tv [untitled] November 18, 2011 2:30pm-3:00pm EST
live from moscow this is r t is coming over here tonight with a top story update for you in france tells of syria's president his time is up please chance to bring in reforms and he's seeking more pressure on the pardons torn country earlier damascus signal concessions to the arab league's demands by agreeing in principle that accept the presence of international observers. russia by the recent star move towards creating a new trade block to prevent europe's debt lot from spreading their way present bed of stress the aeration economic union won't repeat the mistakes which countries made when integrating. under a new signs of rupture within the e.u.
itself as britain clashes with germany over ways out of the debt turmoil chancellor merkel wants countries to surrender more control of the road financial and political decisions which the u.k. fears will be a blow to states. well from troubles at home or abroad president obama's approach is raise a lot of questions for americans but do his republican rivals have anything better to offer good question crossed looks at that minute from now. twenty years ago when the largest country in. the south was how did. the janitor. where did it take to. keep the
state of. the city to. welcome across the time people of color the g.o.p. race for the white house in foreign policy front runners for the republican presidential nomination have made it clear that they're almost all foreign policy hawks rough on china tough on iran and very pro israel how much is this a functional party's traditional foreign policy positions or is it simply may tack on obama's track record on the stump to keep the students. could cross talk the g.o.p. presidential race i'm joined by bill schneider in washington he's a distinguished senior fellow in resident scholar at the third way in sacramento we cross to mark williams he's founder and former chairman of the tea party express and radio host and in columbus we cross the cliff schecter he's an author pundit
and president of the characters cross talk raising effect gentlemen that means you can jump in anytime you want but first what you learn about some of the g.o.p. candidates well i don't know about you but i can't. anyway when americans vote for their president foreign policy is rarely on top of the agenda but as the u.s. continues to fight wars in the arab world and threatens a military strike against iran it is to be expected the presidential candidates are prepared to become the country's commander in chief but in this campaign there seems to be some doubt that barack obama's republican contender is. up to this task traditionally u.s. presidential campaign focuses on the state of the economy and taxes and jobs this election cycle is no different but since the u.s. remains the world's only superpower experiencing global overreach the american president has no choice but to be engaged in foreign policy and congresswoman michele bachmann wants the job even when she's dicey with some basic facts but there's reports that have come out that cuba has been working with another
terrorist organization called has a lot and has the law is potentially looking wanting to be a part of missiles in iran in bachmann's case it appears that fear mongering has become a replacement for knowledge but then there is the case of candidate herman cain his ability to talk about such important issues as libya borders on the humorous but it is also quite unsettling. you. president obama so call it your grounds. for the world. i don't suppose that she would talk about the same thing. the way iran is another subject that's getting a lot of airtime in this election and would be only one exception congressman ron paul aspiring republican nominees are falling over themselves to show who's the
most hawkish when it comes to these lawmakers public former house speaker newt gingrich even has a plan to start a war with iran if elected president maximum covert operations. to block and disrupt iranian program. including taking out their scientists including breaking up their systems all over covertly all over deniable. it appears the former house speaker is oblivious to the fact that preemptive war is legal and against international law and that's going to war is a decision for the u.s. congress and not the president across the board republicans have been extremely critical of obama's foreign policy which is to be expected in any election but one has to wonder how effective this criticism is when it is not even based on fact or knowledge so i don't know from what i'm used to are saddened by all this but what is amusing about this campaign thank you bunches of bill if i go to you first in washington when looking at the the last debate the republicans had on foreign
policy did any of them flunk the commander in chief test. well a number of them have said some things that were very troubling and not necessarily in the debate i mean cain seemed to have no answer when he was asked about these position on libya in fact most of the republican candidates don't seem to have much of an answer he stumbled around and looked a little bit lost the same way some other candidates have done when asked about international affairs this election is not really about foreign policy at all in fact president obama's highest ratings have come on foreign policy so republicans are having a little trouble finding any inroad to attack obama ok market that's very interesting because it really is about the economy is not his report pointed out but these are why that the issue of iran is made so high on the agenda because that's something that. they could get obama on because on national security credentials obama at least pretty safe there certainly not on the economy. well certainly not on the economy when you have people living in the streets literally people living in their
cars and when you've got an economy that's just swirling around the bowl with little or no grown up supervision apparently in sight and people are worried about their lives they're worried about their next mortgage payment they're worried about their kids they're worried about their future. so rand is on the radar but it's somewhere down the somewhere down the list and what we're seeing play out with with the gaffes like herman's and the gaffes like rick perry's when he forgot which agencies he wanted to eliminate as we're seeing the primary process do what it's supposed to do we go through the candidates and bring us the best of what we have ok cliff i think it's quite interesting that i live abroad obviously and i talk to a lot of people that look at america from the outside in and a lot of people did see that foreign policy debate was just a gas and how little the republican nominees actually know about the world and how polarized they are on some sperry specific issues. well the stuff we drew i mean i've spent some time living abroad too and when you look back here. and things obviously have also changed in recent years you know as as
