Listen Up, America! What the world thinks of the GOP candidates
January 27th, 2012
06:51 PM ET

Listen Up, America! What the world thinks of the GOP candidates

Editor's Note: Every week, the Global Public Square brings you some must-read editorials from around the world addressed to America and Americans. The series is called Listen up, America!

Americans are not the only ones following the race for the Republican presidential ticket. In a column earlier this week, Fidel Casto, former leader of Cuba, called the Republican primary the "greatest competition of idiocy and ignorance that has ever been." Others outside the U.S are interested as well.

Germany – “Those who follow this race daily may have long since lost perspective on how absurd it is,” writes Marc Pitzke in the Hamburg-based Der Spiegel. Commenting on CNN's debate in Florida earlier this week, Pitzke writes,

“For 120 minutes they "debated" the "hot topics," producing sound bites but offering no insight into how these men would cope with the enormous challenges facing the U.S. The most important topic for voters, the economy, wasn't addressed at all.”

Turkey – “Mr. Gingrich is the ultimate tough politician,” writes Mustafa Akyol in the Istanbul-based Hurriyet Daily News. Besides Obama, Akyol says, Gingrich “seems to have two main enemies: 'socialism' (which would be called the welfare state in this part of the world) and secularism.”

“The latter is an especially big theme in Gingrich’s campaign, as he routinely condemns the “anti-religious bigotry” of the “American elite,” which he sees as the root of all evils. … I must say, at least some of Gingrich’s criticisms against secularism make sense to me."

Canada – “If anyone can talk his way into the White House it should be Newt Gingrich,” says an editorial in the Toronto-based Globe and Mail. Yet, Romney remains the one to beat:

“While Mitt Romney is, of course, not perfect, and has sought to accommodate his policies to the Tea Party and other radicals in his party, he stands out as a plausible candidate.”

China – “The candidates bidding to be the leader of the world's only superpower should shoulder their responsibilities and consider their words with care,” says an editorial in China Daily.

“To a large extent, the ongoing presidential primary elections and caucuses in the United States have been dominated by talk about the country's economic travails and the stubbornly high unemployment, with the candidates all too often pointing the finger of blame at China as the cause of the country's domestic distress.”

New Zealand – “The Republicans have no answer to Obama, period,” writes Paul Holmes in the Auckland-based New Zealand Herald.

“Mitt Romney looks like Ken Doll turned 60 and appears to have the usual rich man's tax greed. The blowhard Newt Gingrich once begged a former wife for an open marriage and has a record of stuffing up all political power he's ever had.”

United Arab Emirates – “Attacking a Democratic president as weak on national security is de rigueur for Republicans, just as trash-talking China and promising to love Israel more and better than the incumbent has become a campaign standard for candidates of both parties,” writes Tony Karon in the Abu Dhabi-based National.

"So when [foreign policy is] discussed at all on the campaign trail, the candidates default to crowd-pleasing posturing, always casting themselves as tougher and more principled than the incumbent - which, of course, they are, until they find themselves shackled to the realities of power."

Australia – "It is messy but it is arguably a more direct, open and robust system than Australia's," says an editorial in the Sydney Morning Herald.

“As the candidates noisily criss-cross the nation, debating and pouring scorn on one another, voters get the opportunity to judge them close up, warts and all. Few come through the ordeal unscathed. Many waste huge sums of money in the process.”

soundoff (17 Responses)
  1. sameh

    Lighting engineer played the minds of the masses

    January 27, 2012 at 9:14 pm | Reply
  2. maryam

    See the elephant is dying and die a very sad situation

    January 27, 2012 at 9:15 pm | Reply
  3. j. von hettlingen

    It comes as no surprise that the two GOP candidates don't impress the international community. Gingrich's "anti-secularism" seemed to resonate well in Turkey's ears, which got rid of its generals – defenders of Attaturk's secularism. China took the opportunity to retort the U.S. criticism towards its currency policy.

