The national security brains behind the GOP candidates
November 18th, 2011
12:06 PM ET

The national security brains behind the GOP candidates

Editor's note: On November 22, CNN, along with conservative think tanks AEI and The Heritage Foundation, will host a Republican candidate debate focused on national security topics.

By Senior State Department Producer Elise Labott

There are a few models for presidential candidates seeking to bone up on national security issues.

First, there's the George W. Bush model.  You hire a lean, high-powered team of foreign policy heavyweights to help hammer out foreign policy, defense and intelligence proposals.  The Vulcans, as the Bush team was called, included former Secretary of State George Shultz and Dick Cheney, Condoleezza Rice and Paul Wolfowitz.  They traded e-mail messages and held conference calls and meetings at the then-Texas governor's mansion, where they hammered out his national security positions.  Once in office, the majority of the Vulcans became Bush's national security team.

Then there's the Barack Obama model, which sucks up all the foreign policy talent in Washington to present an impressive front about the candidate's expertise, thereby denying the privilege to his competitors.  Obama was in a brain arms race with Hillary Clinton, who had a similar approach, in the '08 primary.  It's like the annual Filene's Basement wedding dress sale.  When the doors open, brides rush to scoop up all of the dresses they can find, regardless of the style or fit, depriving fellow brides a dress in case they may want it later.

The problem with this approach is that you have no idea what the bride will look like on her wedding day.

Take Mitt Romney, whose impressive foreign policy brain trust reads like one of a presumptive nominee, and is by far the most extensive of all the Republican candidates this election cycle.

His team of 22 special advisers is heavy on Bush administration veterans, including such marquee names as former Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff and ex-CIA Director Michael Hayden.  He's also tapped former Republican senators such as Minnesota's Norm Coleman and Jim Talent of Missouri, as well as several prominent former State Department officials like Elliot Cohen, who was an adviser to Rice, former Under Secretary Paula Obriansky, and Pierre Prosper, once ambassador-at-large for war crimes.  Romney also announced 13 working groups on key issues and regions with prominent professors and think-tank scholars.

A common criticism is that such committees are for show, and the members have little to do with actual policy platforms.  Yet Romney advisers say they were pleasantly surprised that their ideas found their way into Romney's "white paper," the most detailed foreign policy platform issued so far by any candidate.

The strength of Romney's team, however, could also be a weakness. While extremely experienced, it runs the spectrum from the far right to the center.  Some Republican foreign policy gurus worry the group is so ideologically diverse, it lacks clarity of vision.

"Romney's team is almost too broad, it's soulless," worried one GOP foreign policy expert who has informally advised the Romney campaign. "You don't know what direction he would go and some conservatives are worried it could be analysis paralysis."

Richard Williamson - a former envoy to Sudan and deputy ambassador to the United Nations under Bush who is now a top foreign policy adviser to Romney - disagrees.  As a young staffer for President Ronald Reagan, Williamson found a president with a firm world view but open to a robust debate on issues.

"Gov. Romney is the same way," Williamson said. "His framework is 'America is exceptional and is better off leading.'  So he is willing to debate clarity of interest and then decides what the best steps to take are. I think that is comforting and is a good aspect of leadership."

Several of the biggest gets in the Washington foreign policy establishment have not endorsed or signed up to formally advise any candidate.  They include former Vice President Dick Cheney and his daughter Liz Cheney, as well as former US ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton. Bolton, sources say, has been sought out by nearly every campaign and could play a major role in a Republican administration.

But the fact that so many people have lined up behind Romney puts the other candidates at a disadvantage, particularly Texas Gov. Rick Perry, a relative newcomer to foreign policy.

Perry's chief foreign policy adviser, Victoria Coates, a book researcher for Donald Rumsfeld, has set up briefings with several Bush administration heavyweights, such as former ambassador to NATO Kurt Volker, ex-Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Douglas Feith, a former National Security Council senior director, William Luti, and several people who were Pentagon officials under Rumsfeld. He's also spoken with several generals in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Yet a roster of Perry's foreign policy team has yet to come out of the woodwork.  One Perry campaign adviser said that while Perry has avoided publicizing his wide pool of advice, he expects in the next month to issue a targeted list of a dozen former diplomats and military officials, "reformers who, like Governor Perry, are unabashed in their support for American exceptionalism and have no sympathy for the neo-isolationist tendencies of some of the other candidates."

Some of the candidates with the most clearly articulated foreign policies aren't relying on advisers. As House speaker, Gingrich tackled U.S. interventions in Bosnia, Kosovo and Haiti, and was a key supporter of North American Free Trade Agreement and other major Clinton-era trade deals.  And he has a doctorate in European history.  So it's not surprising Newt's chief foreign policy adviser is himself.

The same goes for Jon Huntsman, the former governor from Utah and three-time ambassador, most recently to China, who is campaigning on his unique credibility on global affairs. Randy Schriver, a former chief of staff to Richard Armitage who runs Huntsman's foreign policy shop, says his boss prefers to keep his own counsel.

"He's a very savvy policy analyst and is comfortable coming up with his own position," Schriver said. "That isn't the case with other candidates. He doesn't need a campaign structure that has an expert for every region because Governor Huntsman is an expert himself."

Rick Santorum, a former senator from Pennsylvania who spent eight years on the Senate Armed Service Committee, also seems to draw from his own experience for his policy positions.

Given Herman Cain's slip ups on foreign affairs, many have wondered aloud about his foreign policy team, led by J.D. Gordon, a former military spokesman and Fox News commentator.

"He may have thought foreign policy is just not going to move this election," said Chris Preble, vice president for foreign policy and defense studies at the libertarian Cato Institute, of Cain's initial blunders on foreign policy.  "He probably decided initially that it wasn't that important, but has learned that other people think it is important, so he will have to make up some ground."

Gordon said he is arranging conference calls for his candidate around the clock and culling one-page briefing papers from experts far and wide to educate Cain on everything from the Arab Spring to relations with Russia. He says the candidate's many gaffes on national security are less about the quality of advice and more due to the lack of time to cram on issues about which he isn't familar with the finer points.

"He believes he will be a good president," said Gordon, who described Cain as a Reagan conservative believing in "peace through strengthen and clarity." In a recent conversation with Henry Kissenger, the former Secretary of State told the candidate the most important things he needs are the right philosophy and the right advisers

"The campaign took off in popularity so quickly before we had a chance to heavily focus on the foreign policy briefs. He is getting up to speed, day by day. We are working hard to get him there fast enough due to our whirlwind schedule. Considering where he is today from where he started, it is impressive," Gordon said.  "He is doing his homework."

The campaigns of Rep. Ron Paul of Texas and Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota have released little information about who is advising the candidates on foreign policy.  Bachmann sits on the House intelligence committee which gives a good grounding in many national security issues.  This summer Paul, who has staked out the strongest isolationist position, announced constitutional and international law scholar Bruce Fein was advising his campaign on the "dangers to national security of an increasingly interventionist foreign policy."

Richard Grenell, a former spokesman for four U.S. ambassadors to the United Nations and a GOP commentator, said that, on the whole, Republican primary voters have fewer presidential choices this year if the party wants to maintain its traditional advantage on national security issues.

"The foreign policy blunders by some of the GOP candidates would overshadow Obama's weaknesses and mistakes," Grenell said.  "I don't believe that a candidate has to know the name of every head of state to be effective in representing the U.S. abroad and keeping Americans safe.  There are advantages to having a fresh perspective on old conflicts. But you have to take the time to understand the critical facts."

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Filed under: 2012 Election • Bachman • Cain • debate • Foreign Policy • Gingrich • Huntsman • Paul • Perry • Romney • Santorum
soundoff (615 Responses)
  1. W. Strucke

    > This summer Paul, who has staked out the strongest isolationist position, announced constitutional and international law scholar Bruce Fein was advising his campaign on the "dangers to national security of an increasingly interventionist foreign policy."

    Non-interventionism is *not* anywhere near the same thing as isolationism. North Korea is isolationist. Switzerland is non-interventionist. Honestly these articles read like they were written by fifth graders.

    November 19, 2011 at 11:19 am | Reply
  2. wyobob

    Read the article about the ladies in tiwan, It's just like american politics and the biggest district is washington dc.