a more conservative element as the tea party which is again control of the primary process republicans have become a lot more hawkish and you know so you have a few you mention ron paul jon huntsman i believe is also for pulling out of afghanistan but for the most part the guys who are in the lead are just trying to jump on top of each other and those are those are not just foreign policy concerns those are domestic concerns very very popular among evangelical christians to be very pro israel for. a variety of religious reasons so that affects that stance and again you know they they want to try to make president obama look weak i think that's going to be difficult obviously you know whether you want to give him all the credit some of the credit the credit whatever you want to play it osama bin laden has been found and killed under his watch and he was killed and you know he's got nose out of iraq and so a number of things have happened that i think most of the country if you look in polls are in favor of ok mark do you think that well except that none of them are
attributable to barack obama barack obama's foreign policy is forrest gump foreign policy just happens to be there when something happens why were we bombing the snot out of libya why were we there why are we not out of iraq as he said we would be why are we not out of afghanistan as you so more would be why are we still bumbling around the learn the real you know why is the rest of the world i think it was france to be really new in libya but ok can i have a second here i'll agree with you on libya because i that's not a war that i thought made sense either but when you're talking about you know barack obama happened to be there well george bush happened to be there and we didn't catch osama bin laden so what would be the explanation for that yeah that's right he happened to be there wouldn't you know we needed to do your job yourself involved in a war in iraq based upon false information i think if you're comparing foreign policies almost. george bush. president ok bill if i go to washington bill what did i say i was going to disagree with you george bush was a disaster all right let me because of course is that he's the one who started this
economic catastrophe with his tarp program and the bailouts and taking money from the working stiff and giving it to the very same with foreign policy bill if i can go to you in washington a lot of people around the world would say that they don't bomb it has a very hawkish foreign policy and it is not much different than george w. bush's but the republicans that we heard a few days ago are you say that you give the impression that he's actually quite weak and maybe even dovish it makes particularly we'll talk about iran later. well yeah i mean look how some of bin laden dead anwar locky dead the market off the dead that sounds like a pretty tough pretty aggressive pretty hawkish foreign policy and americans do give him pretty high ratings on his foreign policy the problem is for a lot of americans he doesn't talk tough he doesn't have any swagger and a lot of americans continue to think of him as a weak leader mostly because their perception in domestic politics i think you see mark i mean so you know that's why it's going to be difficult to go after obama
because he's a hockey after all. well again he's not a hawk after all the fact that that osama bin laden is dead to the fact that he's dead. his peace war already in the works we've been fighting al qaeda since two thousand and one actually before that covertly so this is nothing that obama went out and did it's not like he's rambo ripped off his shirt stuck a knife between his teeth and went out this is a president who goes around the world apologizing for this country apologizing for the american people apologizing for what we've done in the world before foreign leaders balgo for the saudi king even baal before a mayor in louisiana or this this is a guy who has you know foreign policy what he does he's a thirst for and i lost it for the use of power ok cliff cliff go ahead cliff jump in. that's that's patently ridiculous i guess in more preferable if we had a president who declared victory in iraq and got up on an aircraft carrier and
pumped his own chest before thousands of americans died in a war that wasn't planned out where paul wolfowitz said oh the oil will pay for the whole thing in the us that's ridiculous you know i could bring back pictures of george w. bush walking building hands with the saudi leaders and frankly pretty bowed down to the saudis it was the bush family it was the barack obama look you know the. only boys know what mr president of the whatever whatever other positions takes you know domestically as you pointed out he hasn't been as tough as he often has been willing to deal with republicans when frankly they've been acting insane and he probably shouldn't be and that's made him look weak and that's been his mistake is actually not being tougher on the other party and standing up stronger but again it is myth that he don't do anything with it was nice but he's great i love how it how are you guys who say i was in it with ronald reagan doing here that ronald reagan ended the team quote right ronald reagan ended the cold war singlehandedly with a knife between his teeth crawling across the border and killed him all right just like in a john wayne movie but it obama didn't do anything ok whatever you say more ok i
want to go to i want to go to i want to go to bill isn't it just to live a day let me go to bill in washington in the potomac go ahead. it is simply that in the. precursor to the death of osama bin laden there were weeks of meetings covert meanings which somehow didn't leak out of the white house obama was present in every one of those meetings he knew every detail of that gehring raid to eliminate osama bin laden he was watching mollett happened he was very much involved in the planning of this and it was his misson mission the same way the elimination of our locky was very controversial a lot of liberals said the president should have gotten legal opinions was it constitutional to send a drone to another country to eliminate an american citizen he went ahead and you're going to jump in here are you going with a short break and after that short break we'll continue our discussion of a g.o.p. candidate state with our.
