My Questions for the Next GOP Debate

November 11th, 2011 at 11:35 am David Frum | 77 Comments |

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Had I been on the panel for Wednesday’s economics debate, I’d have opened with the question: “Are taxes lower or higher today than on the day President Obama was sworn into office?” Just for fun.

CBS and National Journal asked me among others to suggest some questions to ask the candidates at tomorrow’s foreign policy debate. My suggested list follows. Note that it was written in advance of the Keystone XL pipeline decision, which adds urgency to the energy security questions.

1. Mexico is being torn apart by a civil war to control the drug routes to the United States. Many Mexican leaders urge drug legalization in the US in order to move the drug trade away from violent criminals to legitimate business. If a Mexican president asked you to consider such a step, what would you answer and why?

2. Canada is our largest trading partner and most important energy supplier. What do you see as the major issues between the US and Canada and what would you do to strengthen this supremely important relationship?

3. If asked, would you support a US contribution to the fund to stabilize the Euro currency? Why or why not?

4. Taiwan is China’s largest foreign investor. Taiwan and China have an intensifying economic relationship. Taiwan has refused to make the military investments that our military considers necessary to Taiwan’s security. Is the US security guarantee to Taiwan obsolete?

5. If you had been president in 2010, would Hosni Mubarak still be in power today?

6. Do you believe there is a peaceful way to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons?

7. It’s often said that our present energy policy leaves us dependent on oil suppliers who do not like us. Our top 10 suppliers are:

Canada, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, Venezuela, Russia, Algeria, Iraq, Angola and Colombia. The anti-US feeling of the Chavez regime is notorious. Which of the other 9 would you describe as a supplier who “does not like us”?

8. Afghanistan: At the end of your first term do you think we’ll have more or less than 20,000 troops in that country?

9. Iraq: Knowing everything you know now, if you had been in Congress in 2002, would you have voted to authorize force against Saddam Hussein, yes or no?

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77 Comments so far ↓

  • Watusie

    Yes, David, I totally believe that if you were given power over a foreign policy debate you would not ask a single question about pledging allegiance/swearing fealty to the state of Israel, and committing to support its interests above all others, including our own.

    • Russnet

      10. Should the United States just cede Florida to the Jewish people? I mean, that would solve a lot of problems. I can live with 49 states. (Sorry Puerto Rico.)

  • sparse

    great questions, but number five seems out of place:

    “5. If you had been president in 2010, would Hosni Mubarak still be in power today?”

    it has value as a rhetorical question, but given a debate’s format, which requires an immediate response, who would answer anything other than, “no, he would rightfully be gone, he was a dictator, but i would have set up a magically pro-israel government in his place. obama failed to make egypt pro-israel.”

    too unfocused a question. love the others.

    • Probabilistic

      Perhaps, a better formulation is: What’s your view of the changes currently underway in the Middle-East and how should the United States respond? And, how would you have applied your criteria to Egypt, Libya, Syria, and Iran?

  • balconesfault

    Fodder for more than one debate, I’d say.

    Here’s another thought – why doens’t FrumForum try to get an audience with each candidate independently, and interview them on these issues?

    • jamesj

      Trying to get time with a Republican candidate is incredibly hard in recent years unless you are a soft-ball venue like a day-time talk show or a well-established right wing cheerleader venue (no need to list the obvious ones). But I too would love to see even brief interviews conducted by Frum Forum writers with any candidate that has the guts (Obama included of course). I’d love a focus on policy, although I realize that is like trying to catch a fish covered in slime.

      • Probabilistic

        And, presumably, the toffs at FF don’t want slime on their pressed shirts?

  • Sinan

    How about the simple one: Which state is our enemy and why? Please justify our yearly budget of 700 billion or so in defense with your answer to this question.

  • Russnet

    4. yes. 9. yes.

  • Graychin

    “Are taxes lower or higher today than on the day President Obama was sworn into office?” Just for fun.

    You’re quite the bomb-thrower, aren’t you? :D

    As for Mubarak still being in power – is the implication that the US should have considered military action to KEEP him in power? Really?

    Propping up supposedly pro-Israel dictators would be just as stupid as propping up odious anti-Communist dictators.