    November 19, 2011 at 10:57 am | Reply
  3. Darren

    "I was told it was ok to do that since I'm ot suppose to know anything as a leader. First you told me it was good now you are saying that it was bad, dammit, make up your mind already. Abolish the country and the rest of the world too! Oops!"

    November 19, 2011 at 10:54 am | Reply
    • Darren

      "don't forget about me...I will recall Obama care and learn to blink in the interest of national security! Herman can I have a few of your blinks and Rick Santorum,when are you going to just let the tears fall? You always appear looking like you want to?"

      November 19, 2011 at 11:00 am | Reply
      • Darren

        "See America, I stand alone with 53 years of service. All you need to do is find the highest bidder for me to lobby for and I will defeat his enemy! See girl, I still have what it takes, jewels on me at Tiffany's....."

        November 19, 2011 at 11:03 am |
  4. george of the jungle

    brain dead is more like it. Don"t they even bother to read the news paper or look at the news. ???

    November 19, 2011 at 10:51 am | Reply
  5. MK54

    GOP, Brain, Trust. Three words that should NEVER be used together.

    November 19, 2011 at 10:46 am | Reply
    • Howard

      ANYONE BUT OBAMA !!!

      November 19, 2011 at 10:48 am | Reply
      • 16halo

        You mean no one but OBAMA!

        November 19, 2011 at 11:29 am |
  6. frank

    Brain trust? You have GOT to be kidding! Intellectually, any three of these people cannot match Obama's intelligence and articulate speech.

    November 19, 2011 at 10:44 am | Reply
  7. K2

    The GOP brain trust; what an oxymoron...

    November 19, 2011 at 10:43 am | Reply
  8. coriolana

    Are you referring to the one brain cell the GOP passes around among themselves?

    November 19, 2011 at 10:36 am | Reply
  9. Carlin123

    There's only one GOP brain to trust. Ron Paul 2012, and yes that is his IQ.

    November 19, 2011 at 10:30 am | Reply
    • MeMyselfAndI

      Uhmm...noit'snot...he's pretty thick actually..

      November 19, 2011 at 10:38 am | Reply
      • DuffMan

        Yeah nice argument there, watch any debate and when they finally give Ron Paul air time he's the only candidate with SPECIFIC answers besides these clowns who dodge questions with bullsh*t answers. Go read a book and see why we're in this mess in the Middle East. No one's ever occupied the U.S. so we don't know how it feels

        November 19, 2011 at 11:37 am |
  10. pn

    Brains?

    November 19, 2011 at 10:27 am | Reply
  11. BL

    The usual gang of war criminals, perverts, nineteenth century thinkers and the simply delusional

    November 19, 2011 at 10:26 am | Reply
  12. dennis freeman

    GOP brain trust...oxymoron

    November 19, 2011 at 10:24 am | Reply
    • alpg49

      Where is William F. Buckley now that they need him?!

      November 19, 2011 at 10:46 am | Reply
  13. joe

    @JK

    I think it would be worthwhile to read Liberty Defined if you really want a quick overview of Ron Paul on major issues. Even if you disagree with him, he genuinely has a unique position on many things (i.e. not like any democrat or republican).

    I hear that 19th century nonsense all the time. Let's not confuse the technological and social advances of the last centuries with politics. In many cases, our lives today are advanced despite the efforts of big government. Paul has suggested cutting first in war spending and foreign aid. Those dollars spent here would add to GDP. He has suggested eliminating cabinet level agencies and cutting federal headcounts through attrition. He has said countless times that 20 million people are on government payrolls so this has to be managed carefully. First, we are broke as a nation and eventually we will be Greece if we stay this course. Second, freeing the private sector from tax and regulation will help the free market find equilibrium and set a natural recuperative course. Deleveraging and clearing malinvestment will be a headwind to growth for decades. Make no mistake, no matter who gets elected, we will not have robust job creation or growth for decades. If the consensus view reflected in the 30 year treasury real yield is right, we have 3 decades of stagnation ahead. My entire career. Our choice is fiscal constraint or a USSR type implosion. That's the situation we are in.

    November 19, 2011 at 10:23 am | Reply
    • Peg - Az

      I like Paul. But the problem with his ideas is that he seems to assume that revenues generated by the US government are "removed" from the economy. This is not the case. The truth is that the actions of government in spending this revenue actually make the economy "larger" not smaller. Like it or not, the government is a large, important, and critical, part of our economy. Could money be put to better use by government in its large role as an employer and consumer and provider of security, infrastructure, education, and a legal system in for which modern business is so vitally dependent? Sure. Money should be spent more wisely and shifted to more vital areas for our nation's success and operations. But to reduce government's overall footprint, is analogous to a business losing its biggest consumer or its best supplier, etc. Government is and always has been a vital as a backbone of our economy.

      November 19, 2011 at 10:40 am | Reply
      • Brian

        I would say any money that is given as foreign aid has been removed from our economy. Also, the bailouts didn't remove money from our economy, it simply redistributed it to the people that got to use the bailout money first.

        Whoever uses it first gets to spend it when it is worth the most. After it is spent is when it is injected into the economy and dilutes the value of the money in every American's bank account.

        November 19, 2011 at 3:45 pm |
  14. Vladimir Putin

    GOP and brains is an oxymoron.

    November 19, 2011 at 10:16 am | Reply
  15. Tom

    Their are n brains behind the GOP contenders. How could they say the things they say in public. They are for the most part talking heads saying what they are told by their advisors.

    November 19, 2011 at 10:11 am | Reply
    • Peg - Az

      I do think it is a shame that so many think they have to give an answer that they know is not the best answer or solution, just so they can "appease" their base. What does that say about the role of politics these days? Should they be catering to myths and extremes about how things work to get elected, or should they "get real" and educate people and engage in effective communication? It seems that it has gotten to the point that they think it is more advantageous to even perpetuate myths and extremes as a political strategy to vilify their opponents and to set themselves apart. The problem with this is that it then often prevents them from taking correct and effective action, when reality necessitates they act in ways contrary to the "myths" they have generated. Another example is how this myth creation has stifled the ability of congress to work together, because of the myths created to "vilify" all the positions of the opposing political party.

      November 19, 2011 at 10:28 am | Reply
  16. mary yancey

    "GOP" and "Brain" in the same sentence is an oxymoron. The 2 terms DO NOT go together.

    November 19, 2011 at 10:08 am | Reply
  17. sybaris

    The Philadelphia Eagles has a great team too but they suck.

    November 19, 2011 at 10:02 am | Reply
  18. ZB

    "Romney's team is almost too broad, it's soulless," Makes perfect sense for Romney. Just like every other issue he can flip flop to whatever will get him the most votes. Besides, just like all the other Republican/Tparty candidates, whatever their position will be is based on going to war whenever possible, and even when it is impossible.

    November 19, 2011 at 10:00 am | Reply
  19. Peg - Az

    'Leaner approach' to foreign policy. That's funny. That is like saying, "I will take a 'leaner approach' to my eduction and party every night."

    November 19, 2011 at 9:55 am | Reply
    • Peg - Az

      The point I'm trying to make is that the world is not only extremely complex historically and culturally, but it is changing rapidly. You need experts, and that is absolutely critical, but it seems that to be an expert these days you also have to have access to those who are specializing and seeing things from different angles, social, cultural, political and for a variety of different countries and regions. It seems that you would need a lot of people who are willing to work together and exchange information on a variety of levels, from the historical and general, to the recent and specific. Also, when I read the original headline that brought me here, with regards to some candidates taking a "lean approach" to foreign policy, I thought of those candidates who do not seem to think it is necessary to educate themselves to the best of their ability, in addition to having a team of experts, so that they can actually make the best use of the advice that will be given to them from the "expert" team.

      November 19, 2011 at 10:15 am | Reply
  20. AGuest9

    Did you just write "The GOP brain trust"??? These fools couldn't find their way COLLECTIVELY out of a paper bag. If you vote for them, you get what you deserve!

    November 19, 2011 at 9:54 am | Reply
  21. 21k

    let's see: " what's libya?"; "let's legalizel drugs so we can let foreign kingpins set up shop here and sell legally"; let's stay in iraq and afg forever, even though we don't want the public to pay any taxes"; " eliminate , ahh, ahhh, ..."; bangin's a mistress while still married, TWICE; "gawd told me to run" ; if you added up all the brain power in the photo, you wouldn't be able to fill a chimp's skull.

