggests that Obama's record on immigration is a political liability. An AP-Univision poll in 2010 found that 56 percent of Hispanics felt Congress not passing a comprehensive immigration bill was a bad thing for the country, and a Pew Hispanic poll in 2011 reported that 59 percent of Latinos disapproved of Obama's deportation policy. By early 2012, a Univision News/ABC/Latino Decision poll found that 53 percent of Latinos were less excited about the president than when he took office (Obama regained some of that enthusiasm and widened his lead against Romney among Latinos after announcing his executive order in June).
During the Univision forum on Wednesday, Romney tried to exploit these very vulnerabilities. He criticized Obama for not fixing the immigration system in his first year as promised, and pledged to do so through measures such as increased border security, temporary work visas, and an employment verification system (something the president also supports). "We're not going to round up people around the country and deport them," he added. But Romney's softening immigration stance has yet to move the dial on Hispanic support. Conservative attacks on Obama from the left -- such as an ad in August condemning the administration's aggressive deportation policy -- haven't made a dent either.
Romney's positions on immigration may not be the only issue at play here. Polls consistently find that Latino voters care more about pocketbook such as jobs and the economy than they do about immigration. And, if the polling is any indication, Obama appears to be winning the economic argument among Latino voters -- whether or not he's fulfilled his promises on immigration.
EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images
For months now, the right and the left have argued about whether this year's contest between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney is a repeat of the 1980 race between Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan. It's a comparison that benefits Republicans, who want to portray Obama as helpless on the economy ('Are you better off than you were four years ago?'), feckless on foreign policy (both Carter and Obama faced attacks on U.S. embassies), and politically vulnerable (Reagan surged ahead of Carter in the homestretch; the Romney campaign has its fingers crossed).
On Wednesday, National Journal's Sophie Quinton argued that Romney's criticism of Obama in the wake of Tuesday's assaults on U.S. missions in Egypt and Libya was a marked departure from Reagan's response to the storming of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran and ensuing hostage crisis in 1979-1980. When Carter's effort to rescue the American hostages in Iran failed in April 1980, Quinton points out, Reagan took the high ground, asserting that "this is the time for us as a nation and a people to stand united." When Reagan later debated Carter in the fall, she adds, he refrained from answering a question about how he would handle a similar crisis because of the sensitivity of the issue.
That's some impressive restraint. But while Reagan did ocassionally express support on the campaign trail for Carter's responses to the Iranian hostage crisis (praising the decision to freeze Iranian assets, for example), he was far less diplomatic on many other occasions.
In fact, the debate between Carter and Reagan over the Iranian crisis was remarkably similar to the rhetoric we're hearing now from the Obama and Romney campaigns. Let's take a look at some examples:
U.S. weakness at fault
Reagan: In November 1979, just weeks after radical Iranian students stormed the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, Reagan argued that Carter's policies had diminished respect for the United States around the world. "[L]et us be respected to the point that never again will a demented dictator dare to invade an American embassy and hold our people hostage," he said. The Associated Press reported at the time that "Reagan repeatedly said he wouldn't comment on the Iranian situation because remarks by presidential candidates might upset possible secret negotiations" to free American hostages. "But in each case," the news outlet added, Reagan "followed his refusal with criticism" of Carter's Iran policy.
Romney: Romney, it seems, is far less conflicted about speaking out, but he too has suggested that Obama's failure to lead created the conditions under which attacks on U.S. missions could occur. "The attacks in Libya and Egypt underscore that the world remains a dangerous place and that American leadership is still sorely needed," he said at a press conference on Wednesday. Romney surrogate John Bolton was more blunt in an interview with the Washington Post. "The perception of American weakness that provided the foundation for these attacks is largely because of Obama administration mistakes and lack of resolve," he argued.
