We finished up our series on getting to know the candidates this past Wednesday. I have a few minutes now to type up a summary of my own thoughts on their foreign policies.
11 points: Ron Paul
I knew Ron Paul would win my mind on foreign policy. I actually enjoyed his book "A Foreign Policy of Freedom" a lot (it's a collection of his speeches in congress on the issue). He's been one of the few voices for non-interventionism (not isolationism). Importantly, Paul distinguishes b/w defense and military (suggesting we stop doing what we're doing in the latter category). He thinks if we're going to go to war we should declare it in congress, get in (by going all in), and get out. He was against the Iraq war, but for getting the terrorists after 9/11. He thinks the Iran stuff is largely war-propaganda. He thinks the Patriot Act and the TSA stuff are invasions of freedom that cost more than they are worth.
4 points: Mitt Romney
Given that all the rest of the candidates are interventionists, I sorta liked the Romney was the most honest about needing to spend more money here to make sure we're equipped to be all that we seem to want to be in the world. But really there isn't much that separates him from the other republicans here (except Paul).
2 points: Barack Obama
Yes, Obama slips b/w the left-over republicans here. Of course, there's a lot I dislike about his foreign policy, but there are other things I actually like on paper. I like the banning of torture. He was right, along with Ron, about Iraq I think. He's right not to want to rush to war with Iran. He's right to emphasize our obligation to veterans. I really don't like his positions on illegal immigration though (pure pandering in my opinion).
1 point: Newt Gingrich
I like that he remarked that defense is the feds top priority.
1 point: Rick Santorum
Good stuff on immigration, but nothing worth noting here really.
I think that creates the following totals
Ron Paul 37 points
Mitt Romney 26 points
Newt Gingrich 21 points
Rick Santorum 19 points
Barack Obama -7 points