(Des Moines, IA) Republican presidential candidate George W. Bush is calling for what he terms an era of “New American Internationalism.”
The Texas Governor is scheduled to deliver a foreign policy address on Friday. The speech caps a week in which a biographical book about Bush has been released and Bush has stepped up his campaign appearances, making stops on the television talk-show circuit.
The foreign policy speech also comes on the heels of an embarrassing incident on a Boston TV station when Bush was quizzed by a reporter who asked Bush to name foreign leaders in four “hot spots” around the globe.
During a news conference Thursday morning in Des Moines, Bush gave reporters a brief sneak preview of the worldview he’ll formally outline Friday.
“I’m going to talk about how America must not retreat within our borders, how we must lead the world to peace,” Bush said. “We can’t lead the world to peace by ourselves, but we can with out friends and allies…We must have free trade and a stronger military and strong alliances.”
Bush rejected the clarion call of some in both his party and the democratic party who worry U.S. trade agreements are hurting American workers and leading to environmental damage in developing countries.
“America must seize the moment. That stands in stark contrast with those who believe we ought to retreat within our borders. I know we need to have a new American internationalism,” Bush said.
For example, Bush supports the idea of admitting China to the World Trade Organization.
“I hear all the talk about free trade hurts workers. I strongly disagree. I think free trade keeps our economy vibrant so people will be able to find high paying, higher-quality jobs,” he said.
But Bush supports the trade embargo against Cuba, which he termed a totalitarian regime.”
“I believe that capital flowing to Cuba will prop up Fidel Castro,” Bush said in response to a reporter’s question on the subject.
Bush was asked to contrast his worldview with that advanced by his father, who was U.S. President from January, 1989 to January, 1993.
“I’m going to give you a preview of my speech, and then you can make those conclusions,” Bush said.
Bush listed several priorities: trade markets in the Western Hemisphere; a peaceful Middle East and a secure Israel; a strong Europe, especially NATO; as well as strengthened diplomatic and trade ties with Russia, China and other countries in the Far East.