    November 19, 2011 at 9:26 am | Reply
    • chimps_n_chumps

      The only with a plan that will actually work in Ron Paul, the rest will increase foreign wars and continue the march into a fascist police state that Obama has led since monkey boy left office. To all the democrats out there: want an independant voter to vote for Obama ? Have him do something worth voting for like end the TSA, roll back the Patriot Act, end the war on drugs or stand up for the constitution just once in his presidency – anything where hs actually defends the rights of the citizens against abuse by the government – anything anyone ?

      November 19, 2011 at 9:54 am | Reply
  22. Bandstraw

    Of all these republican carnaval hucksters, Huntsman and Romney have the most brains. Huntsman has brains and class. But they both would put their Mormon church before this country. Mormons will do whatever the church asks to keep in "good standing". Anyone who thinks this way too powerful church is not politically active needs to study up on how this Utah church is trying to control California politics.

    November 19, 2011 at 9:24 am | Reply
  23. Craig

    GOP and brains....SNORT
    NOT happening...not now...not ever
    Cain's several minute senile moment when asked about libya, and his complete dodge answer to cover that he didn't even know who what or where a 'libya' was.
    Perry's incredibly lack of ability to count to three.
    And how newt somehow 'forgot' he got paid almost 2 million.
    Put all their brain power together and they *might* be able to out think a rock!

    November 19, 2011 at 9:15 am | Reply
  24. American Citizen

    CNN's background takes our eyes off of the candidates.

    How sad that a man can no longer stand on his own to debate – really debate according to Robert's Rules and win of his own accord. But, he must be embellished by klieg lights or gigantic and dramatic backdrops to draw attention to his face even though behind those eyes is an empty vessel.

    For the first time in my 50 years, I really do not want to vote in the upcoming presidential election for lack of skill in candidates to occupy the White House.

    November 19, 2011 at 9:13 am | Reply
  25. theAntiELVIS

    There is nothing even close to the word "brain" near any of these people.

    November 19, 2011 at 9:12 am | Reply
    • QZ

      If a MD from Duke does not have brain, what kind of people have brain? (I did not vote for Republic before)

      November 19, 2011 at 9:28 am | Reply
    • chimps_n_chumps

      Ron Paul is the onlu person on stage with a plan of his own, the brain power and experience to back up his plan. The rest of these people are just plastic status quo establishment promoted candidates! What happened to fair and balanced CNN ?

      November 19, 2011 at 9:59 am | Reply
  26. Jimmer

    Sat. morning and I thought I could have a nice cup of coffee and check the news....and all I find so far are trolling libtards. Do you a$$wipes have a real life? Do you just keep refreashing the page to find a new artilce to whine in. Is that your whole day???? F U C K Ing pitiful.

    November 19, 2011 at 9:09 am | Reply
    • Jimmer

      oh...btw ....RON PAUL 2012...have a nice day.

      November 19, 2011 at 9:11 am | Reply
      • theAntiELVIS

        Is that how old he is?

        November 19, 2011 at 9:13 am |
    • DJohnston

      "Libtards" are your moral and intellectual superiors. It's too bad you're unwilling or unable to learn. We'll leave you to wallow in your ignorance.

      November 19, 2011 at 9:40 am | Reply
    • ummm

      lol-"libtard"--I love originality–you must be one of them there "Brains" this article was talking about..yeeehaw!!

      November 19, 2011 at 10:09 am | Reply
  27. Fox Lies

    This is a stage full of people who want you to live the way they want you to live, pay for their taxes, work as drones for their friends and die in there wars. We are Americans we all should be paying for our own freight.

    November 19, 2011 at 9:07 am | Reply
  28. It's called non-interventionist

    Ron Paul is not an isolationist, he's a non-interventionist. Of the more than 190 countries in the world, how many have bases in 130 of them? How many insert themselves in every war they can? None except for us. And yet we don't call all those countries isolationists, now do we?

    November 19, 2011 at 8:29 am | Reply
  29. bill

    is it true that if romney wins the GOP, party of goblins or pagans, nomination his economic plan will be kicked off at the covention with a Séance to the under lords of mormons. carl rove will bring the oils and boehner will do a spritual dance for more corporate money

    November 19, 2011 at 8:22 am | Reply
  30. Vyrsace

    I'm not going to pretend that I know any more than any of the other people commenting on these issues or any given Republican candidate, but what I will say is this.... If you're going to vote for anyone, regardless if he/she is a Republican, then consider the value of that vote. Consider the value of that vote when you vote for someone who makes commitments you agree to but then decides to change his/her position after the fact that he/she made it. Would you say that your vote was properly placed or was it misguided by the fact that the person you voted for couldn't stay consistent and stand by his/her commitments? In my opinion, if I was to vote for one of the current Republican candidates, I could only consider Ron Paul. Why? Because he has a proven political track record and has been consistent throughout his entire career in regards to political and economical views. Whether his solutions for the present issues are completely correct or not, you have to consider another fact... If you vote Republican, but don't vote for Ron Paul then what other choice do you have? (It's a rhetorical question, if you didn't get it.)

    November 19, 2011 at 8:22 am | Reply
  31. us1776

    GOP and "brains" cannot be used in the same sentence.

    .

    November 19, 2011 at 8:21 am | Reply
  32. Caron

    Oxymoron. There are no brains in the Republican Party.

    November 19, 2011 at 8:18 am | Reply
  33. bill

    GOP Choice:
    Goblins
    Or
    Pagans

    November 19, 2011 at 8:10 am | Reply
  34. kart

    GOP and brain....in the same sentence??

    November 19, 2011 at 8:07 am | Reply
  35. bill

    GOP brian trust – does a cess pool have a soul

    November 19, 2011 at 8:03 am | Reply
    • Occupado

      Yes, it does. It's called OWS.

      November 19, 2011 at 8:21 am | Reply
  36. Occupado

    I don't care who the GOP nominates, I'm voting for him or her in 2012. The current administration has done absolutely NOTHING for the working man. On the other hand, the public sector unionistas have made out like bandits. Enough!

    And as usual, this network will hold my comment for the moderator because I disagree with the group think.

    More's the pity. And you won't shut us up next November, either.

    November 19, 2011 at 7:59 am | Reply
    • bill

      well all righty then

      November 19, 2011 at 8:05 am | Reply
    • ckarke

      Well I am happy for you.

      November 19, 2011 at 8:34 am | Reply
    • Ross

      Who cares who an idiot like you votes for?

      November 19, 2011 at 9:09 am | Reply
    • hawk in texas

      Then that makes you as dumb as the ones on stage. using advisors of failed administrations . especally the likes of cheney and bolton. even rove is lying in the shadows.and as for obama not doing anything for the working man , well the republicans have blocked any thing that he has done to help. all the republicans have had on their mind since obama was elected is to get rid of him. and they are destroying america to do it. wise up.

      November 19, 2011 at 10:00 am | Reply
    • **

      You are voting for the GOP candidate because you think they will do something for the working man?
      Good luck with that one.

      November 20, 2011 at 12:16 am | Reply
  37. QZ

    I believe special interest groups hate Ron Paul most.

    November 19, 2011 at 7:40 am | Reply
  38. akduck

    The title of this piece, "GOP braintrust" is the best example of an oxymoron that I have ever seen.

    November 19, 2011 at 7:11 am | Reply
    • steve brady

      Damn. You beat me to the punch. GOP Brain Trust ranks right along side Congressional Integrity.

      November 19, 2011 at 7:34 am | Reply
      • Occupado

        Yup. Right up there with Nancy Pelosi.

        November 19, 2011 at 8:00 am |
  39. Change

    Forget all the senseless and irrelevent bickering by these rightwing nutheads. The reality is that President Obama is the Greatest President in US history. And note, I'm not saying that because I'm a so-called Democratic or Liberal but because when you look at the garbage he has inherited and the constant deliberate roadblocks and policy delaying tactics by the rightwing extremists in congress, President Obama's leadership speaks for itself. Moreover, if you were to put your prejudices and bigotry aside and look at the facts, you'd discover that more has been accomplished by this administration in three years than that accomplished by any eight year administration in US history. There's a saying you can please some of the people some of the time but you can't please all of the people all of the time. Nevertheless, Obama best US President ever? You bet! Obama/Biden 2012!