    January 28, 2012 at 6:08 am | Reply
    • Joseph McCarthy

      The only thing that these two G.O.P. candidates understand is winning and greed! They hate the Muslims with a burning passion, want to take control of Cuba, force the English language on everybody and care nothing for the poor, the middle class nor our elderly. The irony here is that this same party was founded in 1854 by Abraham Lincoln, a flaming liberal to oppose slavery here in the U.S. How the Republicans have changed over the past 150 years!!!

      January 28, 2012 at 10:53 am | Reply
  4. jakson

    The most powerful horror film in the history of world cinema

    January 28, 2012 at 9:34 pm | Reply
  5. Mike Couture

    Unfortunately, only because humans are human party politics are better than autocracy. Its equally unfortunate that in a democracy the loyal opposition feels its role to "oppose" everything outweighs its role to contribute. The wasted energy is counter productive.

    January 29, 2012 at 3:08 pm | Reply
    • Prodigal

      Very astute my friend ... which is my way of saying "sad but true.."

      February 13, 2012 at 3:54 am | Reply
  6. John

    Pity you couldn't find a single quote about Ron Paul.

    Of course you would be hard pressed to find a bad quote. Perhaps that's the issue.

    January 30, 2012 at 4:13 pm | Reply
  7. /

    Who cares what a bunch of quasi socialists think? I vote for the candidate who will lead us away from the socialist public sector debacle that has literally destroyed Western Europe.

    If they want to be a bunch of idiots, let 'em go!

    February 1, 2012 at 6:40 am | Reply
    • Bigdeal

      Those socialistic govt were fine until greedy US banks sold them fuzzy bundles of derivatives. Its time the US admitted its crime in this economic crisis.

      February 2, 2012 at 5:00 pm | Reply
      • Prodigal

        And let us not forget not only the US the bank's responsibility is this mess; let us also remember the assinine foreign policy implemented by the last GOP government ... along with their spending ... spending that would choke the collective goat population of the world. And yet, NOW, the GOP has the gall to lay blame on the current administation for the economic mess... while opposing every policy and attempt to fix the mess made by the present government. Hypocrites.

        Finally, do your homework voter ... if you Americans truly could see your country through the eyes of the world, and not just through your jingoistic lenses, you would be astonished and mortified at how little respect is left for your greed and undeniable lack of vision when it comes to the REST OF THE WORLD!

        Like Horton Hears a Who ... WE ARE HERE! WE ARE HERE! WE ARE HERE!

        At least do your homework voters. Stop voting for a canidate simply because he or she belongs to some party you support ... vote because they deserve it ... if you can find anyone who does that is.

        February 13, 2012 at 4:16 am |
    • Scott

      Socialism didn't "literally" destroy Europe, nationalism and bombs did.

      February 21, 2012 at 11:02 am | Reply
  8. Mike

    The international consensus on the Repub candidates is right, of course. They just call out what Americans refuse to admit: the Emperor (America) has no clothes. Americans, all puffed up with false pride and self-importance, refuse to acknowledge their own blemishes and refuse to entertain the idea that ANY good idea can originate anyplace other than America. It's a parochial, arrogant view. No wonder Americans are despised in so many parts of the world. Ultimately, America will go the way of Rome, unable to prevent its own idiocy from dooming it as a world power.

    February 6, 2012 at 12:40 pm | Reply
    • Prodigal

      Well said.

      February 13, 2012 at 4:21 am | Reply
  9. Franny

    Why would anyone in their right mind vote for the folks that got us into this mess? Is it to let them finish the Country? Good grief folks we better stand behind the best one for this Nation, and that's President Obama. He's slowly pulling us out of the mess the last Administration put us in. With all the tax breaks, and not including two wars in the overall budget? Is it no wonder it will take several more years to repair the damage. We pay for wars with tax increases, and not cuts. Now with the Supreme Courts decision naming corporations as people? There's no telling what will happen, after all they made the selection in 2000.

    February 7, 2012 at 7:28 am | Reply
  10. Voice1

    I never thought GOP will get any worse than G W Bush; but I have been proved wrong. These last four are reaching new lows.

    February 26, 2012 at 2:31 pm | Reply

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