Actually I cringe at the thought of so many people around the world watching the “gang of eight idiots” discussing foreign policy. The one exception might be John Huntsman former U.S. Ambassador in China.
I wonder what kind of world do we live in where Huntsman is at the very bottom of the polls and has remained there throughout the start of the 2012 GOP campaign? Everyone else has at some point been in the lead, except Rick Santorum (deservedly so) and Huntsman.
Saturday night’s Republican presidential debate will, at least in theory, require the candidates to explain their view of America’s role in the world. With its focus on national security and foreign policy, the CBS/National Journal debate will force the field to talk about something they’ve, for the most part, spent the campaign avoiding — a coherent vision for American foreign policy.
But with the economy overshadowing all else and most of the GOP field — aside from former Ambassador Jon Huntsman — bereft of significant experience in foreign affairs, expect frequent pivots back to jobs and the unemployment rate.
Those pressures aren’t the only forces driving the presidential candidates to look inward, rather than beyond American shores: The GOP itself is struggling to reconcile the views of the party’s hawkish wing with the more isolationist-oriented tea party wing.
Even within those confines, there are some nations and foreign policy issues that are likely to receive extended treatment in Saturday’s s debate in South Carolina. Here is POLITICO’s list of 11 countries to watch:
Italy and Greece
The deeply-in-debt Mediterranean nations are the epicenter of Europe’s financial problems and are used as cautionary tales by Republican candidates warning about the dangers of unchecked federal government spending.
Look for candidates to mention those nations, currently in the headlines as fiscal basket cases, as worst-case scenarios in the event America fails to reduce the nation’s ballooning deficit and reform entitlement spending.
- Perry: Debate gaffe won’t break campaign (cbsnews.com)
- You: 5 Keys to the CBS/National Journal GOP Debate in South Carolina (thedailybeast.com)
- WATCH: Jon Huntsman’s Daughters Discuss Herman Cain Ad Spoof On ‘Hannity’ (huffingtonpost.com)
- WATCH: Two Of Jon Huntsman’s Three Daughters Are Red Hot (styleite.com)
- GOP contenders to debate foreign policy (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- Jon Huntsman’s Path To White House Starts In China (huffingtonpost.com)