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welcome back across town people come to mind you were talking about the republican presidential candidates. the big. ok mark if i can go to you and sacramento i mean with the exception of we can say and ron paul and maybe a few other candidates i mean it seems pretty universal that the next president if it's a republican is the first quarter of business this is going to bomb iran to hell that's what it sounded like from the republican foreign policy debate you know. oh i think by the time the election rolls around iran will already have been bombed the hell most likely by israel whatever it can be done to prevent the uranium from getting a nuclear weapon has got to be done i mean it's insanity to let them have that weapon because we all know what they'll do with it the idea that a gun in the hands of a criminal is the same as a gun in the hands of
a cop is crazy nuclear weapon in the hands of russia or the united states or france is all tool for peace nuclear weapon in the hands of iran is a tool for genocide and extension ok if i can go to you in washington just be kind of counter-intuitive here you know we have an election coming up in a year in the united states and considering the rhetoric that we've heard from the united states and other western capitals for years about iran i've been around is doing everything it possibly can weaken the nuclear weapon now because they know that the next president the united states will probably go to war with them so i'm just trying to be counter-intuitive here i mean you can reach that was talking about covert covert covert which is actually quite a larry is because he was saying you know we can do it all deniable it's all deniability ok he's actually hysterical watching that debate because he just gave his game plan away to a potential for a real phone in his mind. and for all i know we're doing it we're doing all those things which was certainly trying to organize the world to impose tougher sanctions on iran there's some talk about taking sanctions against the bank of iran that
could have devastating impact on oil markets but those are the things that are going on right now it's just that if it's covert you don't want to talk about that iran is a problem but i'll tell you the first thing in a republican president would do would have nothing to do with iran the first thing the republican president would do we need to get rid of the president's health care plan that's the centerpiece of their agenda ok let's stay with foreign policy exactly right you know if this election is all about domestic policy and is this a this program is about foreign policy will be domestic politics another time cliff if i can go to you i mean everyone seems to be in public and seem to be really energized by the iranian issue and it is something we mention the first part of the program because there isn't a whole lot of other things for them to take on because. obama like it or not has actually turned into a foreign policy president and usually doesn't happen to a president the first term. well i mean look if you look at those debates i mean anytime that we're talking about someone being executed in texas or somewhere else the crowds getting up and cheering i mean there seems to be almost as blood lost i
mean look as iran need to be prevented i agree that it's a bipartisan effort to try to stop iran from getting their hands of nuclear weapons and that absolutely in my opinion should be done but again you know we need to think out our courses of action before we take them i mean herman cain probably thinks iran is somewhere in the south of africa you know and rick perry you know if he's able to talk because he's not on too many pills this whole time and these debates who knows what he would say i mean again there's this group of guys you know that want to be president seem more like talk show hosts we don't just you know we do we need to potentially take military action we might but this is something he's we seriously thought about considering we're involved in in three different countries right now ok bill i'd like to go to you and i think some talk show hosts are kind of intelligent but that's a different topic here i mean how much how much is the it's got these comments that you know like herman cain because i know he has traction when it comes to the economy but is it really devastate people when he just can't have it is not a clue about libya because most americans probably don't have
a clue about libya either do they hold it against him and most americans are not running for president good boy is he supposed to have a clue about a lot of things i would argue that the republicans running two arguably three of them look like they have the standing the the knowledge to be commander in chief certainly newt gingrich was speaker of the house and mitt romney who's never had a foreign policy row but he's been around the track before and jon huntsman was the ambassador to china they usually know what they're talking about the rest of them really don't we think about that mark i mean when you look at michele bachmann and herman cain i mean are they really punished by a potential voters of for their performance of past comments and gaffes. well of course they are but you also have to remember their role in the process that's playing out what their role at this point is we all we all know the presumptive nominees mitt romney but the role being played by the other candidates right now is to bring up the issues to bring up the discussion to put it before the people to to
create an interest among the american people in libya you're right most americans don't know squat about libya they know qaddafi's name and that's about it but what they what they now have is they have got their presidential summit some of the new presidential choice who's goes gaffing at it so they have to go out and figure it out now or a little bit more this whole it's a process that's playing out here that molds the final candidates selected by the g.o.p. and do the best they can do to go up against the incumbent and what do you think about that cliff i mean when you're looking at these the last debate foreign policy debate about republican candidates you think the obama campaign sitting kind of. you know nice and pretty right now thinking they don't have to worry about being challenged on the foreign policy front not that it would happen and usually most americans don't vote on foreign policy. no i think i'm going to i mean look we don't have the kind of foreign policy coverage we showed and for it to be clear because of course i do love talk show hosts like yourself which i was referring to the conservative talk radio host that is the mentality that i was trying to get at
