Josh Rogin reports that Rick Perry’s foreign policy views will be just as bad as Tim Pawlenty’s:
“He will distinguish himself from other Republicans as a hawk internationalist, embracing American exceptionalism and the unique role we must play in confronting the many threats we face,” one foreign policy advisor with knowledge of Perry’s thinking told The Cable. “He has no sympathy for the neo-isolationist impulses emanating from some quarters of the Republican Party.”
If that sounds like the foreign policy stance of Tim Pawlenty, that’s because it is. Pawlenty also supports an unapologetic and assertive foreign policy that rejects calls for retrenchment. But Perry is also planning to add his record on international trade to that set of ideas.
The addition of Perry’s “record on international trade” isn’t that much of an addition to Pawlenty’s foreign policy, since Pawlenty has made a point of treating his trade missions as governor as part of his foreign policy “experience.” Perry’s record should create some interesting controversies among hawks. A booster of Venezuela’s Citgo, Perry seems to want to combine confrontational hawkishness with cozy relationships with companies based in the countries he would like to confront. He effectively promises to scrap good relations with Russia, reflexively support Israel, and escalate tensions with Iran and North Korea. In short, Perry can present himself as a Texas governor willing to be even more aggressive and damaging to U.S. interests than George W. Bush. Pawlenty could not sell this toxic foreign policy to anyone except for true believers, but perhaps Perry can. The question is whether Republican primary voters recognize Perry as the disastrous third term of George Bush that he would be.