Embassy attack symptomatic of bigger issues
Reagan: In November 1979, the Washington Post also reported the Reagan quote above, but with some additional context. Reagan claimed that the lack of respect underlying the embassy attack stemmed from the Carter administration's destructive desire to be liked, whether by supporting the SALT II nuclear arms deal with the Soviet Union or transferring control of the Panama Canal to Panama. "Isn't it about time that we said to the administration in Washington that we're not so concerned if other countries like us?" the Republican candidate asked. "We would like, once again, to be respected by other countries."
Romney: Romney cited his differences with Obama on Afghanistan, Iran, Israel, and Syria during his press conference, and Romney surrogate Dan Senor made a more explicit connection between the events of the last couple days and these larger issues during an appearance on CNN. The violence, he contended, is a reminder of the "chaos that a lot of the policies of this administration has sowed. Chaos in the Arab Spring. Chaos where allies in Israel feel that they can't rely on us. You saw the flare up over the last couple of days with the prime minister of Israel and the president."
Violation of American principles
Reagan: In the weeks after the attack in Tehran, Reagan lashed out at the Carter administration for violating an "American principle" by not granting Iran's deposed Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi permanent asylum. "If you read those words on the face of the Statue of Liberty, we have a history of being an asylum for political exiles," Reagan asserted. "And he certainly was as loyal an ally for a great many years as this country have possibly have had."
Romney: Romney has also appealed to American values in denouncing the Obama administration, arguing that the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, in publishing a statement and tweets condemning an anti-Islam American film before a crowd gathered at the compound, had issued an "apology for America's values." The first response to an embassy breach "should not be to say, 'Yes, we stand by our comments that -- that suggest that there's something wrong with the right of free speech,'" Romney declared.
'Shoot first' mentality
Carter: During his convention speech in August 1980, Carter noted that "while we Democrats grapple with the real challenges of a real world, others talk about a world of tinsel and make-believe," adding that "[i]t's a make-believe world, a world of good guys and bad guys, where some politicians shoot first and ask questions later." (h/t: Washington Examiner)
Obama: In an interview with CBS on Wednesday, Obama criticized Romney for swiftly denouncing the administration's foreign policy while news of the U.S. mission attacks was still developing. Intentionally or not, the president echoed Carter. "Governor Romney seems to have a tendency to shoot first and aim later," he observed. "And as president, one of the things I've learned is you can't do that. That, you know, it's important for you to make sure that the statements that you make are backed up by the facts."
No time for politics
Carter: In October 1980, ahead of his only debate with Reagan during the race, chastised the Republican candidate for breaking a pledge to refrain from discussing the Iranian crisis. "The fate of the hostages is too important ... to be made a political football," Carter explained. Reagan, for his part, claimed the hostage issue was fair game. "Breaking my pledge might be if I waited until 7:15 on Election Day and then brought the subject [up] as he did in the Wisconsin primary," Reagan retorted (he was referring to Carter's surprise news conference on Iran on the morning of the state's primary).
Obama: In an interview with Telemundo on Wednesday, Obama argued that the aftermath of the U.S. mission attacks was not a "time for politics." As president, he added, "my obligation is to focus on security for our people ... and not having ideological arguments on a day when we're mourning."
There are some differences between the two periods, of course. Reagan did not publicly criticize Carter for several days after students stormed the U.S. Embassy in Iran, while Romney issued a statement hours after the attacks in Egypt and Libya. But within weeks, Reagan was weighing in forcefully on the issue. And by December 1979, the Washington Post reported that Reagan was "finding it hard to restrain himself" on Iran and had "suggested for the first time that he might make the Iranian issue a major theme of his political campaign once the hostage question is decided."
That day never came during the race. But that didn't stop Reagan from seizing on an issue that ultimately helped propel him to victory.
As John Harwood notes at the New York Times, tonight's address by President Obama was as much a "state of the campaign" as it was a State of the Union. But while the president did focus on hot-button issues such as jobs and the economy (he called keeping the American dream alive the "defining issue of our time"), he also spent considerable time on foreign policy. Here are some of the highlights:
Obama has started all three of his State of the Union addresses with a call for unity. But he's done so in different ways. In 2010, Obama meditated on America's time-tested ability to transcend hardship. In 2011, he reflected on how the shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords had reminded Americans of the ties that bind them together.
