The Republican presidential candidates, addressing the Republican Jewish Coalition forum, struggled to find a way to distinguish their foreign policy ideas from President Obama's without saying something like, "Osama bin Laden should still be alive." But they still had a few ideas.
It was good Obama killed bin Laden, but he should have kept it a secret
Rick Santorum told reporters that some intelligence officials wanted the al Qaeda leader's death to stay secret so they'd have more time to pour through the harddrives of computers seized in the Pakistan raid. But Obama "just couldn’t help himself, he just had to go out and take credit for it and I think as a result of that we didn’t maximize the cache of information that we gained during that mission." When Talking Points Memo's Benjy Sarlin asked whether terrorists would have found out anyway, Santorum responded, "We weren’t [aware] until the president announced it. There’s not perfect information flow in the world, as we all know, and certainly not perfect information flow out of Pakistan."
Obama is soft on the anti-Israsel terrorists organizing in Mexico and elsewhere in Latin America
As The New York Times' Richard A. Oppel Jr. reports, Santorum, Mitt Romney, and Rick Perry point to is that Hezbollah, a Shiite terror group in Lebanon, has been working in Mexico. But that claim based is on flimsy evidence, PolitiFact says, and it's one that the state department and the Mexican government disputes.
Obama isn't angry enough with Iran
At the Wednesday forum, Romney insisted he'd make America a better ally of Israel, saying, "I would not meet with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad!" (Obama has not met with Ahmadinejad, though the Iranian president has requested a meeting.) Romney said he opposes letting Iran get nuclear weapons (Obama opposes letting Iran get nuclear weapons). But Romney did manage to out-anti-Iran Obama by saying he'd demand Ahmadinejad be "indicted for incitement to to genocide under Article 3 of the Genocide Convention."
Obama's State Department is too soft on critics of Israel
Jon Huntsman alleged that high-level State Department thinking was on display when U.S. Ambassador to Belgium Howard said a distinction should be made between traditional anti-Semitism and "Muslim hatred for Jews, which stems from the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinians." As The Hill's Josh Lederman reports, Gutman is Jewish and the son of a Holocaust survivor. While the White House said it condemns "anti-Semitism in all its forms," CBS News reports, the State Department didn't fire him. But at the forum, Huntsman wouldn't call for Gutman's firing, either.
Obama doesn't have snappy slogans
"America has been a shining city on a hill, but that light is dimming," Romney warned. How to make it shine brightly again? That city's light apparently runs on snappy slogans.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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