Richardson, Gingrich spar over candidates' foreign policy strengths
October 21st, 2012
10:40 AM ET
10 years ago

Richardson, Gingrich spar over candidates' foreign policy strengths

(CNN) - Former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich both said Sunday that Libya is a strong point of contention on foreign policy - the subject of Monday night's presidential debate - but argued over which candidate has more leverage on the topic.

Speaking on CNN's "State of the Union," Gingrich said the Obama administration's handling of last month's attacks on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, which resulted in the deaths of four Americans, will be a tough record to defend.

- Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker

- Check out the CNN Electoral Map and Calculator and game out your own strategy for November.

In last week's debate, President Barack Obama took responsibility for the security of State Department personnel, saying ultimately the buck stops at his desk. "That's why nobody's more interested in finding out exactly what happened than I do," the president said.

Gingrich pointed to Obama's words and criticized the lack of robust security at the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, adding the whole episode represents a larger narrative of the president's foreign policy track.
"If we can't figure out what went on in a relatively open city in a country we had helped liberate, why do we think we know what's going on with Iran's nuclear program?" the former Republican presidential candidate said.

He continued: "I think you can go country by country and see some of the fraying at the edges of the Obama policy."

Richardson, however, described GOP nominee Mitt Romney as being unprepared for the Oval Office, specifically citing his widely criticized initial response to the violence. Romney's campaign put out a statement the night of the Libya consulate attack, as well as the breaching of the U.S. Embassy in Cairo. The following morning, Romney held a press conference, attacking Obama on foreign policy. Democrats and some Republicans criticized the response as one that was hastily made.

"Gov. Romney just seems to be bluster, blunder, cowboy-alone foreign policy," Richardson, a Democrat, told CNN chief political correspondent Candy Crowley. "I'm troubled at this time when we had the Benghazi crisis, he's trying to make political gain."

The former governor, who also served U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, argued Obama had made progress in the Middle East in the last four years, pointing to the killing of Osama bin Laden and renewed military focus on Afghanistan.

Richardson said the president has a major "advantage when it comes to foreign policy."

Filed under: 2012 • Bill Richardson • Libya • Mitt Romney • Newt Gingrich • President Obama • Presidential Debates
soundoff (29 Responses)
  1. nina

    hello people.....look up Solomere....a company that is owned by Tagg Romney and set to make millions & millions with influence on decisions that mitt would make as president......its all about money the romneys & super PAC investors & lobbyists will make if mitt is in the WH. again....mitt is not for the middle about his son Tagg's company and all the influencial wealthy people involved who again, will make MILLIONS and control your fate over healthcare, education etc if mitt gets in....ITS ABOUT MONEY NOT THE MIDDLE CLASS. do your homework. Look up the Solamere Capital...same kinda company as Bain Capital except Tagg romney owns it......I am warning whats at stake....there is a reason mitt Needs to win the whitehouse cuz there's a lot of rich hungry men waitin to get their pay back for investing in tagg's company. This is serious stuff. this election for mitt is about MONEY...purely getting richer and making more rich people rich. There is alot of rich people who stand to make a lot more money if he has keys to the white house.

    October 21, 2012 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  2. Ancient Texan

    Donkey Party- SO the death of 4 Americans, one of them an Ambassador, is not worthy of comment from Americans that question the actions and policy decisions of the present incompetent regime?

    October 21, 2012 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  3. works4me

    Geeeze when George W Bush lied to the American people about WMD it cost us thousands of lives and trillions of dollars.
    How soon we forget !

    October 21, 2012 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  4. Anonymous


    Did you really need to be TOLD it was a terrorist attack? I kinda figured that out myself the night it happened.

    October 21, 2012 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
1 2