Finally, a GOP foreign policy debate

DoD photo by James Turner/U.S. Navy

U.S. Marines with the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit board a landing craft attached to the amphibious dock landing ship USS Whidbey Island. Whidbey Island was deployed as part of the Bataan Amphibious Ready Group, supporting maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts is the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility.

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  • Ensure at least one #debate exclusively to foreign policy and national security @MarcThiessen

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  • CNN will make the feed available to the AFN, which is seen in 175 countries and aboard naval ships around the world

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  • Up to the candidates to accept the challenge and tell us exactly how they plan to lead the free world @MarcThiessen

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In a recent editorial, The Post noted that "Foreign policy has played a marginal role so far in the Republican presidential contest, squeezed to the side during debates focused on the U.S. economy and by social issues such as immigration." I could not agree more. In a recent column, I noted the same dearth of discussion on these issues, and argued that the only one way to ensure such a discussion takes place before Election Day is to hold at least one debate exclusively to foreign policy and national security.

"Now it's up to the candidates to accept the challenge and tell us exactly how they plan to lead the free world." -- Marc Thiessen

It looks like that will now, finally, happen. Last night, the American Enterprise Institute (where I work), the Heritage Foundation and CNN announced the first and only Republican presidential debate centered on the questions of national security and foreign policy.

The debate will take place in Washington, D.C. on November 15 at 8 p.m. ET, and will be broadcast nationally and online on CNN. Importantly, CNN will make the feed available to the American Forces Network, which is seen in 175 countries and aboard naval ships around the world. This will allow our soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines serving overseas to hear the views of the candidates vying to serve as their next commander in chief.

In a letter to the candidates, AEI president Arthur Brooks, Heritage president Ed Feulner and CNN Washington bureau chief Sam Feist wrote, "Thus far, the Republican presidential debates have provided an illuminating discussion of your views on many important domestic matters….We believe it is essential that Americans learn more about how you will fulfill your responsibilities as commander-in-chief." Amen to that. Now it's up to the candidates to accept the challenge and tell us exactly how they plan to lead the free world.

Marc Thiessen is a visiting fellow at AEI.

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About the Author

 

Marc A.
Thiessen
  • A member of the White House senior staff under President George W. Bush, Marc A. Thiessen served as chief speechwriter to the president and to Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. Prior to joining the Bush administration, Thiessen spent more than six years as spokesman and senior policy adviser to Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman Jesse Helms (R-N.C.). He is a weekly columnist for the Washington Post, and his articles can be found in many major publications. His book on the Central Intelligence Agency's interrogation program, Courting Disaster (Regnery Press, 2010), is a New York Times bestseller. At AEI, Thiessen writes about U.S. foreign and defense policy issues for The American and the Enterprise Blog. He appears every Sunday on Fox News Channel's "Fox and Friends" and makes frequent appearances on other TV and talk radio programs.


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