from The Water's Edge

Campaign 2012 Roundup: Appeasement, Apologies, and Accuracy

December 9, 2011

Blog Post
Blog posts represent the views of CFR fellows and staff and not those of CFR, which takes no institutional positions.

More on:

Elections and Voting

U.S. President Barack Obama speaks on the extension of the payroll tax cut and the Republican obstruction of Richard Cordray’s nomination to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) in the briefing room of the White House in Washington December 8, 2011. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
President Barack Obama speaks in the briefing room of the White House on December 8, 2011. (Kevin Lamarque/courtesy Reuters)

Three weeks to go until the Iowa caucuses, and the campaign rhetoric is heating up. At Wednesday’s Republican Jewish Coalition Forum, Mitt Romney charged:

Internationally, President Obama has adopted an appeasement strategy. Appeasement betrays a lack of faith in America, in American strength, and in America’s future.

Rick Santorum joined the chorus:

The president, for every thug and hooligan, for every radical Islamist, has had nothing but appeasement. Ladies and gentlemen, learn from history.

The president did not turn the other cheek. He fired right back:

Ask Osama bin Laden and the 22-out-of-30 top al Qaeda leaders who’ve been taken off the field whether I engage in appeasement. Or whoever is left out there, ask them about that.

Obama also took aim at the GOP candidates trying to score political points at his expense by talking tough on Iran and dismissing what his administration has accomplished thus far in pressuring Tehran to halt its nuclear activities:

No options off the table means I’m considering all options... this administration has systematically imposed the toughest sanctions on Iraq—on Iran ever.

We are going to hear a lot about Iran between now and next November.

Glenn Kessler has looked into the Romney campaign’s claim that Obama “has bowed to foreign dictators.” His conclusion? The charge is “basically false.” Michael Cohen surveys Romney’s claims that Obama has been apologizing for American and says they “fall squarely in the realm of pants-on-fire untruths.” Are these two pieces further evidence that the media are treating Obama with kid gloves? Not if you believe the most recent report issued by the Pew Research Center. It found that Obama’s press coverage has been largely neutral and that he receives far less positive news coverage than several of the Republican contenders.

Michele Bachmann has identified several defense programs that she thinks could be cut, including weapons procurement, the structure for defense contractor payments, and Tricare, the military’s health care program. We won’t have to wait long to see how veterans feel about having their health benefits cut; Bachmann speaks to a veterans’ forum in Des Moines tomorrow.

How does John Bolton feel that a President Newt Gingrich would make him secretary of state? He is “honored anybody would say that.” He warns his fellow Republicans, however, to “keep your eyes on the prize.”

More on:

Elections and Voting

Up
Close