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Republican Candidates on Europe

The Republican presidential candidates demonstrated some suspicion and negativity towards Europe, concludes the Atlantic Community:

Huckabee claims Europe is (unintentionally) to blame for some of the US' biggest terror threats, Romney is using an anti-European stance to further his campaign, Giuliani is turning away from Europe to focus on Asia, while McCain, appears committed to revitalizing transatlantic relations.

What do you think? Is that a fair assessment of the candidates' statement on Europe? And if yes, is their suspicion and negativity towards Europe justified?

The good news is certainly that John McCain is the frontrunner. For Europe he would be better than any other Republican candidate.

I appreciate your comments here and on Atlantic Community. Full disclaimer: Atlantic Community is my day job as editor-in-chief. Registration is required for commenting, but is real fast.

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David on :

Romney has a superior command of macro-economic issues and would be in a better position to work with his counterparts in Europe (despite his anti-Europe rhetoric) to resolve the looming global economic crisis that started with the US housing slump. The economy - not global terrorism - will be the big challenge in the coming years. Romney was effective as governor in attracting European investment in Massachusetts, and at Bain he was comfortable in doing deals in Europe. But at this stage it doesn't look all that promising for Mitt to get the nomination.

Don S on :

Guliani is dropping out today to endorse McCain and Huckabuck is an interesting no-hoper who has a chance to influence the party platform - but probably not on foreign relations. No, I see his influence will be in his recognition of the pain many ordinary Americans are experiencing in this lovely 'New World Order' we have constructed. That leaves McCain and Romney as the serious candidates remaining going into Super Tuesday, with McCain the clear frontrunner. David's comments about Romney are interesting. I'm not sure I agree with him that Romney is superior to McCain in dealing with the economic crisis, for two reasons. The first is that I'm not certain that the economic crisis will be a long term thing, and McCain has superior credentials in most of the other areas one would look at. The second is that if the economic crisis should prove to be long-lasting (like the Great Depression was for example) I feel the causes will be rather more fundamental than we perhasp realise today. And we will need reform rather than patches. I see Romney as a true believer in the current world order, which tells me that he is more likely to patch than to reform. He's too close to it, too much of the insider. McCain is more likely to be a reformer. He's never been an insider, not even in the Senate, the US's most exclusive political club. McCain is a bit of a heterodox - and I think we need a heterodox this year. One more thing I look at is which candidate would make the better effort of being a President for all the people rather than the priviledged few. McCain wins that one hands-down in my eyes.

franchie on :

Why I am doubful about Gomina-minet to look for good relations with EU, in particular France : http://wonkette.com/politics/mitt-romney/document-mitt-romney-hates-france-self-240015.php Might-be MacCain a wiser guy that has more international political will

Don S on :

Why I hate Romney Well actually I don't. But there are two things about Romney which grate on me. The first is his apparent opportunism - this is a political leopard who changes his stripes just a bit too much. As Governor of Massachusetts he was a *moderate* GOP'er, but as a Presidential candidate he's transmuted himself into a raging conservative. It doesn't quite wear. The other thing which I dislike is his background as a successful businessman. Normally this would not be a problem for me, but this year it is. I think the GOP has gotten way to chummy with the CEO and forgotten about the welfare of the employee, which is a great reason why they are suddenly losing elections left, right, and center. Because people ae fed up, and not just about Iraq. Not even primarily about Iraq, I think. So in this atmosphere you're going to nominate a successfull businessman so he can be chummy with the other businessmen on top? I don't theeeeennnnnkkkkkk so!

franchie on :

I can figure what you mean ; it's a bit what people also reproach to Sarkozy here What I answered to a comment on one of my favorite places : - so those chosen by the media (the media’s owners) hold the brass ring - that’s what we got for our last elections too : 2 stars, that the medias made sure they would be in the finale ; guess for whom did work those medias ? I see that politics turn around the good profile pics ; it started with the Blairism in UK, hey, the politicians in favor of the financial lobbies will always get the best images care over the ideas times, welcome to the reality show that is moderated of course

David on :

Don, You and I agree that health care in the US needs to be overhauled. Romney, together with the Democratic legislature in Massachusetts, did succeed in implementing an innovative program in the state that provides health insurance for every resident. So Romney is an innovator after all.

Don S on :

Never said he wasn't, David. But he's not running on his record - he's running away from it. And the part about the businessman stands. I'm one of those downwardly-mobile Americans whom Edwards talked about. Not the Katrina victim kind, but more the kicking and screaming work your ass off to keep up and still lose 30% of your salary kind. Which is far more common in the ranks of the GOP. Or was I should say. I'm fed up with fighting for survival every working day of my damned life. Mitt's friends are major players in creating the conditions which led to the slide of many like me, and I haven't seen a single sign that Mitty knows that or knows that something has got to change. So I'm not going to vote for him. McCain or Obama are far preferable - and maybe even Hillary - although I'm not at all impressed with the sense of entitlement that Bill seems to feel. And really unimpressed with the Clinton's (slightly veiled) racebaiting tactics!

