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Herman Cain flunks foreign policy
Renew America ^ | 11-3-2011 | Alan Caruba - Commentary

Posted on 11/06/2011 11:33:55 AM PST by smoothsailing

November 3, 2011

Herman Cain flunks foreign policy

Alan Caruba

It can be argued that domestic affairs are a president's top priority, but the Constitution expressly puts the chief executive in charge of setting and conducting foreign affairs. It is therefore essential to know if the candidate who wants to be president has a reasonable knowledge of events around the world.

On Tuesday evening I watched an edition of Fox News Bret Beir's Special Report where Herman Cain was "center chair" as the usual members of the panel got a chance to quiz him and, after he attempted to dispose of the charges of sexual harassment unleashed against him, syndicated columnist, Charles Krauthammer asked a question that dealt with foreign policy.

What would Cain do if Iran was going to unleash an attack on the U.S.? Cain gave a rambling, unspecific answer except to say he'd order an Aegis destroyer into the Persian Gulf to let Iran know he was serious, mentioning something about the use by Iran of missiles. It was distressingly clear that Cain had no more idea what he would do than he had regarding other potential foreign policy questions.

Foreign affairs are Herman Cain's Achilles' heel and it has not gone unnoticed by the political press and others. In the October 17 Washington Post, Chris Cillizza took note of Cain's appearance on "Meet the Press" where he was asked "whether Iran's involvement in an alleged plot to assassinate the Saudi Arabian ambassador to the U.S. amounted to an act of war."

Cain replied, "After I looked at all of the information provided by the intelligence community, the military, than I could make that decision." That is what is known as a lawyerly response. "If, if it's an act of war, and the evidence suggests that, than I am going to consult with my advisors and say, 'What are our options"'"

If Barack Obama's extremely muted response is any indication, there aren't that many overt options, though one might hope that there are a host of covert ones in the works.

During a PBS interview with Judy Woodruff, Cain was asked about China as a potential military threat to the U.S. At one point Cain said, "They've indicated that they're trying they're trying to develop nuclear capability..." China conducted its first text of a nuclear device on October 16, 1964. It is estimated to have some 400 nuclear weapons. They are not "developing" a nuclear threat. They are a nuclear threat in the same way as other nations with nuclear weapons. This is why Iran is hell-bent on acquiring its own nuclear weapons.

A man no one could accuse of being anything but conservative, Bill O'Reilly of Fox News, had Cain on his program and, in a segment with Dennis Miller, the show's comic relief, O'Reilly said, "Look, I like Herman Cain. I like his spirit. I think he presents himself very well. But when he came on The Factor a few weeks ago, he had no clue about foreign affairs."

Cain lacks a good poker face. When asked questions for which he is unprepared, his eyes begin to blink like a deranged traffic light. He responds with some programmed answer that is often unrelated to the question. He is the proverbial deer in the headlights.

During a recent speech to a Republican audience, he said that so far as he's concerned, America is Israel's ally and vice versa. That got the predictable applause. Cain visited Israel in August on a fact-finding tour. He met with a deputy prime minister and the Mayor of Jerusalem.

However, when he was interviewed by Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday, he was asked about the Palestinian demand of "right of return," a major divide between Israelis and Palestinians, and Cain had no idea what it was. "That's something that should be negotiated," said Cain, grasping for an answer that sounded sensible, but the issue is not negotiable so far as the Israelis are concerned and with good reason. Someone even casually aware of the issues affecting Israel would know that.

Stephen Yates, president of the DC Advisory and former national security advisor to Vice President Dick Cheney, might not be expected to criticize a GOP candidate, but when asked he said of Cain, "These are the kind of questions a leading candidate cannot simply pass to advisors. To date, Cain has not projected command of these presidential imperatives."

A pizza company executive or one leading a restaurant trade association probably doesn't need to know much about foreign affairs, but a candidate for President of the United States needs to know more than some hasty daily briefings by his campaign staffers.

