Foreign Policy Takes Campaign Spotlight

Terrance McLeod, Staff Writer

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   With the crisis going on in North Africa surrounding the anti-Islamic video and embassy bombings, President Obama and Mitt Romney took some time to discuss foreign policy involving the Middle East and Northern Africa and what should be done about the attacks that took place last week. For those who don’t know on Tuesday, September 11, which was the eleventh anniversary of the World Trade Center attacks, the embassies in Cairo, Egypt and Benghazi, Libya were attacked by protesters who were protesting an anti-Islamic video: A 14-minute film trailer that mocks the Islam prophet Muhammad, that was found online. The US Ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens, was killed in the attacks. The killings in Libya came after the protest in Egypt, where protesters tore down the American flag. USA Today reported that the Obama administration sent a detail of Marines to the Libyan embassy for more security and two warships to the Libyan coast. These incidents have sparked protest in Yemen, Sudan, Iraq, Tunisia and Morocco.

   On the morning of September 13, President Obama said, “We will not waver in our commitment to see that justice is done for this terrible act. And make no mistake, justice will be done.” Romney criticized the Obama administration for how they responded to the attacks saying, “I think President Obama has demonstrated a lack of clarity as to a foreign policy.” He issued a statement on the response to the Cairo attack saying “It’s disgraceful that the Obama administration’s first response was not to condemn attacks on our diplomatic missions, but to sympathize with those who waged the attacks.” On “60 Minutes” the President told Steve Croft, “There’s a broader lesson to be learned here. Governor Romney seems to have a tendency to shoot first and aim later.” He continued saying, “And as president one of the things I’ve learned is you can’t do that. It’s important for you to make sure that the statements that you make are backed up by the facts and that you’ve thought through the ramifications before you make them.” The Obama campaign believes Romney is using the events in the Middle East for political gain, CNN reported.

   For months now foreign policy has been on the back burner for both campaigns, behind issues like the economy, but this week it has the number one spot. The people favor Obama’s foreign policy 54 percent to the 42 percent of people who like Romney’s policy, according to last week’s CNN International Survey.

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