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Republicans candidates are not elected on foreign policy – but they can loose the election over it

November 12, 2015

by Annette Birch

There was a moment of awkwardness as Sen. Rand Paul corrected leading Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump attacks that the Trans-Pacific Partnership,  the trade deal among the U.S. and 11 other countries, was “a disaster” and would benefit China – “No. 1 abuser” of the United States.

“You know, we might want to point out that China’s not part of this deal,” Sen. Paul Rand corrected him.

However, the question is whether it matters for Republican voters.

For while the Washington Post and The Hill was discussing whether Sen. Marco Rubio or Sen. Ted Cruz won the debate, Trump was picked out as the winner by 28 % of the GOP voters, according to an internet poll by The Washington Post. Rubio, who was the next in line, was seen as the winner by 23 percent.

On Twitter, Trump also had his moment, according to the Washington Post.

He won the nomination but lost the election
It is not the first time that Republican presidential candidates have been consistently wrong about foreign policy.

Last election, Romney did not exactly distinguish himself as a wizz on foreign policy. First, he stumbled over Libya, where he in response to the storming of the American embassy in Cairo and the killing of the American ambassador and three others in Libya said that he “sympathiz[ed] with those who waged the attack,” according to The Atlantic on Sept. 12, 2012.

Then he offended the British Prime Minister David Cameron by questioning his ability to run the Olympics. Several media, including Slate and The New Yorker, felt it was part of his narrow world-view and incompetence on foreign policy.

Romney ended up loosing the election to his Democratic counterpart, Barack Obama.

I can see Russia from my window

Most notably, however, are the blunders made by the former Republican Vice-Presidential candidate, Sarah Palin, running for office in 2008.

Here she is on CBS, demonstrating her knowledge – or lack thereof – of the relationship between the United States and Russia.

See other incidences TpmTv of foreign policy blunders

However, the Republicans nominated Sen. John McCain as their candidate for president – a man, who have over 20 years of experience with foreign policy.

The final election can be lost on foreign policy blunders

Past examples show it can go both ways. Some issues can seem more important for Republican voters than foreign policy. The economy, creating new jobs, immigration are issues, which should also be taken into consideration.

However, the last election has also shown that serious foreign policy blunders can make it very difficult for candidates to win the final election. Slate even talked about Romney’s London blunder as the moment he lost the election.

So the question is: Will Republican voters dare choose a candidate, who has shown himself to be as incompetent on foreign policy as Donald Trump? A businessman, who should know better than to go unprepared to a political debate and blunder on an economic trade agreement!

Especially when going up against a former Secretary of State.

For it is not like the Republicans do not have other candidates. Rubio may have been critized for being unexperienced and giving mixed answers on foreign policy; Rand Paul for giving foreign policy his own slant; and Ben Carson for spewing word salad on foreign policy.

But they have not made any significant blunders on foreign policy and in the final election American voters will look at who they feel comfortable with being the Commander-in-Chief, especially in a more and more internationalized World.

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