Cain dismissed the fact he had no idea where Uzbekistan is or its strategic importance to U.S. foreign affairs. "When they ask me who is the president of Ubeki-beki-beki-stan-stan, I'm going to say, you know, I don't know. Do you know?" Even Obama knows that a stable relationship with Uzbekistan is regarded as of vital importance to the war in Afghanistan for its airport and as a transit corridor to reduce dependence on Pakistan.

Cain thinks foreign affairs questions are "gotcha" questions, but they may well be the most critical questions a potential president has to understand and answer. It is testimony to the difficulty of these issues that Barack Obama has essentially carried out most of the policies put in place by George W. Bush when it comes to foreign affairs.

Right now Herman Cain is the candidate-de-jour in the polls, but so was Michelle Bachmann and Rick Perry when he got into the race. I like the fact that Cain is a bona fide conservative. I don't like the obvious fact that he couldn't find Uzbekistan on the map and probably doesn't know much else about the world.

On that count alone, I would not vote for him. Republicans have to get over their current love affair with Herman Cain and select a candidate more qualified to lead the nation.

© Alan Caruba



TOPICS: Editorial; Foreign Affairs; Philosophy; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: boltontotherescue; cain; desperationtime; frontrunner; gnatshit; hopelessattacks; nitpicking; palinization; palintreatement; perryastroturfing; theyhatethisguy; toomuchathreat
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To: smoothsailing
I've been following politics for many years and have always found the predictable accusation that such-and-such a presidential candidate doesn't have sufficient 'foreign policy credentials' somewhat of a joke. How many state governors that won the presidency in modern times, such as Reagan, Clinton and George W. Bush had 'foreign policy credentials'? They had a political philosophy and might have offered some concrete ideas on handling a specific situation some questioner might raise during a debate but generally, a state governor doesn't have a whole lot of foreign policy experience. That's why they have advisers. However, the president will always act on the advice he received based on his own political core beliefs, such as defending Israel. For instance: I doubt Obama would but I'm sure that Cain would. That's a simple example of why political philosophy matters, not the vaunted 'foreign policy experience' some like to harp on.

Granted, Herman Cain has been a bit less than reassuring with some of his answers regarding foreign policy but he hasn't said anything terribly wrong, either. I think he is just being cautious. Cain knows full well the MSM is seeking to discredit him and he is probably trying not to give them ammunition. Today, the world is in turmoil, thanks in part to Barack Obama, and no Republican candidate should attempt to offer 'solutions' for complex problems that either don't currently exist or for ones that do and are not amenable to a 30-second sound bite. However, Herman Cain will have to offer more details on his foreign policy outlook as the campaign progresses - and I'm confident that he will do so.

Those who attempt to dismiss Herman Cain as a non-serious publicity-seeker hoping to sell books and increase his future speaking fees are dead wrong and their attempt to insult Cain supporters is not appreciated. I believe that Mr. Cain is one of the more serious people in the nomination campaign. Far more so than people such as Jon Huntsman or even Ron Paul. The media (and Palin-haters) used the same lame tactics against Sarah Palin. "Doesn't have foreign policy credentials", "Not serious", "unqualified", "just wants to sell books and increase speaking fees", blah, blah, blah. Same old, same old. The leftmedia originates this crap and the anti-Cain posters regurgitate it all over FR threads. It will not deter Cain supporters and it sure won't help those trashing Cain thinking this will help 'their' candidate, whoever that may be. Cain's campaign is definitely in the ascendency and none of the GOP primary campaign also-rans are going to catch him with mockery, fake scandals or lame 'foreign policy' criticisms. It hasn't worked for the left and it sure won't work for the supposed 'right'.

151 posted on 11/06/2011 1:59:21 PM PST by Jim Scott (on the 'Cain Train')
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To: PALIN SMITH

Sarah Palin will not endorse Cain. Nor Romney. IF she endorses anyone and that’s a big IF, it will be Perry or Newt — in that order.