  • dante

    +1 to just about all of them, especially the tax question at the beginning…

    I actually appreciated the fact that the CNBC moderators didn’t take fluffy non-answers to their questions, but apparently that hasn’t gone over well with the crowd that’s used to softball questions and soundbite answers.

    How about #6 being: If Iran were on the verge of obtaining nuclear weapons, would you use military force to stop them?

    I’d also add:

    #11: Last year when the extension to the Bush Tax Cuts was being debated, several of you took the position that tax cuts don’t “cost” money with regards to adding to our national debt. Do you (still) subscribe to this belief?

  • AllisonCay

    I think I know how Mr. Cain would answer: 1) 999; 2) 999; 3) 999; 4) 999; 5)999; 6) 999; 7) 999; 8 ) 999; 9) 999.

    Mr. Gingrich would answer: 1) Stupid question; 2) Are you kidding me?; 3) I am not going to dignify that with an answer; 4) You expect me to answer in 30 seconds? 5) The American people are tired of such silly questions; 6) Enough! 7) That’s a ridiculous question; 8 ) Don’t waste my time; 9) I win the debate

    • balconesfault

      This is fun! Since Rick Perry works blocks from me, I’ll offer his answers…

      tax question: “of course they are. The federal government is too big”

      1. No
      2. Uhhh … Canada?
      3. Uhhh … the Euro?
      4. Uhhh … Taiwan? Security guarantee?
      5. Ah – an easy one. I’d have already eliminated the Department of Commerce.
      6. This isn’t one of those trick Armageddon questions, is it?
      7. We should drill wherever we can drill, and not let an overbearing Federal Government get in the way
      8. well, that’s hard to answer, since we don’t know … ummm … what may be the final need for troops, since … ummm … radical Islam …. ummm … terrorists … ummm … what was that question again?
      9. Whew! another easy one. Yes.

      • Probabilistic

        You expect Perry to rattle off 9 answers at once without any oops. Interesting. (How many of those do you think are assists from Romney and Paul?)

  • Frumplestiltskin

    1. Mexico is being torn apart by a civil war to control the drug routes to the United States.

    Oh nonsense, I have been living in Mexico for the past 7 years, the buses run on time, the shops are full. A few border towns are disaster areas to be avoided (like Ciudad Juarez) but to say the country is being torn apart is ridiculous.
    And we can legalize pot which represents the lions share of the drug trade. There is zero reason whatsoever to make pot illegal but booze and cigarettes legal. In fact, booze is far more dangerous, you can overdose on alcohol and how many drunk driving deaths are there a year?

    2. Canada is our largest trading partner and most important energy supplier. What do you see as the major issues between the US and Canada and what would you do to strengthen this supremely important relationship?

    Silly question motivated by self interest as a Canadian. Americans don’t care, most Americans can not even name the leader of our 51st state. Our relationship isn’t broke so why pretend it needs anything to fix it?

    • FosterBoondoggle

      “most Americans can not even name the leader of our 51st state”

      OK, I’ll try. Isn’t that Prime Minister Poutine?

      • grahampercy

        What’s that you say? I couldn’t hear you because your head is too far up your ass.

    • Probabilistic

      Not sure if most people can name the leaders of the remaining 50 states. Ignorance is not a rationale for not engaging. Perhaps, there are aspects of the relationship that need change. Shouldn’t the answer be left up to in the individual respondents? Newt might take cue from your response.

      A few years ago, Robin Williams in one of his comedy sketches referred Canada as an upstairs apartment with a great party going on downstairs. Apparently, some of the partying has moved upstairs. So, paying some attention is not bad.

      Having said that, I don’t think the question should make the top 10 list. Rather, candidates understanding and expectation of the relationship with China would be worth exploring.

  • armstp

    There is very little chance that any of those GOP candidates could actually answer any of those questions.

    • Grace

      I think Huntsman could formulate at least reasonably informed, coherent answers, or at least discuss the considerations involved in most of these questions. Now, whether he would risk displaying the required librul elitist thinkin’ and talkin’ skills for even more scorn from the know-nothing Base is another question. It’s not like he has has a lot to lose with them anyway, but I’ll be curious to see how he plays this.