    November 19, 2011 at 7:03 am | Reply
    • Occupado

      Put the hooka pipe down. You've had way too much.

      November 19, 2011 at 8:00 am | Reply
      • Ross

        Occupado – go take a crap already – you're stinking up the board!

        November 19, 2011 at 9:11 am |
    • brice

      I agree that Obama took on a lot of crap going into office, but I don't think he's the "best president ever". I think he is very charismatic, but the fact is that the wars continue. We should not still be at war (we are not fighting terrorism, but fighting for oil). Obama said that the troops would be out of harms way withing 18 months of taking office..... they are still there 4 years later and he's up for re-election.... as a veteran, he has lost my vote on that issue alone. Want a real president with a 100% honest voting record? Google Ron Paul. This article calls him an "isolationist". Media bull-%^it. Because you do not want to start wars with other countries you are not an isolationist. Free trade and no war, AND BRING OUR TROOPS HOME. We have our own boarders to protect.

      November 19, 2011 at 8:05 am | Reply
      • jennifer

        I agree Ron Paul is not an isolationist, if anything he tries to befriend any country that will be friends with us. He is totally against wars except in self defense and I agree with him. I think that all the candidates should get equal time during debates. The media totally ignores Ron Paul. I am a democrat but after looking up his views on youtube I have changed my mind. I would encourage everyone else to look up what he has to say and make up their own mind about who to vote for...

        November 19, 2011 at 9:00 am |
      • Pete

        right on bro Ron Paul or nothing !

        November 19, 2011 at 9:15 am |
    • Read the Constitution for once

      Greatest President ever? I want you to remember that comment when our currency crashes. The problem is that our "People" no longer desire freedom. And by the way, "Obamacare" is a wonderful idea, lol, but with what money are we going to do it? We already have a massive deficit, this will just add to it. And adding to the deficit can only be done by increasing the money supply. Increasing the money supply causes inflation WHICH IS A FLAT TAX! WHICH IS A REGRESSIVE TAX ON THE POOR! ALL THE POOR AND MIDDLE CLASS WILL BE PAYING FOR THEIR OWN INSURANCE ESSENTIALLY (except they won't have a choice from now on lol). If they don't have money for it now, imagine then... If it was so easy to just "create" money- write Obama, tell him that you, as a supporter, have an idea- let's write a check for $2,500,000 to every citizen and bail us all out. And whatever reason you come up with for why that is a bad idea, I say "ditto" for all of his, and every other President (Republican or Democrat) deficit spending choices... What is the definition of liberty? I bet you can't get close to it.. Say it out loud and then look it up... lol

      November 19, 2011 at 8:29 am | Reply
    • ummm

      If he pulls off this Myanmar political strategy–he will definitely be put in the books...

      November 19, 2011 at 10:12 am | Reply
  40. AdamK101

    Can we finally have a debate that reflects media responsibility in a democratic country??? Give all the candidates equal time because otherwise it is not debate. It's the promotion of certain candidates over others. The blackout of Ron Paul has been disgraceful and more resembles the media of the old Soviet Union. Thanks for your consideration.

    November 19, 2011 at 6:36 am | Reply
  41. Xfinity

    Someone who believes the world is only 6,000 years old, three who claim God told them to be president, one professional adulterer and lobbyist, two who wear Magic Underwear, a dim, sexual predator pizza delivery man, and a pill popping Texan. THAT'S the best the GOP can produce?

    November 19, 2011 at 6:33 am | Reply
    • Jeff

      Far better my friend than the lack of a brain trust now in office. Errors by Obama in the past few days include the loss of 220,000 new jobs in the energy industry and somehow in a single visit to Australia he has managed to INCREASE our military expenditure and push China to the point of Saber rattling with respect to the US and Australia. Yep our POTUS is a real brain trust example to be sure....NOT!

      November 19, 2011 at 6:56 am | Reply
      • Thomas

        What's happened in the last year alone...hmm...let's see...Bin Laden dead...most of the Al Queda leadership dead or on the run...Ghadafi dead...we're pulling out of Iraq...starting to draw down on Afghanistan...the Arab Spring with democracies popping up in the Middle East...yep...sounds like our foreign policy is falling to pieces...

        November 19, 2011 at 7:17 am |
      • Caron

        Is that the worst you can say, Jeff? That's a pathetic excuse for a criticism. China saber rattling? That;s a bit of stretch. You are proof that people see only what they want to see. Better pay attention to Thomas1

        November 19, 2011 at 8:01 am |
      • Ross

        jeff = perfect example of brain dead republican

        November 19, 2011 at 9:12 am |
      • hawk in texas

        Another fox news brainwashed numbskull.

        November 19, 2011 at 10:03 am |
    • **

      If God told 3 of them that he wants them to be President, which 2 is he lying to?

      November 20, 2011 at 12:17 am | Reply
  42. QZ

    I think Ron Paul is the hope of America although I never voted for Republic before.

    November 19, 2011 at 6:33 am | Reply
    • steve brady

      Ron Paul has a few good ideas that I originally liked but then he says that the USA needs to protection by the likes of FAA, EPA, FDA etc. History shows that corporations have no soul (They are NOT people), and are driven by share price and profits and absolutely nothing else counts. Google has the corporate mantra which says DO NO EVIL, and even Google cannot resist in favor of power, profits, etc.

      November 19, 2011 at 7:39 am | Reply
  43. Change

    Say what you want about President Obama's foreign policies but the reality is that his foreign policies are so far the best in US history since perhaps the Monroe Doctrine. Greatest American President ever? You bet! Obama/Biden 2012.

    November 19, 2011 at 6:31 am | Reply
    • Jeff

      Oh his policies are something else.....his last speech produced this response from China......Chinese defence analysts have condemned what they see as Australia's contribution to the growing security rivalry between the US and China, noting that Darwin is comfortably within range of Chinese ballistic missiles.

      Song Xiaojun, a former People's Liberation Army strategist in China, said Australia had made a poor choice by tying itself more closely to a fading security guarantor at the expense of its rising economic benefactor.

      "They are two losers holding on to each other and making a show," said Mr Song, who edits the magazine Naval and Merchant Ships.

      "Chinese strategic missiles can reach Australia," he said.

      Mr Song said: "Australia knows only how to sell ore and the US has trouble on Wall Street. It would be better for them to kneel down and beg for China not to tidy them up."

      Based on that one example I would put his foreign policy expertise as slightly less than Homer Simpson

      November 19, 2011 at 6:59 am | Reply
      • Caron

        Your "example" does not support your premise that Obama's foreign policy is flawed. Indeed, there is not a single foreign policy reference in your entire blog. You are a hater looking for evidence to support your hate. Look again. You have failed to find any in that story,

        November 19, 2011 at 8:08 am |
      • kart

        well...what did you expect them to say?? That we are afraid and australia made a good choice??

        November 19, 2011 at 8:11 am |
    • brice

      As a veteran of 7 years (military intelligence) I disagree that this foreign policy is a good idea. We are told that we are protecting our citizens by "fighting terrorism). I agree there are terrorist in the world, but to think that we need to have our troops in 120 different countries (many of them peaceful) and occupy the middle east while our troops step on landmines and get sniped off by locals..... and say we are "fighting terrorism" is the worst foreign policy ever.
      Imagine if China was occupying your home state, WOULDN'T YOU BE PISSED OFF AND WANT THEM GONE?.
      We are using our young American citizens to die for cheap oil..... that is a Shame.
      Want a real foreign policy? BRING OUR TROOPS HOME. Who would do that? RON PAUL. He is the only candidate that will not continue this needless blood-shed. He has the most support from any candidate (including Obama). If you want to go to war, then join the military and vote for anyone else besides Ron Paul.... but don't ask someone else to take your place. And don't say "Obama is bringing the troops home". No, he's not. Iraq said that they will not offer legal protection to anyone more military in their country, so we are being forced to leave.
      Pro-America, Pro-Ron Paul.
      Brice

      November 19, 2011 at 8:17 am | Reply
  44. MrMattKFC

    RON PAUL the real change.

    November 19, 2011 at 5:48 am | Reply
    • Occupado

      Why is he always on Alex Jones' radio show talking about the US Army invading San Antonio in the run-up to the Iraq War?

      I like his fiscal policy, but aside from that he's a kook.

