The eight Republican presidential candidates discussed foreign policy at their latest debate in South Carolina in Saturday night, with Iran being top of the agenda. And while they all agreed that something needs to be done about Tehran’s supposed nuclear ambitions, there was little agreement as to what that ‘something’ might be.
Perhaps the most aggressive in terms of staking out the options was Newt Gingrich, who appeared to leave all options on the table. Mitt Romney also sounded pretty tough, saying that an Obama re-election would lead to a nuclear Iran while a Romney victory would result in no nuclear Iran. Ron Paul, meanwhile, dismissed much of this as the kind of pro-war propaganda that led to Iraq and Afghanistan.
There was also discussion of the situation in Pakistan. Rick Perry suggested that the country should perhaps no longer receive US aid, while others – most notably Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorum – seemed more wary, warning that the US should remember that its aid money helps improve influence with nuclear countries such as Pakistan.