      Enjoyed the posters above who pre-answered for the caveman candidates, but Romney is just as likely as the others to avoid answering questions. He’ll turn this into an Obama bashfest like all the others and pray the moderators don’t point out he never answered the question (at least, any that he hasn’t focus-grouped yet). He may not drool while he does it like some of the others but it’ll be Base-pleasing empty-headed “American exceptionalism” and bombs-away nonsense for every answer.

  • LFC

    I’ll toss in one more…

    “A common conservative criticism of Barack Obama’s performance on Libya was that he lead from behind and committed too few resources, thus causing the 7 month civil war to last too long. Do you agree with this criticism and, if so, what would you have done differently?”

    I’d love to have one of these Barons of Bulls*** on record saying they would have sent in ground troops or would have intensified bombing (thus massively increasing civilian casualties).

    • Probabilistic

      Like the question, but there’s an easy out – the McCain formulation: should have bombed earlier and bombed more frequently, and got this over and done with much quickly. So the candidates can preen to be more muscular than Obama, without answering your core question. Any claim to increased civilian casualties would likely be brushed aside, or countered – allowing the Gaddafi regime to last 6 additional months increased civilian casualties. Indeterminable.

  • jdd_stl1

    To Paul, Huntsman, Santorum and Bachmann: Why are you still here?

    How about:
    If you only had two choices, would you chose:
    A. $600B of additional cuts to the defense budget.
    B. A deal that had some across the board cuts and some tax increases on the wealthy.

    #7 is an interesting question. I just looked at the statistics here:
    http://www.eia.gov/dnav/pet/pet_move_impcus_a2_nus_ep00_im0_mbbl_a.htm

    The top 10 provide 78% of the crude oil and related products to the US.
    If you expand that to the top 13 by including Brazil, UK and US Virgin Islands(!),
    you get to 85% of the imports.
    What people normally think of, probably, is that OPEC nations make up 41% of
    the US imports.

    • balconesfault

      Well, the Arab League produces 30% of the worlds oil. Toss in Russia, Iran, and China, and you’re up to 51% of the worlds production.

      Oil is fungible. Making the argument based solely on who’s exporting to the US is facile – because a barrel of oil purchased from Canada or Mexico still drives up the global price of oil, and thus drives up the oil revenues of the top oil exporters.

      And Saudi Arabia, Russia, and Iran are #1, 2, and 4 on the list of oil exporting nations. I would argue that all three of these countries have or support agendas that are antithetical to America’s interests.

  • baw1064

    I’d like to see all these candidates on “Are you smarter than a fifth grader.” :)

  • Emmet

    Not foreign policy related, but I’d like them to ask the 10 to 1 cuts to revenue question again. I think a few would change their answers. I can’t imagine Huntsman wouldn’t 3/1 much less 10/1.

    • jdd_stl1

      You could ask it this way:

      How about:
      If you only had two choices, would you chose:
      A. $600B of additional cuts to the defense budget.
      B. A deal that had some across the board cuts and some tax increases on the wealthy.

    • think4yourself

      Emmet, I think they would all answer the same way – “No” to 10:1 budget cuts to tax increases. Even Mitt.

      Right now, it’s all about getting nominated and unless the moderate GOP come’s out to challenge the far Right, well, it’s appeal to the TP crowd.

  • SpartacusIsNotDead

    “Do you believe there is a peaceful way to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons?”

    The answer is most likely “no” because Iran has many very good reasons to obtain nuclear weapons. The far better question would be:

    “What affect would a nuclear-armed Iran have on your foreign policy?”

    • baw1064

      They’d probably just say that a nuclear-armed Iran would be unacceptable and that we must prevent it from happening (via some unspecified means that probably involves lots of magical thinking).

      • SpartacusIsNotDead

        I agree that they would say it is unacceptable, but I want them (and, more importantly, Frum) to explain why. We were told a nuclear-armed N.Korea was also unacceptable, but here we are several years later accepting it and getting along just fine.

        The fact of the matter is Iran is going to go nuclear, we will accept it and everyone will learn to get along just fine.

        • wileedog

          Israel will bomb them if we don’t. I don’t believe for a second the current hard line Israeli government will just ‘accept’ an Iran with nukes.

          And of course we will be left holding the bag when the smoke clears.

        • SpartacusIsNotDead

          “Israel will bomb them if we don’t.”

          Assuming that’s true, is this supposed to be an argument for us to bomb them?