      November 19, 2011 at 8:07 am | Reply
  45. Donkey Party

    Ron Paul would make a horrible President. I hate single-issue voters who are so narrow-minded they can't see how dangerous Paul would be. Nevermind the fact that he's too old and senile, or that he is an anarchist, the man would be the biggest threat to national security than all the other candidates combined with his desire to eliminate critical government departments. I'm thankful he gets as little coverage as possible.

    November 19, 2011 at 5:40 am | Reply
    • MrMattKFC

      You re wrong my friend, he is the only one who speaks about the real problems that has gripped this great nation. What is our armada for? When USSR was around i could see it. Why do we still have weapons (Conventional, Nuclear, biological and chemical) that can practically kill every one in this planet many times over? We do not need all this. That money needs to be spend to rebuild american economy. Instead the sad fact is what ever money is left after projecting our forces all around the globe and waging multiple wars is spend on bailing out the fat cats of wall street!!!! Don't you guys see who is profiting from this structure? Not the middle class for sure.

      November 19, 2011 at 5:57 am | Reply
      • St8sman

        Please find a competent proofreader or learn to use the available online tools. While some of your ideas might have merit, your presentation is sorely lacking and brands you as someone who's not interested in being taken seriously.

        November 19, 2011 at 7:07 am |
    • Brad76

      Anarchists believe in no government, Libertarians believe in small government. So no, Paul is not an Anarchist. Please tell the truth.

      November 19, 2011 at 6:43 am | Reply
  46. Press Ron Paul

    And how are we going to pay for the war mongoring like Romney and the others want to continue? They pretend that everything is all wonderful when the USA is going Bankrupt. Ron Paul is right on the money and let's get this guy in office.

    November 19, 2011 at 3:43 am | Reply
    • scott

      Never happen. He's been loosely linked to the KKK in the past. He's dead in the water.

      November 19, 2011 at 5:31 am | Reply
      • troanother

        RESPONSE TO NAZI BATTLE OF THE BULGE

        November 19, 2011 at 5:37 am |
      • Occupado

        I am not a Ron Paul fan, but don't you liberals have anything else to say when you can't debate the facts?

        And how do you libs explain Robert Byrd?

        November 19, 2011 at 8:09 am |
    • troanother

      NUTS

      November 19, 2011 at 5:35 am | Reply
  47. JB

    Oh good lord here we go with more subtle misleading language against Ron Paul. Isolationism is being completely alone, and that includes economically. Ron Paul is for free trade and travel with other nations. He is against occupying other countries for decades. The foreign policy of George W. Bush, President Obama to an extent, and the threats of war from the likes of Romney and other candidates is what leads to hatred from countries in the middle east and leads to scorn from our allies. Which is more isolationist; a global empire that is hated? Or a republic that respects the sovereignty of other nations and has good relations with them? It's sick that when the media finally gives more than a few sentences to Ron Paul it is misleading.

    November 19, 2011 at 2:08 am | Reply
  48. SPQR

    God bless The United States of America.

    President Obama 2012 !

    “I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies.” – Thomas Jefferson

    Ask Congress to pass The Monetary Reform Act that would replace the Federal Reserve Act of 1913.

    Watch Money Masters.

    November 19, 2011 at 1:58 am | Reply
    • L.

      Obama?? Step away from the crack pipe.

      November 19, 2011 at 3:20 am | Reply
      • steve brady

        It does not take a crack pipe to understand the current situation and Obama, it takes open eyes, ears, and mind. The GOP has taken Hitler's use of The Big Lie and fine tuned it.

        His primary rules were: never allow the public to cool off; never admit a fault or wrong; never concede that there may be some good in your enemy; never leave room for alternatives; never accept blame; concentrate on one enemy at a time and blame him for everything that goes wrong; people will believe a big lie sooner than a little one; and if you repeat it frequently enough people will sooner or later believe it.

        GOP's only policy is "If Obama is for it, we are against it."

        November 19, 2011 at 7:47 am |
    • crc

      This is a joke right? Odumbo LOL

      November 19, 2011 at 4:24 am | Reply
      • Occupado

        Silence! The Obamamatons have spoken! All who hear must obey! Return to your homes and await orders from the public sector union bosses.

        They'll know what to do.

        November 19, 2011 at 8:11 am |
      • Ross

        crc = cooky republican cunt

        November 19, 2011 at 9:15 am |
    • Caron

      Steve Brady has it right. The GOP is utterly controlled by facists who have taken their strategies right out of the book by Hilter's Minister of Propagnada, Joseph Goebbels. It nice that someone kinows their history well enough to have recognized it.

      November 19, 2011 at 8:14 am | Reply
  49. billybob22

    I didn't think there were any brains there. Just a lot of hot air.

    November 19, 2011 at 1:56 am | Reply
  50. PresidentPaulin12

    Paul has the answer for National security. bring our troops home and put them on the border.

    November 18, 2011 at 11:57 pm | Reply
    • SPQR

      Federal Reserve is the biggest threat to our Nationa Security.

      November 19, 2011 at 2:01 am | Reply
      • Brian

        Are you a Blue Republican or really an Obama supporter? He doesn't seem to be doing anything about The Fed and he's been in office for 4 years. If anything, it seems he has enabled The Fed to print more money for the bailouts of big corporations that he championed through congress. I don't think Obama will tame down or end The Fed. We all know who will though. 🙂

        November 19, 2011 at 2:58 am |
    • L.

      Amen. Ron Paul is America's last hope or else we go the way of all great naitons.

      November 19, 2011 at 3:19 am | Reply
  51. Josh

    Ron Paul is a non-interventionist, not an isolationist, and he is the only real "peace" candidate.

    November 18, 2011 at 11:34 pm | Reply
    • JB

      That's why the war drums are already beating and the propaganda over Iran is being kicked into high gear. The democrats are clearly okay with perpetual war and the neo-cons are the ones that started it. They want people to be afraid so that logic and reason don't work and Ron Paul's message of peace is ignored.

      November 19, 2011 at 2:10 am | Reply
  52. Noah Braun

    can someone explain to me Obama's failure on foreign policy and how GOP candidates would fix it? I feel foreign policy is Obama's major strength, would love to hear actual complaints and issues instead of personal attacks based on him being a Dem

    November 18, 2011 at 11:22 pm | Reply
    • Brian

      I don't care that he's a democrat. Both democrats and republicans have supported the foreign policy of Obama who has spent over $4 trillion overseas since he's been in office.

      I watched an interesting video on an Islamic teaching/ interpretation of a few passages of the Koran where it talks about war and disputes. What it says is that if a person attacks you then you are allowed to fight back with the same amount of force but if they stop then you must stop. If our government is fighting in the Middle East, we can't afford to ignore the reasons that they are attacking us. All the collateral damage (hundreds of innocent bystanders killed) with drone strikes, bombings, and sanctions incites this hatred and thirst for revenge that is justified by a certain interpretation of many people's holy scriptures. If we just stopped and used more diplomacy by talking to them as human beings whose kids' lives are just as valuable as our kids', then we may have glimpses of peace around the world.

      Ron Paul is the only one that holds a view that would make this type of peace available. It's a non-interventionalist standpoint that takes us from ramming democracy down people's throats to backing off, setting a good example, and making sure we have enough resources to defend ourselves and grow our economy at the same time.

      November 19, 2011 at 3:15 am | Reply
    • Scott

      Ron Paul is the only Republican candidate who's foreign policy differs from Obama. We're leaving Iraq by the end of the year because that's what Bush and the Iraqi parliament agreed to (See Bush Security of Forces Agreement, SOFA). The Iraqi's have too much political pressure from within to ask us formally to stay. If they would we wouldn't leave. As it is, we're really not leaving because we will still have close to 16,000 employees who will be working in our vatican size embassy. Look all this up, it's out there.

      If you really look at Obama's foreign policy to date closely, it is really hard to imagine how a third term of GWB could have been much worse. Obama promised during the campaign to get us out of Iraq way before the Bush deadline this year, and we'd stay if the Iraqi's would let us. He is completely disingenuous to claim that this is the fulfillment of a campaign promise.