Pat Patterson on :

O/T-The problem in Massachusetts is that there was and is a budget shortfall in the subsidized part of its new healthcare program of 22% in 2007, a projected shortfall of 30% for this year and 14% for 2009. It's difficult to claim expertise regarding ideas that are going to be prohibitively expensive and not easy to reform. Plus there has been absolutely no change in either mortality rates or infant mortality rates in the state over the last two years. Though admittedly it is way too soon to see much change except there should have been some positive numbers in infant mortality rate by now. The legislature in California used the Massachusetts numbers and simply threw in the towel when they realized that these programs were going to cost twice as much as estimated and not have much effect on basic health care. It just seems foolish to spend millions and possibly billions on a problem that can only hold the hope of a marginal increase.

David on :

"Plus there has been absolutely no change in either mortality rates or infant mortality rates in the state over the last two years." Very amusing: the program in Massachusetts just went into effect this year. I don't like Romney, and would not vote for him, but I give him credit for the health insurance program in Mass., which undoubtedly will save lives and allieviate some suffering in the state. As far as the economic slide being short-lived: we are now about 40% into the subprime crisis. Foreclosures will spike in Q3 & Q4 2008. Now watch for the next phase of the crisis: consumer credit card debt secured by second mortgages on properties which no longer have the value to cover the principal of first mortgages.

Pat Patterson on :

Yeah, that doesn't look right as I was using 2006 as the base year and 2007 as the year of the promised change in the infant mortality rate. Also some of the uninsured were elgible for coverage as of 2006 if they met certain income rules(below poverty level) but as of the end of 2007 residents were required to show on their state taxes that they had been covered the full year. Availability for some in 2006 but requirement for all elegible to be proven by the end of 2007. Still the estimate is in the read now and will cost twice as much as budgeted by 2008.

David on :

Pat- why don't you come to Massachusetts and tell the folks there that they would be much better off uninsured? I'm sure they would be moved by your research. You really buy into Dear Leader's heath care program: the more uninsured, the better. We are up to 50 million uninsured Americans, and it will only get worse as the economy slides into a recession. Nice Bush legacy!

Don S on :

David, from your description of the Massachusetts health insurance plan it sounds much like the French system. Mandadtory private insurance for most working people (possibly financed by their employer?). The other half of the plan is state subsidized insurance for those unable to finance it themselves. The major difference seems to be that the Massachusetts state subsidies aren't sufficient to cover those not paying for themselves. Thus the deficits Pat mentions. I'm uncertain how France manages to square the circle. Possibly through higher taxation, the lower administrative costs of a universal system, and possibly more rigorous gatekeeping limiting which treatments are available. I do know that the French health insurance is well regarded by the people who matter most - the 'customers'. Which speaks well for it. It's important not to forget the 'hidden' cost of a non-universal system - the costs to the society of having a significant portion of the populaion in poorer health than they should be because preventative care isn't available to the uninsured. Don't forget that the system in the US mostly pays for emergency care when an uninsured person collapses and has to be rushed to the hospital. So we're paying for the emergency care and paying for poor health. It could be that a limited form of publically financed or subsidised universal health insurance for the currently uninsured would actually save money - when all the costs of the current system are considered

franchie on :

Don, knowing Romney's love for us, and his way of deniyng it the day after, could be of his plan for the health insurance, as he stated lately that our civil nuclear energy is the model when he'll get in the decision place :lol: well, our system is OK if it was well managed ; the problem is its heavy administration and its rules : the hospitals have a year budget that is allowed according to the previous year spendings ; so the directors are using the whole marge, even in spending with new technologies they don't have the need, in case their budget would be reduced for the next year ; idem, for the stayings of the patients, they made/make sure that they last to the maximum allowed ; I remember when I had my children, I had to stay 12 days interned, even if all was ok with me and the babies ; but I went out there more tired than if I had stayed at home, because of the rules and the noise. about our poorests, well it's a good thing that everyone has the access to the health care, but there are many abuses that are not controlled ; an example, I had an employee who were absent 240 days in a year, because of the laxism of physiciens and the health administration itself : that woman wasn't sicker than me, she was just a good comedian ; thus she got a new dentition, new glasses every year (the top model, for her whole family idem) I explain, I employed her with a contract "retour à l'emploi", I had 30 % less charges to pay and she still could receive her RMI, an allocation for the poorests ; at the end, she cost me a lot more, cause I had to employ extra interimaires to replace her. and she could get paid staying at home with health insurance too. But doctors, dentists, are becoming fed up that such persons squat their office and make fly away the normal customers ; that's why some refuse to take them anymore ; we had a few media scandals lately ; Now, something has to be done, more controls on the spendings, as well as far the administration is concerned, as well as far as the poorests take profit of their rights.

franchie on :

well, 240 days in two years was ment, sorry

David on :

Don, You are correct, but Massachusetts is doing the best it can in the context of a broken system. I support with all my heart any system that can save lives - as imperfect as it is. Hats off to Romney for trying. Too bad he has to diaavow this achievement to win the Republican nomination.

bashy on :

does anyone know what McCain's thinks of the united nations? I trust mcCain with the military, but not with protecting the US borders. as for the negative talk towards europe they could be just olaying to their base. the europeans are pretty good at bashing the Us when they are running for office too. schroeder went overboard with his anti americanism when he ran for his second term. got him elected, but he didn't last to long.

Sonja on :

What do you all think about Mrs Clinton's ability to reform the health care system this time? Did she learn the hard way, by her first failure as first lady? Would she do a better job now?

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