        • baw1064

          Yeah, I’m not sure how doing the bombing ourselves would lead to a better outcome.

          Or, stated another way, we don’t have to do anything–the Israelis will take care of it for us. Kind of like the Europeans’ approach to Bosnia.

        • think4yourself

          I do not believe Israel will bomb. As I understand it, the Iranian nuclear efforts is spread out and buried such that a bombing sortie would not be able to degrade the Iranian capabilities and instead it would require a long-term bombing campaign or boots on the ground. So there is no way for Israel to have success.

  • armstp

    I would continue to ask all of them whether they would have let the auto sector fail?

    Would it have been ok with them to see such an important industry go away? This is a crucial question that gets to the heart of government and economic judgement. This question really gets to the heart of the matter about economics, recovery and what being a President is all about.

    Frum, lets review just what your buddy Romney has said about the auto sector bail-out (the other contestants/candidates have said much worse).

    > here is what Romney said just the other night in the MICHIGAN debate: “My view with regards to the bailout was that, whether it was by President Bush or by President Obama, it was the wrong way to go,”

    He wanted a “private sector bail-out” or private sector bankruptcy!!

    Here is the video:

    http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/video/romney-criticizes-auto-bailout-14920087

    However, at the time there was zero private investors willing to step forward and save these companies. That is why the government had to get involved in the first place. Most experts say the alternative would have been a Chapter 7 or liquidation.

    In addition, most experts say, given the issue of car warranties, if the auto companies would have actually officially declared bankruptcy their sales would have hugely dropped or plummeted, as no one would want to buy a car from a bankrupt company, particularly if there is a risk that the auto makers would make good on their warranties, which would have been far from certain in a bankruptcy, particularly a “private sector” bankruptcy.

    Romney also famously wrote an NYT OP-ED at the time entitled: ““Let Detroit Go Bankrupt,”.

    Here is the link to the Op-Ed: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/19/opinion/19romney.html

    He could not have been more wrong in that Op-Ed, as he suggested the auto sector would completely die if it got a government bail-out. In fact, exactly the opposite has happened. Some “business judgement” from Romney.

    So there you have it, Romney would have been in favor of seeing the auto sector/companies being liquidated and the corresponding hundreds of thousands of job losses.

    Further was Romney even consistent in his answer he gave regarding the auto sector in this most recent debate and above?

    Fact checking at this link says no. As usually he has consitently flip-flopped on this issue or changed his comments based on the audience.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/fact-checker/post/was-mitt-romney-consistent-on-the-question-of-an-auto-bailout/2011/11/10/gIQAXdh69M_blog.html

    Frum, do you think Romney’s (who is supposively a corporate or economic genius, given his Bain experience) response or solution would have been appropriate?

    Let me give you a bit on where the U.S. auto sector is today.

    From Institutional Investor Magazine:

    “Last summer, Stephen Worth bought his first Cadillac, a CTS-V Coupe. It’s “a terrific car”, probably one of the best that GM has ever made., Worth says. The veteran automotive banker’s purchase reveals how far the U.S. car industry has come since 2008, when the financial crisis forced a major restructuring. It also shows how bullish Worth, a senior managing director in the corporate advisory business of New York-based boutique bank Evercore Partners, is on a sector that struggled for much of the past decade.

    To his relief, business feels like it did in the mid-1990s. “We are back to an environment where deals make sense, suppliers have recapitalized and lowered their breakeven, and they can focus on strategy again,” says Worth 45. “This is how industries are suppose to function.”

    “The most interesting dynamic to watch going forward is how competition between all of the global OEMs changes given that you have three entirely new U.S. competitors out there,” he says. .

    This sounds like an auto industry that has had a major rebound and will eventually pay back tax payers every cent. It made 100% sense for the government to save the auto industry. Romney is just completely wrong with his ridiculous “private sector managed bankruptcy”. Romney’s choice for the auto sector would have been a complete disaster for this country

    And we are suppose to vote for this guy because of his “business sense”. Romney has absolutely no business sense. He only has a record of stripping companies and making a lot of money for himself. Just his negative response to the auto-sector bail-out alone is enough of a reason to not to vote for Romney.

    In the last two years the rebounding auto sector has added either directly or indirectly about 160,000 jobs. If the sector had been liquidated as Romney wanted it could have cost the economy about 3 million jobs or the amount that the nearly $1 trillion stimulus bill saved or created.