152 posted on 11/06/2011 2:01:46 PM PST by varina davis (Life is not a dress rehearsal)
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To: altura

One of us misunderstands: I took your post 92 as a friendly joke and I was running with it.


153 posted on 11/06/2011 2:02:24 PM PST by M. Thatcher
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To: Maelstorm

Well, okay then.

What Cain says is mostly good.

What he’s done is mostly unknown.

But, I’ve said over and over that with all the doubts and fears I have about Cain and with all the insults I’ve suffered from some (not all) of his supporters, I will vote for him if he’s the candidate.

One thing that was a little unsettling on a thread this morning was how many people who were saying they wouldn’t vote if their candidate was nominated.

Or, they’d write in somebody. Or they’d vote 3rd party.

I’ve posted this before, but it bears repeating.

There are 4 ways to vote for Obama.

1. Vote for Obama
2. Write in a candidate
3. Vote third party
4. Don’t vote.


154 posted on 11/06/2011 2:03:18 PM PST by altura (Perry 2012)
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To: varina davis

Perhaps.

However I would just point out that a number of Cain supporters became so, when Palin backed out.

The two are not altogether different.


155 posted on 11/06/2011 2:03:34 PM PST by Cringing Negativism Network (America First)
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To: varina davis
Sarah Palin will not endorse Cain. Nor Romney. IF she endorses anyone and that’s a big IF, it will be Perry or Newt — in that order.

You are correct.

156 posted on 11/06/2011 2:05:49 PM PST by thecodont
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To: Cringing Negativism Network

people were vowing to write in or not vote if their candidate wasn’t selected.

It’s scary.(from earlier post)......and not very smart.

you may lose the battle (your choice)but do not lose the war.

Divided we will lose...i will vote for anyone but Obama and fight a few more battles,till we can win the war.


157 posted on 11/06/2011 2:06:28 PM PST by tankrlm
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To: RitaOK
I don’t follow Cain closely, but so far, has he uttered even a peep against Romney

He may have, I don't recall. But if, God forbid, Romney wins the nomination, expect Cain to endorse him. If Romney taps Cain for running mate...well, I just may open a whole chain of crow restaurants.

That said -- yes, most of the other candidates would also endorse Romney, but their supporters wouldn't let it make their skirts fly up.

158 posted on 11/06/2011 2:06:29 PM PST by Lady Lucky
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To: Cringing Negativism Network
Patriot. Veteran. Lowered taxes. Was a Boy Scout and of faith. Things you want in a president.

Sounds alot more like Perry than Cain!

No hard feelings here. :)

159 posted on 11/06/2011 2:07:46 PM PST by smoothsailing (FUMR-FUBO- the left is a seething mass neurosis)
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To: smoothsailing

Not just your opinion. Mine as well. Word for word.


160 posted on 11/06/2011 2:08:15 PM PST by Lady Lucky
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To: Cringing Negativism Network

I think you are right and I speak as a former Palin supporter.

I really, really liked Palin and, golly, if I had the time back I spent defending her and praising her I could do something useful, like sort the wash.

I’m disillusioned about her now. I still like her but in a more detached way. Her endorsement won’t sway me as it once would have.

Maybe the reason I didn’t switch to Cain like so many Palin supporters did, is because I already had my back-up candidate after Perry declared.

Cuz I’m a Texan and have known, loved, gotten mad at, but appreciated the job he’s done here.


161 posted on 11/06/2011 2:08:19 PM PST by altura (Perry 2012)
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To: altura

Altura, you are in top form today! Hang right in there.
I believe Rick’s willingness to rumble with the Left, and all the now institutionalized Marxists in power, is starting to get out and will give us some traction against the all too civil Cain and Romney. No namby pamby compromisin’ with Rick on that point, but clear and in-your-face. Cain on rumbling with anyone? Question mark. Big question mark. ?????????????


