Tags: Barack Obama | Mitt Romney | | Foreign | Policy | Influence | Election

Foreign Policy Will Influence Election

Friday, 19 October 2012 01:17 PM Current | Bio | Archive

Within weeks of the terrorist attack in Libya on the 11th anniversary of 9/11, I wrote a column for Newsmax.com entitled “Foreign Policy Still Matters.”
In the column I stated the following: “Although the 2012 election will most certainly turn on the state of the domestic economy, Mitt Romney cannot afford to ignore foreign policy. So much of our economy is dependent on world affairs — everything from trade, wars, and treaties, to global economic stability
“There is also a high probability that world events could have a direct effect on the election.”

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“In the presidential election of 2012, foreign policy matters. Our economic security and prosperity is rooted in a stable and pragmatic world view and policy.”
Sadly, my prediction has become reality.
The terror attack in Libya and the assignation of our U.S. ambassador and three other American officials within weeks of a presidential election alone raised foreign policy to a level of attention that both candidates needed to address and could not be avoided.
However, beyond just addressing the attacks, the president and his administrations mishandling of the attacks, the lack of security for our personnel and property and the lack of transparency in leveling with the American people as to its causation, has led to an issue that may have a direct impact on the outcome of the presidential election of 2012.
Prior to 9/11/12, the president and his political staff decided that the mantra for their convention and general campaign would be, “Bin Laden is dead and GM is alive!” Speaker after speaker at the DNC Convention repeated it over and over again, culminating in Vice President Biden’s speech the final night of the convention.
It is clear that a terrorist attack within weeks of the president’s re-election bid would not fit well in the Obama/Biden 2012 messaging. So the question that remains to be answered is did the president and his government and political staff embark on a cover-up to define the events of 9/11/12 in a manner that would not create a “liability” for the president’s campaign.
Evidence is mounting as to either incompetence or worse — deception in telling the American people what the president and his most senior advisers knew and when they knew it. 
The president and his team, when they planned out their debate schedule, were confident. I am sure that they thought ending the campaign with a debate on foreign policy would be a huge benefit for the president since they saw foreign policy as Romney’s weakest link.
The terror attacks on 9/11/12 and the mishandling by the president and his administration in its aftermath will make the last debate on foreign policy critical.
As a lawyer, I see the last debate as a closing argument at a trial before a jury. This is the last time the American electorate will see Obama and Romney together, unfiltered, unscripted, and live.
What the president hoped would be his strength may turn out to be his weakest link.
Romney must articulate a world vision and understanding of the complexity of the challenges and problems that will face him as president.
In addition to addressing the Libyan terrorist attacks, Romney has an opportunity to ask the American people the following questions: “Is America and the world safer than we were four years ago?’ “Did a policy of appeasement, apology and weakness serve us well?”
Romney must make his points on Libya but he must also take the American people on a virtual tour of the world in which he sets forth the challenges we face and the failures of the Obama foreign policy.
He should start in our own hemisphere, with Mexico — gun running, no immigration reform; Canada — no XL Pipeline; and income tax rates that encourage flight of American jobs.  
Romney then should hit on Russia; cracking down on citizens rights; siding with dictators who slaughter their own, like in Syria; and then touch on China — building a “Blue Ocean Navy,” manipulating currency, stealing technology, thwarting every American U.N. initiative.
Romney then should move on to Europe and an EU meltdown of socialist economics; talk about Afghanistan and Pakistan; stress that Obama threw Israel under the bus amid the meltdown of the Middle East; and the rise of a nuclear Iran and North Korea.

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Finally, Romney should touch on the rise of terrorists in Africa and the neglect of that continent other than the exploitation of its resources.
So much of foreign policy in 2012 involves a national security strategy that involves our physical and economic security and stability.
As independents and undecided voters mull over how they will exercise their vote, I believe foreign policy matters perhaps now more than ever in that decision.
Bradley A. Blakeman served as deputy assistant to President George W. Bush from 2001-04. He is currently a professor of Politics and Public Policy at Georgetown University and a frequent contributor to Fox News Opinion. Read more reports from Bradley Blakeman — Click Here Now.

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Within weeks of the terrorist attack in Libya on the 11th anniversary of 9/11, I wrote a column for Newsmax.com entitled “Foreign Policy Still Matters.”
Friday, 19 October 2012 01:17 PM
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