    We can thank Obama and the bail-out for saving the sector and getting it back on its feet.

    • think4yourself

      +2

      I’d like to see that question asked also.

      • Ogemaniac

        My dad works in the bowels of the auto-industry supply chain. It is patently obvious that his job was saved by the bailout. You can even get him to admit it. Mom’s job and my brother’s job were probably saved by the stimulus as well.

        Yet my dad is a die-hard, Limbaugh lovin’ Republican, and when you box him into the corner about he personally has dramatically benefited from the stimulus and bailout, he just throws up his hands and says we should have let everything burn. Seriously.

        It’s sad watching a good mind get infected by such brain rot, but there is no better way to describe it.

    • Probabilistic

      +3. Very well put! I was quite surprised that Romney was allowed to get away with the ‘bankruptcy-not-done-right’ answer by the CNBC moderators.

  • Foreign Policy Questions For the GOP Candidates

    [...] David Frum and Daniel Drezner have come up with some questions for the Republican candidates for President for tomorrow’s foreign policy debate that will be broadcast on CBS beginning at 8pm Eastern. [...]

  • Oldskool

    Few of those questions would get straight answers. I’d most like to know from them and every other Republican, when do you know when your’re putting your partys interests ahead of your countrys. And was the debt ceiling debate a good example of it?

  • Consider Magazine » Blog Archive » Endpoint (11.11.11)

    [...] David Frum poses potential questions for the Republican candidates’ foreign policy debate [...]

  • midwest guy

    All great questions. The most obvious missing question is:

    The US has provided billions in aid to Israel over the past decades, and is treated increasingly as an irrelevant pest. What would you do to improve our relationship to Israel?

  • Southern Populist

    Question #1:

    My answer would be YES. The various GOP candidates (and Obama) would of course answer NO, except for RON PAUL.

    Question #3:

    A very misleading question.

    My answer would be “What you are really asking is whether I would support an American tax-payer funded BAILOUT of European banksters.”

    Uh, No.

    Question # 6:

    This question was good for a laugh. The question is so loaded with planted axioms and dubious assumptions I can’t even hypothetically answer it. The question assumes that:

    1) Preventing Iran from getting nuclear weapons is necessary.

    2) Iran does not legitimately need nuclear weapons for defensive purposes. Iran is only surrounded on all sides by enemies who hate them, including Turkey (NATO), Israel, the various Sunni nations, the US military in Afghanistan, and a small army of civilian “contractors” in Iraq. They also have to contend with drone flyovers and the CIA and Mossad’s assassins and spies.

    3) The US is the world’s policeman and therefore responsible for disarming Iran even though Iran has not attacked the United States – or any other country.

    4) That the US has the moral credibility to tell Iran what to do or not do with nuclear weapons when the US:

    - has more nuclear weapons than any nation in the world.

    - does not care that Israel has nuclear weapons.

    - is the only nation in the world to ever use nuclear weapons, and on civilians.

    • SpartacusIsNotDead

      Re #6, +1

    • roubaix

      How does the NPT survive if Iran completely disregards it?

      Isn’t it important to counteract Iran’s quest to dominate the region?

      Won’t Iran’s neighbors react by seeking to develop their own bombs?

      Isn’t it important to limit the number of nuclear countries in the most unstable part of the world?

      • Southern Populist

        How is the NPT going to survive given that Israel ignores it?

        Isn’t it important to counter Israel’s quest to dominate the region with their 300 nuclear war heads, nuclear submarines and willingness to use assassins and spies?

        Why shouldn’t Israel’s neighbors be allowed to develop nuclear weapons if Israel has them?

        Given that the United States has used nuclear weapons on civilian populations twice, isn’t it hypocritical for the United States to appoint itself the arbiter of which other countries get nuclear weapons?

  • Ogemaniac

    The one question that needs to be asked again and again:

    “We have steadily cut taxes over the last thirty years, and now have the lowest tax rates America has had in over two generations and the fourth lowest overall tax rates of the thirty-four nations of the Organization for Developed Countries. Yet our economy has struggled for the last ten years, and income equality is widening. Why do you believe that further tax cuts will reverse this course?”

