July 16, 2024

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Biden aims to portray Trump as a man whose foreign policy makes him too dangerous to be in the Oval Office

Biden aims to portray Trump as a man whose foreign policy makes him too dangerous to be in the Oval Office


President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump’s foreign policy positions have at times seemed like an afterthought. Elections with domestic concerns at their heart.

However, with two hot wars, Increasing global instability and right-wing inclination towards It will be difficult for Biden and Trump to avoid isolationism – in the United States and abroad The topic is in Thursday night’s debate in Atlanta.

The Biden campaign hopes to make domestic issues such as the economy and reproductive rights the focus of the president’s reelection argument. But it was foreign policy that consumed much of his time during his first term, including during his term Right before Thursday’s debatewhen Biden embarked on successive trips to Europe.

His close advisers have frankly acknowledged, especially since October 7, that events abroad have more than once – and more often than his team would like – diverted the president’s attention away from important domestic issues.

Unlike previous presidential election cycles, there is no scheduled debate devoted solely to foreign policy, which in the past provided the opportunity for in-depth contrasts on world affairs between Republican and Democratic candidates.

Instead, Biden’s advisers expect these issues to arise as part of the broader discussion unfolding on the debate stage in Atlanta on Thursday. To that end, Jake Sullivan, the president’s national security adviser, was one of more than a dozen senior advisers who joined Biden at Camp David this week to lead the group’s foreign policy discussions, according to a source familiar with the preparations. .

As much as the Biden team prefers to remain focused on issues closer to home, it has also long viewed foreign policy as one of the clearest ways to show a contrast with Trump in presidential leadership.

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If foreign policy issues arise Thursday evening, the contrast Biden will try to draw could not be starker, one campaign official told CNN.

“President Biden stands up to tyrants and stands up for freedom — Trump is a loser, too dangerous and too reckless to go near the Oval Office again,” the official said.

Trump has repeatedly accused Biden of presiding over a chaotic world that, he says, was much calmer during his four years in office.

One potential difficulty Biden and his advisers may face is defining Trump’s positions on several foreign policy areas. He has said few substantive things about the war in Gaza, offering mild criticism of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the beginning of the conflict while still supporting Israel’s war against Hamas.

Since then, he has taken various positions: encouraging Israel to “end the problem” with Hamas, advising Israel to “stop killing people” and “get it over with,” and suggesting that Israel stop publishing videos of its efforts in Gaza to solve the problem. A PR problem – all without providing details. He also vowed to crack down on pro-Palestinian demonstrators in the United States.

Regarding Ukraine, Trump claimed that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion would never have happened while he was in office, and promised that he would resolve the conflict in a day — without explaining how.

While he has taken a tough tone on China, vowing to impose harsh tariffs on all Chinese imports, his record as president has been more conciliatory, striking a trade deal that Beijing later backed away from.

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Trump’s ambiguous positions on foreign policy mirror the approach he took in office, when he often cited his personal feelings and inner feelings to explain tactics like meeting with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un.

But this also may make it more difficult to define a clear line of attack for Biden. Instead, the president will likely exploit the ways in which he has strengthened American leadership on the world stage, strengthened American alliances, and championed democracy abroad, according to the campaign official.

Regarding Trump, Biden is expected to make a broad accusation: that Trump has abandoned US allies, cozyed up to dictators and made the world less safe overall.

The official added: “Donald Trump constantly praises autocratic leaders and tyrants, vows to sell out our allies, and undermines our democracy.”

As in other areas, the Biden team relied on Trump’s own words to frame its attacks. For example, Trump’s comment that he would “encourage” Russia to “do whatever they want” to NATO allies if they didn’t spend enough on defense was a moment that Biden has repeatedly exploited in arguing against his predecessor’s leadership.

Trump’s pledge to act like a “dictator” on the first day of his presidency provided Biden with an opportunity to warn of the global consequences if Trump returns to office.

However, political risks abound for Biden in foreign affairs. The war in Gaza has sparked anger among progressives, many of whom accuse Biden of fueling the humanitarian crisis by supplying weapons to Israel.

But he received little credit from Republicans, too, who accused the president of abandoning Israel after he halted shipments of some heavy bombs.

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Netanyahu did not make Biden’s position any easier by accusing the administration of delaying arms shipments and taking ambiguous positions on the US-backed ceasefire proposal that Biden hopes will end the fighting.

Regarding Ukraine, the president has succeeded in rallying the West to support Kiev, but Trump has taken an isolationist stance and opposes any additional aid.

While Biden says that could leave the country vulnerable to Russian advances, Trump’s position has been echoed within the Republican Party — which accuses the president of ignoring problems at home while sending billions of dollars abroad.

Ultimately, perhaps the greatest risk Biden faces is appearing overly focused on foreign issues at the expense of the issues facing Americans every day.

Speaking alongside Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky at the G7 summit in Italy earlier this month, Biden acknowledged that the war in Ukraine had been a “test for the world,” with questions testing Western resolve amid inflation and rising nationalism.

“Will we stand with Ukraine? Will we stand for sovereignty and freedom and against tyranny?” He said. “The United States, the G7, and other countries around the world have consistently answered this question by saying, ‘Yes, we will stand.’ And we will do it again. Yes, over and over again.”

This story has been updated with additional reporting.