      You asked to keep this non-partisan, the fact is that foreign policy is a non-partisan issue in this country. Both parties want war, the GOP is just a little more blunt about it. But it is Ron Paul's "RADICAL" idea that maybe all of these war's are a horrendous waste of life and an embarrassing waste of money, that make both parties and the entire establishment scared to death of him. I am a lifelong democrat who voted Obama and I feel completely screwed. If you want peace Ron Paul is the only candidate period. All of the rest will be the same except for Bachmann who is completely deranged.

      November 19, 2011 at 3:16 am | Reply
  53. ToughUSA

    YOU ARE ENTERING RON PAULS NO SPIN ZONE

    Quick History Quiz
    Who quoted the following Ron Paul or Thomas Jefferson?
    "When we get piled upon one another in large cities, as in Europe, we shall become as corrupt as Europe ." -
    "The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not.
    ""It is incumbent on every generation to pay its own debts as it goes. A principle which if acted on would save one-half the wars of the world
    "I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them."
    "My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government."
    "No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms."
    "The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government."
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants."
    "To compel a man to subsidize with his taxes the propagation of ideas which he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical."
    "I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies.If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around the banks will deprive the people of all property – until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered."

    Ron Paul = No rhetoric, No compromise, No flip flop, No Bail outs. He knows more about economics and foreign policy than all candidates combined including Obama. If you don't want to vote Ron Paul you had better Vote for somone that supports his views.

    Is O'Riley a pinhead or Patriot?

    November 18, 2011 at 11:21 pm | Reply
    • ChiTownArkie

      Both you AND O'Reilly are pinheads.

      November 18, 2011 at 11:57 pm | Reply
    • majorwiblit

      Pinhead

      November 19, 2011 at 6:57 am | Reply
  54. Eric

    https://secure.americanselect.org/debates
    Let your voice be heard

    November 18, 2011 at 11:11 pm | Reply
  55. Chris R.

    Ron Paul is the only honest one up there. His voting record is solid, he believes in TRADING with other countries. In other words "Let's talk with other countries, trade with other countries, then other countries will be our friends". We trade with Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, and they are just as Muslim as Iran... He has raise 5 kids, 4 of which turned out to be MEDICAL DOCTORS and 1 senator. I think that speaks volumes of his family, him and his wife. Imagine this.....

    Somebody in the White House holding our presidency who actually follows his oath of office and tells the TRUTH!

    Ron Paul 2012!

    November 18, 2011 at 11:05 pm | Reply
  56. Bj

    Remember, We dont need the same old song and dance in there, we need someone respectable to change things up. I think they should run a few people out of Wash starting with the Clintons!

    November 18, 2011 at 10:42 pm | Reply
  57. Bj

    I wish Cnn and others would stop isolating Ron Paul and he wouldnt be an isolationist!!!!! He must be intimidating someone...hmmmmmm...

    November 18, 2011 at 10:37 pm | Reply
    • crc

      Running scared

      November 19, 2011 at 4:29 am | Reply
  58. Iamnotfooled

    Cain is waving bye-bye.

    November 18, 2011 at 10:28 pm | Reply
  59. joe

    @Edison

    "To be honest, these candidates are a joke. This year, Americans aren’t given any good choices. Vote republican now and you’ll see more anti-gay laws, anti-abortion laws (who is the government to decide this?), escalating foreign conflict, and reduced deficit spending (which I’m alright with). In reality, I’m not anti-republican, I’m anti- these candidates."

    Clearly the blackout of Ron Paul's campaign has been effective. If you knew the truth about Ron Paul, you would have a candidate.

    November 18, 2011 at 9:57 pm | Reply
    • AlansK

      I have to agree that Paul gets short changed by the press and he does seem to mostly up front and honest about what he thinks but he seems to pretty much hate the federal government. I think he should re-read the preamble to the consitution to remind himself of why we have a federal government. Sure, it needs improvement (more people paying more attention would go a long way) but I don't want to do away with it.

      November 18, 2011 at 10:31 pm | Reply
      • WadeK

        Paul wants to head the federal government, not destroy it. He has read past the preamble (apparently further than you) and understands enumerated powers.

        November 18, 2011 at 11:09 pm |
    • Noah Braun

      agree 100%, I feel Paul is more traditional Laissez-faire, government being OUT OF OUR LIVES. not just government lowering taxes but letting people live their own lives and make their own choices

      November 18, 2011 at 11:18 pm | Reply
  60. Nathan

    "brains" is not the noun I would have chosen.

    November 18, 2011 at 9:33 pm | Reply
  61. impeach Osama's Obama

    Bush didn't do this anti-american crap! It started with that poster child democrat Bill Clinton- NAFTA was hands down the 2nd worse thing following Obama care this country has seen!

    November 18, 2011 at 9:28 pm | Reply
    • AlansK

      You're hilarious, just like Michele Bachman. You'd be taken more seriously if you were more serious.

      Btw, Impeach Osama's Obama? I guess you didn't hear, Osama is no more.

      November 18, 2011 at 10:35 pm | Reply
  62. Edison

    Michele Bachmann needs to drop out. Honestly, she highly embarrassed the republican party or anyone who would have her (same with Palin).

    November 18, 2011 at 8:42 pm | Reply
  63. Edison

    To be honest, these candidates are a joke. This year, Americans aren't given any good choices. Vote republican now and you'll see more anti-gay laws, anti-abortion laws (who is the government to decide this?), escalating foreign conflict, and reduced deficit spending (which I'm alright with). In reality, I'm not anti-republican, I'm anti- these candidates.

    November 18, 2011 at 8:40 pm | Reply
    • crc

      Ron Paul will fo all of the above.

      November 19, 2011 at 4:33 am | Reply
    • garry baker

      @Edison

      http://www.ronpaul2012.com/the-issues/

      November 19, 2011 at 6:06 am | Reply
  64. Robert Fallin

    Michael Scheuer, former CIA head of the Usama Bin Laden Unit, advised Ron Paul in 2008. Certainly, Congressman Paul receives much backing from CIA analysts, including Robert Baer and Graham Fuller. Colonel Douglas MacGregor has also affirmed Congressman Paul's position on the overextension of our military and the need to make our allies defend themselves rather than depend on American blood and treasure.

    November 18, 2011 at 8:39 pm | Reply
  65. Michael McKinney

    It does not take a world of knowledge or a group of people to see the obvious. It takes one person to see things as they are. If I kill someone in your family, for whatever reason, you will hate me.... you will want revenge. Now times that by 100,000,000 innocent people in other countries that the US has killed, for whatever reason. What is so hard to understand? We say one thing... and do another. The US can not be trusted. Our Government can not be trusted. Our Media can not be trusted. So stop all of the political BS and focus on "RESTORING AMERICA NOW". You may not like Ron Paul...for whatever reason... But hands down, he is the only person I trust to do the right thing for America. And for CNN to just ignore the most qualified person, who can turn this POS country into a strong, free, and economically sound place to live and work.... just shows me how much we really need Ron Paul and how little we need CNN.

    November 18, 2011 at 8:17 pm | Reply
    • Edison

      Honestly, I think Michele Bachmann is a perfect Obama campaign tool. I dislike Obama but she is a complete and utter joke (as are most of these people).

      November 18, 2011 at 8:36 pm | Reply
  66. impeach Osama's Obama

    U democrats are a bunch of TOOLS! We all get farther when one takes a crap and then try's to converse with it like its the Obamas vacationing by a pool. NO, I am not racist but instead extremely disgusted at the amount of damage one man can do to our country! People need to wake up!

    November 18, 2011 at 8:05 pm | Reply
    • Green Collar Worker

      So what's your take on Bush?
      Douchenozzle.

      November 18, 2011 at 8:21 pm | Reply
    • Edison

      Umm yeah, sooo what about the 2 pointless wars bush caused as well as the educational standards he destroyed with "no child left behind," unfair taxes to the poor, and of course, Bush's roles in messing up the economy. One man can do so much damage = George W. Bush. Now imagine how bad it'll be if Bachmann gets in...

      November 18, 2011 at 8:38 pm | Reply
    • Nathan

      Youre lucky you live in a free country or youd be lobotomized as an example.

      November 18, 2011 at 9:35 pm | Reply
  67. Tough USA

    Flip flop mitt backed the bailouts , romneycare is obamacare. Mitt is truly Obamas brother from another mother. Media hard up now. Looks like little BO PEEP is losing her sheep to RON PAUL 2012!!!!!

