PDA

View Full Version : Chris Christie: heavy on swagger and light on substance




Brian4Liberty
09-02-2014, 02:17 PM
The GOP’s Foreign Policy Swagger Problem



By Daniel Larison • September 2, 2014

Chris Christie unsurprisingly knows nothing about foreign policy:


It was not, according to several of those in attendance, a tough or unexpected inquiry. But Mr. Christie, usually known for his oratorical sure-footedness, offered an uncharacteristically wobbly reply, displaying little grasp of the facts and claiming that if he were in charge, Vladimir V. Putin, the Russian president, would know better than to mess with him.

According to an audio recording of the event, he said Mr. Putin had taken the measure of Mr. Obama. “I don’t believe, given who I am, that he would make the same judgment,” Mr. Christie said. “Let’s leave it at that.”

One attendee described Mr. Christie’s answer as disturbingly heavy on swagger and light on substance [bold mine-DL]. Another called it “uncomfortable to watch.”
...
The bigger problem for the GOP is that most of its would-be presidential candidates are just as bad as Christie when it comes to being “heavy on swagger and light on substance.” Republican politicians assume that they can get away with this because most of their party’s foreign policy professionals and pundits are only too happy to make excuses for them or cut them too much slack because they happen to have the right “instincts.” These politicians don’t put much effort into educating themselves on these issues, and so they have to resort to swagger and demagogic rhetoric to demonstrate “toughness” because they would otherwise have nothing to say. Since there is no degree of ignorance about foreign policy that won’t be tolerated for hawkish candidates (see Romney, Mitt), Republican hawkish politicians have no incentive to learn more than the standard talking points and have nothing to fear from being “light on substance.” Indeed, some “experts” and pundits probably prefer their would-be candidates to be clueless so that they can mold and shape them as they see fit, and any candidates that have bothered to give much thought to these issues are likely to see that many of the people that claim to speak for the party on foreign policy are likewise “heavy on swagger and light on substance.” Christie doesn’t know much about foreign policy, but unfortunately he is all too representative of his party’s elites in that regard.
...
More:
http://www.theamericanconservative.com/larison/the-gops-foreign-policy-swagger-problem/

Much longer article:

Christie Studies Foreign Affairs for a 2016 Test


A few days after Russian forces invaded Crimea, Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey was asked at a confidential meeting of Republican activists how he would have handled the situation differently from President Obama.

It was not, according to several of those in attendance, a tough or unexpected inquiry. But Mr. Christie, usually known for his oratorical sure-footedness, offered a wobbly reply, displaying little grasp of the facts and claiming that if he were in charge, Vladimir V. Putin, the Russian president, would know better than to mess with him.
...
Now, as he considers a run for the presidency at a moment of spiraling global mayhem, Mr. Christie’s trip to Mexico this week is taking on a sudden urgency. Intended as a trade mission, it will double as a chance to demonstrate a level of acumen on foreign policy that has so far eluded him.
...
Yet Mr. Christie’s tutorials appear less organized or far along than those of potential 2016 rivals like Mr. Paul or Representative Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin, and Mr. Christie has yet to articulate a distinct vision of America’s place in the world that strays from his party’s typical expressions of dismay with Mr. Obama and tributes to Ronald Reagan.

Mr. Christie has been candid about the gaps in his international understanding. Pressed on them during an appearance in Chicago this year, Mr. Christie conceded, “I don’t have the briefings and the background to be able to say that I understand all the intricacies of it.”
...
“My view is that he’ll have work to do, but he’s up to the task,” said Arthur C. Brooks, the president of the American Enterprise Institute, who was interviewing Mr. Christie at the event in Georgia when the governor talked about Crimea. (Mr. Brooks declined to comment on the exchange.)
...
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/02/us/politics/chris-christies-trip-to-mexico-doubles-as-a-foreign-policy-test.html

presence
09-02-2014, 02:30 PM
I bet the top 50 RPF members by rep would score better on a foreign policy current events exam than Christie.