A Foreign Perspective on the U.S. Presidential Debate

Last night saw the clash of U.S. President incumbent Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney over economic policies, healthcare, and tax cuts, all in the hopes they could win over American votes for the Presidential election in 2012. While most Americans tuned in, you can be sure that there were also foreign citizens watching the debate intensely, aware of the effect this election can have on U.S. international policies and trade.
The example World on Safari uses is Spain, the only nation mentioned in the debate other than China. It was Governor Romney who brought up Spain’s failing economy, warning the American people to steer clear of a similar economic path. Spain’s reaction to Governor Romney’s remarks were quite indignant. Spain’s Secretary-General Maria Dolores de Cospedal commented that many people who perhaps have an interest in an unstable euro are putting unfair blame on Spain, (similar to Greece). Spain touted that its nation was an example for economic recovery after hardship, and made clear that many Spanish took great offense to Governor Romney’s quip about spending too much on government. As Presidential nominees, both candidates should put American interests first without question. That being said, it is not a good idea to go out-of-the-way to bad-mouth other nations, especially those we are trying to build better relations with. Dealings with China are known to be tense, so to call the Chinese cheaters and the Spanish failures in a widely media covered debate is not the most diplomatic action a Presidential candidate can make.

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