The Foreign Policy Debate: Obama’s Opening Statement

I’ve decided that I’m going to write opening statements for the candidates. Everyone by now knows my political leaning, but I also like being fair, so I am doing one for both. This is what I think Obama should say. This statement times out, when I visualize Romney’s speaking style, to about 2:30 minutes.


Good evening Mr. Moderator, Governor Romney and the American people. Thank you for the opportunity to have served you for the past four years. In those four years, we have made unprecedented strides in national security and foreign policy.

Under my watch, we dealt a crippling blow to al Qaeda. We took out their leader, their guidance. We eliminated Osama bin Laden. We have dispersed al Qaeda. Driven them out of countries that harbored them, that protected them. They exist in small cells, and have not succeeded in any attacks on U.S. soil during my administration. In Iran, we have imposed some of the toughest sanctions, crippled their economy and set back their chances of obtaining a nuclear weapon. In Iraq, we have withdrawn U.S. forces and are working to withdraw forces from Afghanistan. We are ending two wars that America cannot afford to continue, despite my opponent’s insistence that they should.

We have increased drone strikes, eliminating enemies of the United States one by one. We have made our presence felt in places like Libya, where we allowed those whose security was at stake, like France, lead the campaign to stop the senseless violence in that country. We have been in a stalemate in Syria, where Russia has stalled negotiations repeatedly in imposing sanctions on Bashar al Assad.

Governor Romney will point out the tragedy of Benghazi for his own political benefit. But, for anyone to believe that someone dedicated to their country, someone who felt a personal loss with the death of those four Americans, is attempting to cover up what happened is not only absurd, but an insult to those four brave Americans. We have said, time and again, that we worked from day one with the information that was provided us. Intelligence in chaotic situations comes in bursts and has to be sorted out. It takes more than the few hours needed to make a political statement the morning after the deaths of those American citizens.

Governor Romney has said it himself. He was a governor. He was a businessman. At no point in either of those jobs does someone deal with other nations. The Governor is inexperienced,  unable to determine any paths other than the ones that have already been taken. He has proposed nothing for Iran that we aren’t already doing. He wants to continue charging a nation that is having trouble financially for two wars that should have ended long ago. He has offered nothing new to change the way America works in the world.


One thought on “The Foreign Policy Debate: Obama’s Opening Statement

  1. I like both of your opening statements for the candidates. I enjoy playing the advocate of both sides myself and I try to think through the “Question – Response and Counter” scenarios from time to time.

    My one challenge to this opening statement would be based on whether the attack on our embassy is technically considered “our soil”. To that, if it is truly “our soil” as the USA, Romney would need to pounce on it… respectfully and responsibly. “With all due respect, Mr. President, this did happen on your watch and could have been avoided had you, as our Commander and Cheif, taken better precautions at a time we knew this could happen.”

    I also don’t doubt the President’s feelings of loss of the Ambassador and others. I personally thought his best moment in the 2nd debate was when he went on the “I AM the Commander and Chief” tirade. I think it would be good for him to say those things.

    To that… if Obama says “you called it a cover-up”, I should ask, has Romney or his campaign ever said they think “It’s a cover”? I hope Romney would never go there. If he hasn’t and the President says it, it’s unsubstantiated for sure; however, Romney will need to call out the “failing of intelligence” of his persons in authority and failure of policies. That would be reasonable, true and effective by Romney.

    Personally, I did really struggle with Candy’s calling out the “Acts of Terror” comment… how could she do such a thing in a debate? Then, Blitzer and the rest of the CNN team didn’t read the PRIOR comments from the Rose Garden speech. How wrong of them. They also misstated the quote a few times, thus changing the meaning. Candy said a few times on-air – “These acts of terror”. It reads “No Acts of Terror”, definitely insinuating a broader context, and I do NOT feel the President in any, way, shape or form was referring to the Benghazi attacks. That one word change, and the fact she has said it at least even once, suggests she should have never opened her mouth. Outside of that one thing, that crucial thing which gives her a “FAIL” on moderating the debate, she would have passed with flying colors.

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