This year, Obama began with foreign policy, noting how the American military has withdrawn from Iraq, killed Osama bin Laden, taken out some of al Qaeda's top lieutenants, and halted the Taliban's momentum in Afghanistan. He urged Americans to collaborate on education, energy, security, and the economy just as U.S. soldiers do every day:
These achievements are a testament to the courage, selflessness, and teamwork of America's Armed Forces. At a time when too many of our institutions have let us down, they exceed all expectations. They're not consumed with personal ambition. They don't obsess over their differences. They focus on the mission at hand. They work together.
He circled back to this theme at the end of the speech, conveniently working in once again that, yes, bin Laden is dead:
One of my proudest possessions is the flag that the SEAL Team took with them on the mission to get bin Laden. On it are each of their names. Some may be Democrats. Some may be Republicans. But that doesn't matter.... So it is with America.
Some took issue with the analogy. As the National Review's Rich Lowry tweeted, "A democratic society can never be like a well-trained SEAL team."
FIGHT AGAINST TERRORISM
In each one of his State of the Union addresses, Obama has linked the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan with the fight against al Qaeda, arguing that withdrawing from Iraq has enabled America to dismantle terrorist networks and keep the Taliban from turning Afghanistan into a safe haven for those who want to attack the United States. In 2010, Obama explained that "as we take the fight to al Qaeda, we are resposibly leaving Iraq to its people." In 2011, he turned to al Qaeda immediately after proclaiming that the Iraq war was coming to an end. This year was no different:
Ending the Iraq war has allowed us to strike decisive blows against our enemies. From Pakistan to Yemen, the al Qaeda operatives who remain are scrambling, knowing that they can't escape the reach of the United States of America.
From this position of strength, we've begun to wind down the war in Afghanistan.... This transition to Afghan lead will continue, and we will build an enduring partnership with Afghanistan, so that it is never again a source of attacks against America.
Obama devoted one-and-a-half paragraphs to the uprisings in the Middle East but didn't explicitly mention America's role in the military intervention in Libya that toppled Muammar al-Qaddafi -- the centerpiece of what some have described as the Obama administration's doctrine of "leading from behind."
The takeaway line may have been Obama's singling out of Syria:
In Syria, I have no doubt that the Assad regime will soon discover that the forces of change can't be reversed, and that human dignity can't be denied.
But Obama did not say whether his administration would take any more concrete steps to help Syrian President Bashar al-Assad see the light.
During an election year in which the Republican candidates have been taking a hard line on Iran's nuclear weapons program, Obama talked tough on Iran, using words that seemed a far cry from his declaration in Cairo in 2009 that he was willing to pursue talks with Iran "without preconditions on the basis of mutual respect." Here's what he said tonight:
The regime is more isolated than ever before; its leaders are faced with crippling sanctions, and as long as they shirk their responsibilities, this pressure will not relent. Let there be no doubt: America is determined to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon, and I will take no options off the table to achieve that goal. But a peaceful resolution of this issue is still possible, and far better, and if Iran changes course and meets its obligations, it can rejoin the community of nations.
Obama also had harsh words -- wrapped in a new presidential initiative, no less -- for China, which has been a favorite target for this year's crop of Republican candidates as well:
I will go anywhere in the world to open new markets for American products. And I will not stand by when our competitors don't play by the rules. We've brought trade cases against China at nearly twice the rate as the last administration -- and it's made a difference. Over a thousand Americans are working today because we stopped a surge in Chinese tires. But we need to do more. It's not right when another country lets our movies, music, and software be pirated. It's not fair when foreign manufacturers have a leg up on ours only because they're heavily subsidized.