    November 18, 2011 at 7:56 pm | Reply
  68. Salvadr munoz

    Too mucho icing on the cake and not enouph cake...
    Too many brains ans no action... Like "behind the bush" lots of hot air = results
    Bush=

    November 18, 2011 at 7:47 pm | Reply
  69. LaLa

    Brains?
    With Republicans?

    That's really something new!

    November 18, 2011 at 7:42 pm | Reply
  70. frank

    RON PAUL is for free trade with all countries. Google Christian Zionist America if you want to knoe the truth about the other GOP candidates, Obama should have pulled our troops out of the middle east and Afghanistan 2 years ago like he promised. Globalism weakens the United States it does not help us.

    November 18, 2011 at 7:33 pm | Reply
    • szbrown

      Ron Paul is not an isolationist, get your facts straight, Fox News! He knows more about foreign policy than all these other candidates combined and he has common sense!

      November 18, 2011 at 10:08 pm | Reply
  71. joe

    @krazytrain41

    Please don't waste your time. Twilight Zone opposite day. The definition you provided is only there to confuse us, so the CNN people can continue to laugh at us for not being part of this inside joke.

    You are right CNN. 'Security' 'defense' and 'global trade' and 'political and economic relations' equals preemptive war and therefore requires us to spend half of the entire world's defense budget... Cause we may have to one day preemptively strike Mars in the interest of solar-systemization and trade relations...

    I feel like I am insane.

    Ron Paul 20.. Oh whatever.

    November 18, 2011 at 7:29 pm | Reply
  72. m

    Romney, wets finger, thrusts it into the wind and determines which direction to proceed.

    We're all so lucky he'll never be president.

    November 18, 2011 at 7:24 pm | Reply
  73. joe

    @krazytrain41.

    I'm starting to think we act this way because we are honestly and truly confused as to the definition of "isolationism." Policy makers seem to think blowing people up is the opposite of isolationism and therefore globalization. I think it may be that for all the college education, we got this one concept completely wrong. Preemptively nuking Iran is friendly globalization in this first grader 'opposite day' world here.

    I find this so vexing. I am vexed.

    November 18, 2011 at 7:13 pm | Reply
  74. krazytrain41

    i·so·la·tion·ism ( s -l sh -n z m). n. A national policy of abstaining from political or economic relations with other countries

    November 18, 2011 at 7:10 pm | Reply
    • JB

      Shhhh. You know the media doesn't like it when you're smart enough to realize they're being misleading.

      November 19, 2011 at 2:15 am | Reply
  75. krazytrain41

    Why does the US think they have the right to bomb Iran to destroy a nuclear facility when the US is the only country in the world that has ever used them? Granted we attacked but it was with torpedoes and airplanes not nukes.

    November 18, 2011 at 7:07 pm | Reply
    • crc

      Because like Libya they don't play the game. NO FED. one of the first things done in Libya was to start up the FED enslavement through monetary management.

      November 19, 2011 at 4:44 am | Reply
  76. MTATL67

    OH come one Elise Labott – What is that "thereby denying the privilege to his competitors". Sound like a whine to me. "Mommy Barak won't let me play", just maybe that "foreign policy talent" doesn't think the GOP candidates haven't got any talent and don't want to work with them. As they say "Don't forget your cheese with that whine".

    November 18, 2011 at 7:02 pm | Reply
  77. mtnthc0

    hahahahahahahahaha

    November 18, 2011 at 7:00 pm | Reply
  78. joe

    I really can't stop thinking about this. I feel like I'm in a Twilight Zone episode where the definition of words have been scrambled. It's like when my 6 year old declares its 'opposite day.'.
    CNN contributors, please find a Websters dictionary and look up isolationism, then post just an article on isolationism so we can all mutually agree on what that word means. I really and truly think this would be a worthwhile exercise.

    November 18, 2011 at 6:58 pm | Reply
  79. joe

    Others have said it. I'll say it as well:

    Not wanting to blow up people in other countries is not isolationism. It is in fact the opposite of isolationism. Woodrow Wilson didn't talk about blowing people up. I just can't say this clearly enough. Isolationism does not equal not blowing people up with predator drones and tomahawk missiles. Period. For the record, suggesting we enter a trade war with China is isolationist, as MITT ROMNEY suggested. He's the isolationists. Protective tariffs are isolationist. Currency devaluation is isolationist. War is isolationist. Ron Paul's entire platform is the exact f'ing opposite of isolationism. Peace and free trade is the exact f'ing opposite of isolationist.

    End rant.

    November 18, 2011 at 6:51 pm | Reply
  80. izy

    heres a quote of Tampa Bay's Bay News 9 website,
    ""Since conservative whites control all the power in the region, they are enacting legislation both neglectful of the needs of African Americans and other communities of color ..." writes senior research associate David Bositis in a paper titled "Resegregation in Southern Politics?" The Washington-based think tank conducts research and policy analysis, particularly on issues that affect blacks and people of color."
    –Definitely shows how segregation and racism is still so rampant in politics, specially on the conservative party., another reason why I VOTING FOR OBAMA, OBAMA 2012–

    November 18, 2011 at 6:41 pm | Reply
  81. impeach Osama's Obama

    It is truly sad to see there are still some numb skull'd idiots out there who still fall for Obama's smooth talking Rhetoric. People open your eyes! Our children are broke before they even have any idea what $ is! Everyday that idiot is in the "White house" is another day we come closer to being a country like N. Korea with Marxism being fed to people through the media. People WAKE UP!!!

    November 18, 2011 at 6:20 pm | Reply
    • krazytrain41

      It has nothing to do with a republican congress of no. I remind you the republicans said, "Our # 1 job is to make sure Obama is not re-elected". not jobs and economy

      November 18, 2011 at 7:26 pm | Reply
    • Iamnotfooled

      Where were you when Bush racked up 10.7 Trillion? President Obama is still paying for his mess. Record number of unemployed ,TARP, 2 wars, interest on the debt, Bush tax cuts 2001 and 2003, Medicare Part D. What do you think this costs? This is Bush's fault. Why weren't you worrying about your children then? Yes President Obama has spent 4 trillion but this is included in that sum. Not to mention the cost of stopping the recession. You wake up !

      November 18, 2011 at 10:39 pm | Reply
  82. nash

    Good luck to Paul supporters. He is going nowhere. Huntsman would be elected first before Paul. He may have valid points but he will never get GOP nomination. With that goes his opportunity.

    November 18, 2011 at 6:02 pm | Reply
    • carlos

      Thanks to GOD, most of the people dont think like you.
      RON PAUL all the way.

      November 18, 2011 at 6:15 pm | Reply
      • Dan

        LATINS FOR RON PAUL 2012!

        November 18, 2011 at 7:11 pm |
    • JB

      So that's why Ron Paul's in a tie for first in places like Iowa, in second in NH, and his supporters are the least likely to change their minds on the candidate? Or maybe it's that he's third in fundraising and receives well over double what all the rest of the GOP candidates get in donations from the military. I'm just waiting for you to provide evidence to your claim that Ron Paul is going nowhere when he's a top tier candidate and has always outdone Huntsman on support and fundraising.

      November 19, 2011 at 2:18 am | Reply
    • mark

      Really Carlos, because polling dating in the GOP shows he has stalled at about 10-12% – they are not going to nominate him, just as they didn't the last two times. And don't bother blaming media – blame the GOP – they cast the votes. I am not anti-Paul – I just don't think he has a chance.

      November 19, 2011 at 4:59 am | Reply
  83. Charlotte

    Brains?? There are brains involved?? This is new! When did this begin??

    November 18, 2011 at 5:45 pm | Reply
  84. Kristi

    Ron Paul is NOT for isolationism. It's non-interventionism. There is a HUGE difference. Look it up.

    November 18, 2011 at 5:30 pm | Reply
    • Noah Braun

      yes there is, and you are right on the button. As much as I hate Fox News people on here complaining about them need to realize they arent reputable and are just payed talking heads

      November 18, 2011 at 11:20 pm | Reply
  85. Stephen Knight

    Check out the editor's note. American Enterprise Instititue and Heritage Foundation – "conservative"! What a joke CNN has become! The statist/authoritarian "neoconservatives" erroneously call themselves "conservative" and you CNN go along with it. Ron Paul persistently and accurately call himself a "non-interventionist", but you continue to support the mispresentation of him as an "isolationist".

