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Rick Santorum’s take on the Middle East crisis
Anti Palestine talk and military attack on Iran is the general consensus of Republicans as has been evidenced by their open views on the matter. The Middle East issue sometimes even overshadows the fearce debate over Obama’s disputed health care initiative, aka the Obamacare.
According to Ali Younes, Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum has advocated use of military force against Iran to stop its nuclear program whereas he prefers that US remains neutral in the Palestinian struggle for an independent state in Israel, as the issue is an “internal matter”.
In fact except for Ron Paul, these views have been expressed by other members of the Republican Party as well. Newt Gingrich, another Republican Presidential hopeful went so far as to say “the Palestinians are an invented people”.
Despite a history where Americans fought a war with British for Independence, Santorum’s stand on the issue is quote “These people are there in the state of Israel and it’s up to Israel to decide” unquote. Interestingly, Santorum had difficulty calling the people Palestinians and kept referring to them as “these people”, stressing again that “these people are in Israel” when countered with the logic of America’s war of Independence that gave rise to the United States of America.
Santorum’s views seem to mirror the Republican and Conservative thinking that Iran’s nuclear program is a threat to United States as well as Israel. While editorials advise against a military strike on Iran, Republicans including Santorum have expressed their concern for Iran’s Arab neighbors in the wake of nuclear empowerment of the nation. According to Santorum, nuclear arms in Iran are likely to prove more dangerous to the neighboring Sunni Muslim population than to United States.
To press home its demand, a Republican congressional delegation held a meeting with France and the Arab nations to increase pressure on Iran to abort its nuclear mission. Ileana Ross-Lehtinen, the Republican chairman of the House foreign affairs committee stated that purpose of the meeting was to garner support from US allies against the threat that Iran posed for US and Israel.
In their official statement regarding the trip, Ross-Lehtinen and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor stressed on the Arab nations to “stand by Israel, support its right to defend itself and press the Palestinian leadership so that a true lasting peace may be achieved” – a move that did not go down well with radio talk show host Ray Hanania who condemned the Congress visit to the Arab states that sought to seek support for Israel by exploiting the situation in Iran. Hanania likened their actions to that of a thief. Santorum’s narrow minded views were also attached by the talk show host.
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‘I’m Not Concerned About The Very Poor’ says Mitt Romney
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is once again in the news, this time for saying that he is not concerned about the poor.
“I’m in this race because I care about Americans. I’m not concerned about the very poor. We have a safety net there. If it needs repair, I’ll fix it,” Romney said further adding “I’m not concerned about the very rich, they’re doing just fine. I’m concerned about the very heart of the America, the 90 percent, 95 percent of Americans who right now are struggling.”
Since then, Romney has been busy replying to questions on his apparent lack of concern for the poor. However Romney clarified that while the rich do not need concern and the poor are taken care of by the state’s safety net, it is the middle class Americans that he is focusing on, contrary to the Democrats focus on the poor. This corresponds with his consistent views on the Obamacare health care law.
Citing food stamps, housing vouchers and Medicaid as examples of the safety net for the poor, Romney admitted that there were holes in these safety measures which needed to be plugged.
However Romney’s assurance of the safety net may be premature as the Medicaid budget is likely to face some cuts as states try to balance their budgets. Food stamps may also come under the hammer despite rising food prices. To make matters worse, while Medicaid and food stamps may have to do with a lower budget, more and more people are currently in need of this program in the face of increasing recession.
Romney’s own policies are looking to restructure the social safety net with a five percent cut. He is also advocating a block grant program for Medicaid while also talking of curtailing spends at 20% of GDP. But this is not all. There is also talk of additional cuts to reign in government spending.
Mitt Romney who is also the former founder of Bain Capital with assets over $200 million has come under attack by his competitors for being disconnected with the economic reality and for his infamous comments. For instance in October, Romney supported foreclosures in Las Vegas with a hard hitting statement “Don’t try and stop the foreclosure process. Let it run its course and hit the bottom,” In yet another unpopular comment in January Romney said ”I like being able to fire people who provide services to me”.
In turn, Andrea Saul, Romney’s spokeperson spoke against President Obama’s policies that have led to a slow economy, rising unemployment and increasing poverty and has expressed eagerness to debate on the issue with the President.