    A second question, for Romney specifically though it applies to several of them. Huntsman is also a platinum-spoon baby.

    “Do you honestly believe you would be standing here today if your father had been a truck driver and your mother a waitress, rather than someone wealthy, powerful, and connected?”

    A third question:

    “We have, by a wide margin, the most market-oriented health care system of any advanced nation. It is also, by a wide margin, the most expensive health care system on earth, despite not insuring everyone, as is done in every other rich nation. Why do you believe that moving our system even further away from what is working better everywhere else will right the ship?”

    Or how about:

    “In modern times, the economy, as measured by both GDP and stock markets, have performed better under both Democratic presidents and times of higher marginal tax rates. How is this possible?”

    To Romney, again:

    “How can we trust you to resist the rightward pull of the Tea Party? Can you demonstrate to moderates that we can trust you to govern from the center and veto right-wing bills? Or will you, like governors such as Walker, Scott, and Kasich, lurch well to the right of public opinion after winning a narrow victory at the ballot box?”

    This is so much fun!

  • stuartamills

    The big question is:

    How will 9 9 9 fix all our foreign policy problems.

  • scoovyzoo

    My question would be simple:

    A show of hands – who thinks the situation in Afghanistan is acceptable as it stands now.

    It is January, 2013. You have been elected president. Please give us three specific policy differences from the Obama administration you would enact in regards to Afghanistan.

    (and “I wouldn’t bow to other leaders,” or “I wouldn’t apologize for America” don’t count :-)

  • SarahALYM

    Asking republican presidential candidates whether or not they believe in evolution and global warming has not only become de rigueur, but the intellectual high point of the debates, so Mr. Frum’s questions are surely a tongue-in-cheek commentary.

    Modern conservatism’s embrace of anti-intellectualism has left us with an army of elected officials who believe they don’t need to know anything other than that they love Jesus, their momma’s and the American flag to execute the duties of their office, and no where has that been demonstrated more clearly than republican presidential debates.

    My question for Mr. Frum is would he be so kind as to answer the questions that he’d put forth to the candidates? I visit this forum to learn something, and it would be a sad, missed opportunity to leave these questions hanging in the wind.

  • anniemargret

    Here’s mine: how about actually debating? Everytime you tune into these things it sounds like a forum for all of them to spew talking points and/or zany sound bites. Americans need to hear some real debating of the issues. Not just a smile and wink at each other.

    Get the gloves off. Who’s going to be the leader? Politics aside for once, and let’s hear their real views and then some challengers. Frankly, Cain should be weeded out. He has a history of allegations and settlements for sexual harassment. That SHOULD be an issue as a character defect for any person running for the presidency.

    Or is the ”morality’ issue which Republicans have used a rallying cry really just lip service with a wink and a nod? Inquiring minds want to know. Evidently his entire background is now being slipped under the carpet. We need the best and brightest, not the least common denominator on the national stage for so important a role.

  • anniemargret

    One more thing…they should show a little more respect for their questioners. No question should be criticized or ridiculed. I’m talking of course about Gingrich. His nasty and insulting demeanor is a real turn-off. He is getting some good questions, and it’s about time he answers them with some decorum and dignity instead of glaring at the interviewer.

    • Probabilistic

      The contrived scorn for questioners is to avoid being asked about his repeated ‘patriotic cheating’. This is the guy who said something to the effect of “Don’t quote me. You’d be lying”. Browbeating is his only recourse.

    • nuser

      What bothers me the most is the audience, they applaud enthusiastically to all the
      gobbledygook coming out of the contestants mouths. Those people are voters. And then there is Romney , or should I say Palin, bash Obama and cater to the Tea Party and tell lies .

  • FletcherHereICome

    I’d like to see the GOP candidates have to think on their toes rather than rattle off pre-scripted responses to questions that neither challenge the politicians nor provoke insightful foreign policy commentary. If one of these candidates hopes to lead the most economically and militarily powerful country in the world, he or she must prove to the American people that he or she has the capacity to engage complex foreign policy issues in a critical and intuitive manner. Essentially, questions directed towards these candidates should instead instigate instinctual responses that reflect the candidates’ decision-making abilities. I suggest addressing US policy with regards to the Middle East and the changing governments. For the most part the Obama administration has been more hands-off than its predecessor administrations with regards to the revolutions and protests. Would GOP candidates take an active or passive role in the development of Middle Eastern governments? Candidates should be asked about their reactions to the new Tunisian government with its moderate-Islamic tendencies. In additions, how would the candidates shift their policies towards Israel in light of the ongoing Arab Spring (or would they maintain current/past policy)?

