John McCain: GOP Presidential Hopefuls Are Foreign-Policy Wimps

Flickr/<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/soggydan/3633397819/sizes/m/in/photostream/">soggydan</a>

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.


Always the foreign-policy hawk, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) on Sunday ripped the Republican Party’s presidential hopefuls for their “isolationism” and  weak responses when asked about the nation’s wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya. Appearing on ABC’s This Week, McCain said former President Ronald Reagan would look poorly upon the GOP candidates’ foreign policy positions. “He would be saying: That’s not the Republican Party of the 20th century, and now the 21st century,” McCain said. “That is not the Republican Party that has been willing to stand up for freedom for people…all over the world.”

McCain, of course, was referring to recent comments made iby candidates such as former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, former House speaker Newt Gingrich, and former Utah governor Jon Huntsman. In CNN’s presidential debate last week, for instance, Romney said:

It’s time for us to bring our troops home as soon as we possibly can, consistent with the word that comes to our generals that we can hand the government over in the way the Afghan military to defend themselves from the Taliban. Our troops shouldn’t go off and try and fight a war of independence for another nation. Only the Afghanis can win Afghanistan’s independence from the Taliban.

Gingrich also struck a decidedly un-GOP tone at the debate, saying that US leaders “need to think fundamentally about reassessing our entire strategy in the region.” And in an interview with Esquire magazine, Huntsman said Afghanistan is “a tribal state, and it always will be. Whether we like it or not, whenever we withdraw from Afghanistan, whether it’s now or years from now, we’ll have an incendiary situation… Should we stay and play traffic cop? I don’t think that serves our strategic interests.”

McCain was joined in his criticism by fellow GOP senator and close ally Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, a lawmaker equally hawkish when it comes to America’s wars in distant lands. Here’s Reuters:

Asked on NBC’s “Meet the Press” if he’s fearful “that there is an isolationist streak now running now through the Republican Party, Graham said, “Yes.”

“If you think the pathway to the GOP (Republican) nomination in 2012 is to get to Barack Obama’s left on Libya, Afghanistan and Iraq, you are going to meet a lot of headwinds,” Graham said.

DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate