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Republican Debate on Foreign Policy

There are four main reasons that Republicans have been ignoring foreign policy. First, polls show that voters hardly care about it. “Republicans realize this will be a referendum on Obama’s economy, and they’re speaking to that,” said Greg Mueller, the president of CRC Public Relations, which works with conservative candidates and advocacy groups. “It’s like in 1992, except that instead of saying, ‘It’s the economy, stupid,’ they’re saying, ‘It’s the Obama economy, stupid.’ ” Second, national security hasn’t been a weak point for Obama… – The National Journal

CBS News and the National Journal team up for tonight’s debate. Live streaming is here.

With the economy on everyone’s minds, Pres. Obama’s disapproval now at a new high, and after Bush-Cheney’s foreign policy adventurism, foreign policy isn’t the Republicans’ trump card any more. The other problem is that Pres. Obama has continued much of what George W. Bush started, while expanding in Afghanistan, with his assassination order on bin Laden and Anwar al-Awlaki proving Mr. Obama is anything but “weak on national security,” the favorite talking point of the right.

NJ has compiled terrific cheat sheets on the GOP candidates’ foreign policy dossiers.

Mitt Romney’s foreign policy ideas deserve the closest scrutiny, as he’s still likely to be the nominee.

But I’m wondering how Herman Cain will survive the night. He can’t revert to his 9-9-9 regurgitated talking points, with foreign policy his jaw dropping weakness.

This is a chance of Jon Huntsman to shine and keep his hopes of challenging Romney in New Hampshire alive, while Ron Paul, even though he rarely gets the credit he deserves on foreign policy, will certainly be challenging the Republican establishment and making them very uncomfortable.

As for Rick Perry, he’s launched a $975,000 ad buy on Fox News Channel to try to resurrect his candidacy, which I believe is actually about being able to go back to Texas short of disgraced.

Of course, on Saturday night it’s hard to imagine just how many potential primary voters will even be watching.

However, the political junkie class will have the popcorn ready, because Newt Gingrich has got to think he’s within striking distance of being the Romney alternative. Conservatives are desperate for one.

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