162 posted on 11/06/2011 2:09:14 PM PST by RitaOK (Texas. Exhibit A for Rick, who needs to pound the fiction flackers back into the Stone Age.)
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To: tankrlm

I don’t believe you’ve seen me say that.

At the risk of the ire of Jim Thompson, I’d even vote for Romney if he’s what we end up left with.

I agree with his small forays into protectionism.

I’ll vote, and I’ll vote GOP. Until then, I’m all partisan.


163 posted on 11/06/2011 2:09:28 PM PST by Cringing Negativism Network (America First)
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To: altura
"The way he’s handled the non-scandal has been awful."

Have YOU ever been falsly accused of something you didn't do?

I have!

It's not a fun place to be.

Cain handled it just like an innocent man.

If he had been smooth and perfect, he would have been criticized for being too slick.

We as conservatives are living in uncharted territory.

If Cain is for real, he has the opportunity to destroy the modern Democrat Party coalition.

My gut tells me he's an honest patriot.

I will not accept voting for the status quo.

Time for some altering and abolishing......and Cain is the man to do it!

164 posted on 11/06/2011 2:09:50 PM PST by PALIN SMITH (In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.)
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To: altura

“I really, really liked Palin and, golly, if I had the time back I spent defending her and praising her I could do something useful, like sort the wash.”

-

ROFL you have a way with words.

How about a deal? We agree to disagree, but whichever of our candidates wins, we’ll agree to then agree.

(I don’t have so much a way with words, sorry)

:D


165 posted on 11/06/2011 2:18:18 PM PST by Cringing Negativism Network (America First)
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To: Lady Lucky
Not just your opinion. Mine as well. Word for word.

Uh-oh, does that make me a plagarist? ;-)

166 posted on 11/06/2011 2:20:23 PM PST by smoothsailing (FUMR-FUBO- the left is a seething mass neurosis)
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To: varina davis
Perry IS the only one who mentioned Bolton for his cabinet.

Bolton is pro Gay Military as well, might be a reason to rethink your worship of Bolton.

167 posted on 11/06/2011 2:20:35 PM PST by itsahoot (There was a bloodless coup in 08, and no one seemed to notice. God help us.)
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To: magritte
And, of course, Kissinger was a McCain supporter...

McCain supporter not to mention NIXON!

168 posted on 11/06/2011 2:23:04 PM PST by McGavin999 ("Make what Americans buy, Buy what Americans make, and sell it to the world" Perry 2012)
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To: DesertRhino
I want an American president who is expert in AMERICAN policy.

Amen!

169 posted on 11/06/2011 2:26:43 PM PST by Mygirlsmom ("Get ready for an aberration of historic proportions" ...H Cain.."to correct the last one" MGM)
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To: smoothsailing
"Herman Cain flunks foreign policy "

It was a 1-question test: Do you support the continued existence of Israel?

170 posted on 11/06/2011 2:29:23 PM PST by UnwashedPeasant (Don't nuke me, bro)
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To: altura
Hey, I was there with you.

Were you? I was juggling the debate and some intense high-end ebay auction at that hour, and then the bees started swarming because I remarked that Cain was at a loss for words (You go first Newt!).

I will remember you now, Venerable Freeper Number 33.

:)

171 posted on 11/06/2011 2:34:09 PM PST by Lady Lucky
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To: smoothsailing

I prefer to think of you as a mind reader. ;)


172 posted on 11/06/2011 2:46:40 PM PST by Lady Lucky
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To: Cringing Negativism Network
" Slow day on the Perry threads, isn’t it?... "

Yeah, they have nothing to really cheer for, so they come on the Cain treads since they are bored and make like miserable for everyone...
It seems, the only thing that Rick Perry is taking a wrecking ball to is his own campaign.. it must suck being a loser like him.
173 posted on 11/06/2011 2:53:28 PM PST by American Constitutionalist (The fool has said in his heart, " there is no GOD " ..)
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To: goldstategop
But Obama had no foreign policy experience either when he ran for President.