i knew you'd appreciate that they bring into this it's sort of what you're trying for controversy you're really going for ratings over substance and some of the some of the talk radio that goes on the united states in fact herman cain was in talk radio i think as bill said yes jon huntsman certainly look at they're looking for someone who understands foreign policy you go with jon huntsman mitt romney again my big problem with him would be i don't know what position he's taking on things because he changes them but i think he has the knowledge his dad obviously was a governor ran for president he comes from his family comes from his background with the olympics and so i would give him that but if the doubt to the same with newt gingrich you know i massively disagree with what his policy prescriptions are the rest of them obviously and i may be missing one or two but you know they don't they don't seem to have any knowledge and again that's the that is the biggest role for a commander in chief in the end because you're going to make some decisions that are pretty important sometimes at a very very short notice and so i don't think any of the others have shown themselves to be up to that you know bill it's very interesting i've followed some of the debates here in almost every single time when the candidates are introduced
on the podium ron paul gets a real loud round of applause and he doesn't seem to get the same kind of traction in the media be done the same kind of attention but he is very much different than his other republicans and he's very much against going to war i mean he's the anti hawk in the republican camp and and it seems to me in these in the horse in isolation that you're going to have but it's very very interesting is that when i look at how people react to the he has a very hard core following because he can explain issues in a way that's simple enough because the michele bachmann lives of extremist and a scaremonger but it's attractive to listen to ron paul that on the other hand is a bit dry and very specific and he's very long driven. well he is he has a base these are libertarians it's a really small base there with him they're going to stick with him they are not regular republican voters he's going to get his vote the problem is his base is the
limit of his support he can't get many other votes and it's very hard to see how he could get them because he when he talks about foreign policy he in tagon eyes is a lot of republicans he really is a classic american isolationist he's anti war he was anti war in iraq he believes the united states should limit its foreign commitments abroad limit its foreign aid so my feeling is he's got a certain percentage of the vote but he can't get any more ok mark before we enter the program how much of it is that is the issue of israel going to be in the front and center for obama's foreign policy going into reelection here and how the republicans going to do that because there will be plenty of people like apac and other lobby scroope saying that obama is not a good friend of israel how much is likely to play into the election you think. it's going to play in considerably to a great deal of vote in this country because iraq obama has consistently thrown israel under the bus at every opportunity and embrace the terrorists that surround them so the republican party is returning or will return we store our support for
israel our steadfast support for israel and our absolute opposition to any kind of any kind of terrorist state grafted on to them and that barack obama continually throws israel under the bus with the terrorists and goes and deals before there kings and ugs them is going to be a factor that said foreign policy is not a mate is not v major issue for voters in this country there's a great deal more interest in american foreign policy overseas then there is in america which is in a way sad that's why it's very sad when the superpower has weakened somewhat if you like that cliff what do you think about the israeli issue right there. i think look i mean look one of the most hawkish of those on israel which is a former mayor of new york city ed koc i supported many republicans just came out and supported barack obama a number of other ones do he's been in support of far right like cooed element in israel but he supports israel in general i just found it amusing when i'm listening
to someone tied to the tea party saying he's you know cuddling up to the terrorists and not israel concerning their big funder the koch brothers that was just exposing bloomberg of course has been using subsidiaries in europe to trade with iran against our more ago so frankly you know if anybody's been you know over the last twenty thirty years it was the reagan administration that helped arm iran it's the koch brothers that are trading with iran frankly if the right would stop doing business with iran maybe they wouldn't be as strong as they are right now what do you think about the israeli issue give you probably the last word in the program here because there's a lot of people that they would say that obama hasn't done enough but a lot of people if they did they're disappointed that he wasn't even stronger i mean there is there are very heated there's very heated debate around this issue. well it's a heated debate mostly on among conservatives who do not believe he's been a very good friend to israel israelis probably feel the same way is this all in the peel to jewish voters well then the republicans are hoping they can peel off some jewish throws but jews are a very small proportion of the electorate it's more an appeal to conservative
voters who are intensely pro israel particularly voters affiliated with the religious right who have a deep deep affection for and support for israel and i think it's a way of keeping them energized and most american voters support israel but they're not it's not very high on their list of priorities and even jewish voters who are worried about obama on israel you know what they're going to do with their vote for obama they always do ok gentlemen interesting discussion we'll see how this campaign continues many thanks to my guest today in washington sacramento and in columbus and thanks to our viewers for watching us here to see you next time remember rostock so. you can. see.
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