Scott Walker and Jeb Bush are quarreling over just how mindlessly hawkish the next administration should be:
The Walker campaign blasted out a statement from foreign policy adviser Robert C. O’Brien that rejected Bush’s view without mentioning him by name.
“We don’t need more information, we don’t need to wait to confirm the next Secretary of State, we need decisive leadership and we need it now. This won’t be easy, but when America leads, and has a strong president with clear priorities who believes in American strength, the rest of the world will follow [bold mine-DL],” O’Brien said.
It’s important to note that there is no substantive difference between Walker and Bush on the nuclear deal. Bush has already predictably denounced the deal as “appeasement,” so it seems unlikely that he would be willing to abide by it. Their only disagreement on this issue is over the preferred way of trying to scrap the deal. Walker wants to emphasize his belief in the value of resolve and “toughness,” and Bush wants to appear more thoughtful than his competitors, but they are arguing about nothing more than the timing of breaking our commitments. Bush pays lip service to the idea of consulting with allies, but he has already committed to a position that guarantees a serious rift with our European allies on this issue. He can wait to “check” with them if he wants, but we already know what their response will be. Walker pretends that allies will fall in line “when America leads,” but it’s already clear from his past statements that he doesn’t care whether they will follow the U.S. on this or not. What shouldn’t be lost in all of this is that both of these candidates are committed to wrecking a valuable diplomatic agreement that the U.S. and its allies have been working on for years. Bush can position himself as the more “nuanced” hard-liner and Walker can claim to be the more “decisive” one, but they’ve both already proven that their foreign policy judgment is terrible.