    Feith, Chertoff, Luti, Wolfowitz, Bolton, etc. – are you kidding with this name-dropping of big-government, internationalist uber-zionists? The jig is up, guys. You may want to try jumping back into the Democratic Party (remember the early 80s?). And, please, take Newt with you.

    Libertarian and real conservative voters are taking back the party – and our republic! Ron Paul 2012

    November 18, 2011 at 5:24 pm | Reply
    • carlos

      They made up it because RON PAUL doesn't have any weakness unlike Cain (ignorance), Rommey (flip flop) or Perry (dumb).

      November 18, 2011 at 6:18 pm | Reply
  86. Iamnotfooled

    This will be Saturday night fodder. The real national security expert is in the White House. President Barack Obama.

    November 18, 2011 at 5:17 pm | Reply
    • repubssmokecrack

      hilarious..... Im sorry people but Obama is way ahead in the foreign policy issues...Republican canidates are just children

      November 19, 2011 at 8:05 am | Reply
  87. M&M

    Any of these candidates will be better than Obama. I'm happy that these candidates are being vetted; unlike Obama, who the media adores. CNN among them

    November 18, 2011 at 4:25 pm | Reply
    • Dennis

      all these candidates are the same as Obama..
      Not including the old, smart, Doctor guy.

      November 18, 2011 at 4:29 pm | Reply
    • Charlotte

      Not one of these candidates would be anywhere near as good as Obama. Has he been ineffectual? Sure, when you have a congress that has decided to say no to everything he wants (including healthy food for our children....pizza, for chrissakes, these morons are showing their stupid quotient in spades this week). Has he been a good President? Absolutely – and he has more class and brains than all of them combined. Any one of them would be a disaster because they're all brainless and uneducated and uninformed (totally aside from being soulless righties)

      November 18, 2011 at 5:48 pm | Reply
  88. bowman

    Hey, why am I not surprised to see Paul hardly mentioned once in the article? Is it the "promote the idiots" competition, so that I can see Cain and Romney all the time?

    November 18, 2011 at 4:17 pm | Reply
  89. still hope

    The title says it all: "brains behind" because that's exactly where they are, right in the behind.

    November 18, 2011 at 4:16 pm | Reply
  90. Nemmesso

    I'm going with Ron Paul, he's the only one making sense... It's pathetic, that the media still pretends he doesn't exist, THEY ARE AFFRAID OF REAL FREEDOM, and TRUE CHANGES!

    Ron Paul 2012 – stop the big government, end the corruption in it, balance the budget, legalese freedom – RESTOR THE U.S.!

    He's got my vote.

    November 18, 2011 at 4:13 pm | Reply
    • Susan

      He is too scary....nobody in their right mind would want him in the oval office. Get rid of all government programs? Who will make sure your food is not going to kill you....who will make sure the air is clean? The water? Sure...leave it to the corps to make sure...right!! You would not want to live in the world after Ron Pauls ideas were real.

      November 18, 2011 at 5:54 pm | Reply
      • carlos

        Susan you fear is the result of you ignorance. First do research to see Paul's plan and what he wants for America, then you write.

        November 18, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
      • JK

        Couple questions Carlo:
        1. What agencies is Paul going to get rid of?

        2. What are the possible effects as a result?
        3. Has Paul addressed how he is going to handle unemployment of the ~14mil. Unemployed?...and the additional million gov. Employees that will lose their jobs under his plans? Or how he is going to handle the 10 mil. Or so that will lose their jobs as a result of Paul's descimation of defense? Or the millions of employees that will lose jobs in state and local government because Paul's smaller govt will mean less federal aid for state subsidized programs? Has Paul addressed how he will handle terrorism? Think about the possible cyber attack on the water plant in IL that was just discussed in the news. Under Paul each state will have to address this and similar issues on their owns ( duplicat $$$...FROM EACH STATE?!) Paul on numerous occasions has said those kind of things will take care of themselves. And he is right, but at the expense of millions of hardworking middle class. Paul is the horse with blinders. The only ones who might thrive under paul's idea of government are backwoods men and the billionaires and millionaires. Hey, isn't Paul a worth a couple million? Paul's 19th century economic views show a lack of understanding of the complex economic interrelationship in the 21st century.

        November 19, 2011 at 9:01 am |
      • Carlin123

        Spoken like a frightened little girl. The government owns lemmings like you. I'm sure you've heard of lawyers. How long would anyone stay in business if they killed or maimed their perspective customers? But go ahead keep voting the way you do and see what changes.

        November 19, 2011 at 10:25 am |
  91. Dan5404

    Huntsman may be very smart, but like all of them, it is GOP right-wing policy that comes with it that creates real problems for the GOP. There's not a lot of actual complaints against Obama that are valid.

    November 18, 2011 at 4:03 pm | Reply
    • Beck

      Dan, what about this administration giving 15.8 Billion to friends. Seems like cronyism and massive corruption to me.

      November 19, 2011 at 8:43 am | Reply
  92. Dennis

    The MSM loves calling him an isolationist. They are either:
    1)dumb
    2)disonest
    3)scared
    or all of the above

    November 18, 2011 at 3:58 pm | Reply
    • Kristi

      They must be dumb, because they just keep on doing it, even after being repeatedly corrected. I was always taught making a mistake once makes you human, but making that same mistake twice makes you an idiot.

      November 18, 2011 at 5:33 pm | Reply
  93. bass

    long and boring.

    November 18, 2011 at 3:55 pm | Reply
  94. Ryan (Future President U.S.A.)

    Also the media continues to call Ron Paul's position an "isolationist" one. Isolationism is complete cut off of economic and military intervention. Ron Paul still wants to continue trade with other countries meaning he is not an isolationist. Examples of "Isolationist" countries throughout history: China from about 1300-late 1800's and Japan from about 1300-1853 when Matthew Perry used force to make Japan open up for trade. Know your facts and KNOW your HISTORY.

    November 18, 2011 at 3:51 pm | Reply
  95. Ryan (Future President U.S.A.)

    The only candidate I want to hear from is Ron Paul. He already has my vote. 14.6 trillion in debt and our "other" cliche candidates are still speaking of military intervention in other countries. For those of you who want WAR with Iran go fight it yourself. The media spews lies. Look at the WMD's in Iraq. They had us convinced we were going to be attacked by Saddam. If Iran wants to build a nuclear weapon they will be their own worst enemy. Israel will wipe the floor with Iran if need be. I say we let Israel choose what's best for them since an Iranian nuke is the biggest threat for their country, not so much ours. I'm not losing sleep on this overhyped media money making issue. Ron Paul 2012 –> Fixing the economy is the #1 issue

    November 18, 2011 at 3:49 pm | Reply
    • mark

      "The only candidate I want to hear from is Ron Paul. He already has my vote"...that is what scares me about Paul supporters – the arrogance and narrow mindedness. Sorry, but I want to hear from ALL the candidates so that I can make my own informed choice. It's starting to sound more like a cult than a candidate.

      November 19, 2011 at 5:08 am | Reply
  96. dude

    Ron Paul ?
    Ron Paul ??
    Who's that?

    November 18, 2011 at 3:46 pm | Reply
    • carlos

      Our next president.

      November 18, 2011 at 6:22 pm | Reply
    • Craig

      He is the nutbag all the stoners are all hot for.
      He has promised to legalize weed as 1st order of business so that is all they heard...well all they *can* hear.
      Never mind this is a man was one of few no votes against a law protecting children from pedophiles which he justified with his own words : "No government intervention in domestic issues"

      November 19, 2011 at 9:19 am | Reply
  97. Ayatollah Bromeini

    My god, so far this has been nothing short of abysmal.

    Check out our take on GOP foreign policy at http://www.globalbearings.net

    November 18, 2011 at 3:39 pm | Reply
  98. Dennis

    "Isolationist position" is not the same as not interferring in others buisness! Please get this for once.

    November 18, 2011 at 3:27 pm | Reply
  99. Alex

    I look forward to hearing Ron Paul's views on foreign policy after CBS gave him only 89 seconds of airtime last debate!!!! Please give everyone fair coverage CNN.

    November 18, 2011 at 3:25 pm | Reply
  100. serg

    I kind of like the idea that some candidates consider themselves to be experts in foreign policy

    November 18, 2011 at 3:19 pm | Reply
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