That's silly. Unlike Cain, Obama studied up on foreign policy. Also, unlike Cain, Obama had opportunities to vote on bills related to foreign policy so was exposed to some issues.

There's very little evidence Cain is studying hard, particularly on foreign policy.

174 posted on 11/06/2011 2:59:52 PM PST by newzjunkey (Republicans will find a way to reelect Obama.)
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To: smoothsailing
A man no one could accuse of being anything but conservative, Bill O'Reilly of Fox News, ...

Oh yea, for sure, Bill O'Reilly -- the conservative!

175 posted on 11/06/2011 3:11:27 PM PST by Col Freeper (FR is a smorgasbord of Conservative thoughts and ideas - dig in and enjoy it to its fullest!)
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To: justsaynomore
That quote you pull, "China’s build up of nuclear," is not inconsistent with a view that China lacks nuclear capability.

Supposedly Cain wrote in one book about experience of doing math for the Navy on China's nuclear weapon delivery capability. If this is so, why is the campaign doing nothing to fight the "false" impression?

176 posted on 11/06/2011 3:13:27 PM PST by newzjunkey (Republicans will find a way to reelect Obama.)
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To: newzjunkey

Well, I suppose they have been busy dealing with other issues at the moment :-)


177 posted on 11/06/2011 3:17:46 PM PST by justsaynomore (Pray for Herman Cain)
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To: itsahoot

Can you cite a source?


178 posted on 11/06/2011 3:27:01 PM PST by varina davis (Life is not a dress rehearsal)
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To: Lady Lucky
I prefer to think of you as a mind reader. ;)

Karnac the Magnificent! :o)


179 posted on 11/06/2011 3:32:38 PM PST by smoothsailing (FUMR-FUBO- the left is a seething mass neurosis)
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To: Cringing Negativism Network

Deal !

Luv ya back.

Feud officially over, ok?


180 posted on 11/06/2011 3:33:55 PM PST by altura (Perry 2012)
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To: eyedigress
"Who is your candidate again?"

In order?

Palin (Not Running)

Gingrich

Cain

Romney...if I REALLY am able to do it.

I'll likely end up voting 3rd party if it came down to Romney.

And I could never vote for the dunce Bachmann or the illegal coddling Perry.

181 posted on 11/06/2011 3:41:27 PM PST by Mariner (War Criminal #18)
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To: smoothsailing

Herman Cain is a brilliant man, and when he gets in office will do the best for our country. He also understands the radical Muslim problem, unlike our current president.

But if you want experience, support Santorum:

“Santorum can point to his eight years on the Senate Armed Services committee as proof that he will be prepared to handle an uncertain situation in the Middle East from day one. ..”

excerpt http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/post/the-case-for-rick-santorum/2011/04/14/AFhEhpdD_blog.html

We have three great presidential candidates Cain, Santorum and Bachmann, and I hope the primary voters are astute enough to pick one of them.


182 posted on 11/06/2011 4:23:21 PM PST by Sun (Pray that God sends us good leaders. Please say a prayer now.)
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To: itsahoot; varina davis; little jeremiah; Antoninus; TigerLikesRooster; AmericanInTokyo
[varina davis] Perry IS the only one who mentioned Bolton for his cabinet.

Bolton is pro Gay Military as well, might be a reason to rethink your worship of Bolton.

I've never heard this about Bolton. Is it true? Anyone?

Waiting on a source quote or link, if you please, together with your interlocutor. There are quite a few people interested in who in the GOP is lining up for tickets to GOProud dinners with Grover Norquist and Karl Rove.

183 posted on 11/06/2011 4:30:50 PM PST by lentulusgracchus (Concealed carry is a pro-life position.)
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To: PhilDragoo

Bwahhahaaha!!

That’s AWESOME!!


184 posted on 11/06/2011 4:31:06 PM PST by Politicalmom
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To: lentulusgracchus

Oh Please........