Tonight, I'm announcing the creation of a Trade Enforcement Unit that will be charged with investigating unfair trade practices in countries like China. There will be more inspections to prevent counterfeit or unsafe goods from crossing our borders.
While Obama made one of his few ad libs of the night when it came to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict -- noting that "our iron-clad -- and I mean iron-clad -- commitment to Israel's security has meant the closest military cooperation between our two countries in history," he didn't say anything more about the Middle East peace process. But that actually shouldn't be surprising. Obama didn't address the conflict at all in his previous two State of the Union addresses. President George W. Bush, by contrast, discussed Israeli-Palestinian peace in 5 of his 7 State of the Union addresses.
The Obama administration's much-vaunted strategic pivot to Asia merited only ten words: "We've made it clear that America is a Pacific power." What does that say about America's true geopolitical priorities? Pundits, have at it.
Republican rivals have tried to paint Obama as a kind of American exceptionalism denier. As Mitt Romney put it, "Our president thinks America's in decline. It is if he's president. It's not if I'm president. This is going to be an American century."
Obama shot back on Tuesday evening, declaring that, "America remains the one indispensable nation in world affairs -- and as long as I'm president, I intend to keep it that way." The line recalled President Bill Clinton's exhortation in his 1997 State of the Union for Americans to "do what it takes to remain the indispensible nation, to keep America strong, secure, and prosperous for another 50 years."
In his State of the Union address, Obama proclaimed that "America is back" and that "anyone who tells you that America is in decline or that our influence has waned doesn't know what they're talking about."
Lastly, we'd be remiss if we didn't mention the most cringe-inducing moment of the night: Obama's quip that, in the case of a bad regulation classifying milk as an oil, "I guess it was worth crying over spilled milk." The lame joke conjured up memories of Obama complaining in his 2011 State of the Union address that the Interior Department oversees salmon when they're in fresh water while the Commerce Department handles them when they're in saltwater. "I hear it gets even more complicated once they're smoked," he added.
Yes, the byzantine workings of government may be bad for the American people. But boy do they soften up a crowd!
Mark Wilson/Getty Images
After a disappointing 6th-place finish in Iowa last night, Michele Bachmann just dropped out of the presidential primary, promising to "continue fighting to defeat the president's agenda of socialism." Here's a look back at some of her more outlandish foreign-policy pronouncements:
On the global economy:
“With all the money we owe China, I think we might rightly say, ‘Hu’s your daddy!’”
"If you look at China, they don't have food stamps. They save for their own retirement security, they don't have AFDC (Aid to Families With Dependent Children), they don't have the modern welfare state, and China's growing...and so what I would do is look at the programs that LBJ gave us, with the Great Society, and they'd be gone."
On the "hostilities of the Arab Spring":
"We saw President (Hosni) Mubarak fall while President Obama sat on his hands."
“There’s reports that have come out that Cuba has been working with another terrorist organization called Hezbollah. And Hezbollah is potentially looking at wanting to be part of missile sites in Iran and, of course, when you’re 90 miles offshore from Florida, you don’t want to entertain the prospect of hosting bases or sites where Hezbollah could have training camps or perhaps have missile sites or weapons sites in Cuba.
On outer space:
"China has blinded United States satellites with their lasers."
"There was a column that came out this weekend by Mark Steyn, he said 50 percent of the population of Mexico has now gone north of the border, 50 percent of the population."
"The only reports that we have say that there are elements of al Qaeda in North Africa and Hezbollah in the opposition forces," she said. "Let me ask you this: what possible benefit is there to the United States by lifting up and creating a toehold for al Qaeda in North Africa to take over Libya?"
"[Obama] is allowing the ACLU to run the CIA."
On the Soviet Union:
"What people recognize is that there's a fear that the United States is in an unstoppable decline. They see the rise of China, the rise of India, the rise of the Soviet Union and our loss militarily going forward."
Bachmann will now return to her normal job, safeguarding the nation's national security secrets.
It appears Rick Perry is sticking around, at least for another few days.
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