Home/Daniel Larison/No, Rubio’s Foreign Policy Is Not More Like Obama’s Than Romney’s

No, Rubio’s Foreign Policy Is Not More Like Obama’s Than Romney’s

This is just bad reporting:

Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, a potential Republican vice presidential pick, outlined a vision of foreign policy that sounded more like President Barack Obama’s than that of the presumptive Republican nominee, Mitt Romney.

When I saw that some of the first news reports were describing the speech as “bipartisan,” that didn’t seem too inaccurate, since Rubio was laying out a foreign policy vision that “centrist” Democratic hawks would accept. I’m not really sure how one could listen to or read the speech and conclude that it was more akin to Obama’s foreign policy than Romney’s. Admittedly, the substantive differences between the presidential candidates on this subject are few, so that may not be saying very much. There are aspects of Rubio’s speech that seem to echo some of the more ridiculous parts of Obama’s 2007 address here in Chicago on the theme of global interdependence. Having said that, there are many more similarities with Romney’s views. That is what one would expect to find, and that is what one does find. He also had this annoying throwaway line: “on foreign policy, if you go far enough to the right, you wind up on the left.” That’s the sort of lame taunt one would expect from Rick Santorum.

Rubio’s nods to multilateralism in the speech were mostly perfunctory. His impatience with the multilateral response in Libya was obvious, and his insistence that more can and should be done by the U.S. in Syria puts him clearly at odds with what Obama has been doing. His comments on U.S. policies toward Russia, eastern Europe, and Latin America could have been penned by a Romney campaign staffer, and his alarmism over Iran is typical of what we have heard from most of the Republican presidential field. I don’t assume that Rubio was delivering this address to improve his chances to put himself on the ticket. It is the predictable expression of hawkish views that he has been developing since he started running for the Senate.

about the author

Daniel Larison is a senior editor at TAC, where he also keeps a solo blog. He has been published in the New York Times Book Review, Dallas Morning News, World Politics Review, Politico Magazine, Orthodox Life, Front Porch Republic, The American Scene, and Culture11, and was a columnist for The Week. He holds a PhD in history from the University of Chicago, and resides in Lancaster, PA. Follow him on Twitter.

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