185 posted on 11/06/2011 4:32:27 PM PST by eyedigress ((Old storm chaser from the west)?)
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To: smoothsailing
Herman Cain flunks foreign policy

STUPID MISLEADING MSM HEADLINE ALERT!

The MSM dweebs persist in asking obscure geography "GOTCHA!" questions and demonstrating that they have no clue as to what "Foreign Policy" means.

If I were a candidate I would prepare 10 or 20 "gotcha" geography questions and agree to answer theirs if they answer one of his first.

"Next question please..."

186 posted on 11/06/2011 4:32:36 PM PST by Publius6961 (My world was lovely, until it was taken over by parasites.)
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To: altura
Senility kicking in?

This thread is not about a criticism, but about irrelevant "Gotcha!" journalism.

Can't tell the difference?

187 posted on 11/06/2011 4:35:45 PM PST by Publius6961 (My world was lovely, until it was taken over by parasites.)
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To: altura

Perry has no foreign policy experience either....unless you consider bashing the United States on foreign soil, and snuggling up to Mexican leaders to be “foreign policy”.


188 posted on 11/06/2011 4:37:15 PM PST by Politicalmom
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To: altura

They are worshiping a drunk candidate in New Hampshire who recently found his way out of a wet paper bag. Not!


189 posted on 11/06/2011 4:38:27 PM PST by eyedigress ((Old storm chaser from the west)?)
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To: altura

Wow. All you’ve done recently is threaten other FReepers. What power do you think you have to make people “sorry” for anything?


190 posted on 11/06/2011 4:39:52 PM PST by Politicalmom
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To: smoothsailing

Seems like the current resident of the White House, didn’t know a thing about foreign policy also. So, that shouldn’t be a topic that President should know.


191 posted on 11/06/2011 4:46:19 PM PST by ktw (72 ID, 536 HHC, Finally Retired after 23 years!)
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To: lentulusgracchus

LG, it is unfortunately true. I saw Bolton quoted in at least two articles around the time faggots were forced into the military. IIRC he has another pro-fag view, perhaps fag “marriage” but I can’t be sure, but for SURE he was JUST FINE with mentally ill sex perverts in the military.

He’s OFF THE LIST!


192 posted on 11/06/2011 4:46:41 PM PST by little jeremiah (We will have to go through hell to get out of hell.)
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To: justsaynomore

Nice work.


193 posted on 11/06/2011 4:47:11 PM PST by Politicalmom
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To: lentulusgracchus

As far as I know, Bolton is a social liberal.


194 posted on 11/06/2011 4:53:49 PM PST by Politicalmom
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To: Politicalmom

Thanks!


195 posted on 11/06/2011 4:58:12 PM PST by justsaynomore (Pray for Herman Cain)
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To: altura
Feud officially over, ok?

OK. Until the next one anyway! :)

196 posted on 11/06/2011 4:59:09 PM PST by Cringing Negativism Network (America First)
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To: goldstategop
I’m not saying foreign policy isn’t important. But Obama had no foreign policy experience either when he ran for President. No one is born with it. I’m sure a new President will have good people to advise him. I don’t see what’s the big deal about it.

That's scary! More scary...you don't care!

197 posted on 11/06/2011 5:01:29 PM PST by lonestar (It takes a village of idiots to elect a village idiot.)
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To: eyedigress
Oh Please........

"Oh please" what, poster?

198 posted on 11/06/2011 5:15:56 PM PST by lentulusgracchus (Concealed carry is a pro-life position.)
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To: lonestar
That's scary! More scary...you don't care!

What, Presidents have to come now from the ranks of the Foreign Service? They never have! Get over yourself.

199 posted on 11/06/2011 5:17:40 PM PST by lentulusgracchus (Concealed carry is a pro-life position.)
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To: little jeremiah
Well, crud. This was out there and I didn't know it.

Bolton for dog catcher ...... in France!

200 posted on 11/06/2011 5:19:19 PM PST by lentulusgracchus (Concealed carry is a pro-life position.)
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