  • colincb

    Need a question regarding Israel and one regarding Russia. To offset these additions, ditch the Canada question, which won’t get anything substantive except complaining about Obama’s pipeline deferral, and ditch the Euro question that they implicitly already addressed on Weds. Finally, change the Mexico question in some manner to ask what they would do in general. Only Ron Paul would go for a change in drug law and it’s doubtful Obama would either. Change the China question re Taiwan too. If Taiwan wants to cozy up with china, there’s not much we can do about it and we’re going to beef up our military in the US Territories anyway to keep a eye on the region.

    • gmat

      change the China question to, “Would you go to war with China to protect Taiwan?”

  • infillion

    Why are we wasting time with questions of foreign policy, when domestic policy is destroying the country. Let’s start with the only question that really matters first:
    1. Once you are sworn in as President of the United States of America, how many days will it take you to eliminate the number one treat to the nation… the Federal Reserve?

  • infillion

    P.S. Question 2: If Canada is so important to the well-being of the USA (trade/energy/water/etc), how long will it take you to influence Canada to eliminate its similar banking treat and “zero” gold reserves status… and how long will it take you to influence US/Canada national security measures that will allow the elimination of the ridiculous border between Canada and and USA?

    • SteveT

      I believe the government to say nothing of the people of Canada might want to be involved in that as well.

  • Happy Hour Roundup – World Wide Magazine, your internet eyes …

    [...] David Frum has some proposed questions for the next Republican debate, which will focus on foreign policy for a [...]

  • Happy Hour Roundup – World Wide Magazine, your internet eyes …

    [...] David Frum has some proposed questions for the next Republican debate, which will focus on foreign policy for a [...]

  • ottovbvs

    Quite a good list actually. The replies would be very entertaining not least in revealing the extent of the ignorance and superficiality of most of the candidates on these matters. But then I assume that is Frum’s goal.

  • Answering David Frum’s questions « Don Surber

    [...] the network asked him to supply some questions. Great. He can ask, and I shall supply the answers. He merrily wrote: “Are taxes lower or higher today than on the day President Obama was sworn into [...]

  • CarbonDate

    For follow-up: “To what extent do you feel our various overseas commitments have disincentivized other nations from taking responsibility for their own defense?”

    “To what extent do you feel that the use of U.S. power has exacerbated fears and tensions in nations with whom we have an adversarial relationship?”

    “Absent our commitment to the Republic of China (Taiwan), do we have any continuing reason to maintain such a large military presence on Guam, or to even hold on to that territory?”

    On the other side of the coin… “Were the U.S. to withdraw from its overseas commitments, what do you feel what come of the power vaccuum that would create?”

    And the kicker… “How has the U.S. benefited from its unyielding support for Israel?”

    • Ray_Harwick

      “How has the U.S. benefited from its unyielding support for Israel?”

      The sale of pure red heifers has sky rocketed among evangelical ranchers in Mississippi.

  • jorae

    “Are taxes lower or higher today than on the day President Obama was sworn into office?” Per Mr. Frume….They are lower…and I guess the joke is really, How sad that is…

    “Something is profoundly wrong with the way we live today. For thirty years we have made a virtue out of the pursuit of material self-interest: indeed, this very pursuit now constitutes whatever remains of our sense of collective purpose”….Tony Judt

    It urks me so, when I keep hearing this as a battle cry from the republicans. The more complex the world with ‘worms’ in computers, and fraud as the best way to make money…their answer is smaller government.

    We look at success everyday when we look at Norway…

    Our propaganda of greed … comes down to pure chance …… because free market is a gamble….Sink or Swim seem barbaric …but that is the republican platform.

    A group of malcontents- powerful men and 60 Roman Senators agreeded that Caesar was becoming a very benevolent dictator. His reforms was giving land to the poor, generally improving the lives of the poor. I feel this is the heart of republican thinking…

    When they succeeded, it ended the power of the Roman Senate.

    Always the taxes…always the money….always the greed…

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