October 19th, 2012
10:29 AM ET

What readers want the candidates to talk about

By Jason Miks

Earlier this week, GPS asked readers which foreign policy issues the presidential candidates should be discussing. The discussion in the second debate, on Tuesday night, focused largely on Libya, specifically the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi and the death of Ambassador Christopher Stevens. But readers also had some other ideas about what they want discussed. With the third and final presidential debate taking place Monday, and with foreign policy as the theme, here’s what GPS readers say they are looking for:

Mithila Saraf” was one of many who suggested that Iran’s nuclear program should be the key U.S. concern.

“Between America’s commitments to Israel and the escalating tensions between Iran and several of its neighbors, America’s action (or inaction) in this matter will be vital to how the situation unfolds,” Saraf said. “So far, the Obama administration has held a firm verbal stance, but there has been little inclination towards physical force. Several Republicans have expressed…that they would want to change that.”

But “Aurea Penner” questions whether the United States really should be getting more deeply entangled overseas.

“The U.S. cannot afford to be the police of the world while its debt is spiraling out of control,” Penner wrote at a time when the U.S. debt has passed the $16 trillion mark. “Read Obama’s speech [from the] 2004 Democratic convention and his book The Audacity of Hope, his core values have not changed. He is for a strong middle class and leveling the playing field for everyone to give our children opportunities to optimize their utmost potential. America has to lead by examples, respecting other cultures and faith, live and let live!”

Penner might, then, approve of the suggestions put forward by “Gboly Obdulate”, who calls for a deeper focus on investment, tourism, and trade in Africa generally, and stronger engagement with power players in the region such as Nigeria, South Africa and Ghana, specifically.

“Nigeria affects oil prices worldwide as it is currently the 7th largest oil producer in the world in addition to having the largest natural gas reserves in the world,” Gboly Obdulate said. (The Nigerian National Oil Corporation, for its part, states that Nigeria is actually Africa’s largest producer of oil, and the sixth largest oil producing country in the world). “It is also the largest ‘black country’ on the planet with over 160 million citizens…That’s160 million consumers of goods and services. Just a more robust foreign policy in that area from the present administration would do wonders.”

Such peaceful engagement appears to motivate an even grander suggestion by "Charles Davis" – implementing a nuclear weapons free Middle East.

“This would require mutual inspection by Iran, Israel and countries in the region that aspire to nuclear weapons, e.g., Saudi Arabia and Egypt,” Davis said. “Better yet would be to extend it to India and Pakistan. The annihilation that use of nuclear weapons would bring is so great it prevents their being used for their destructive purpose. Their main purpose now is to support international bullying. That should stop.”

Some readers, meanwhile, were more succinct, but no less emphatic about what they want Barack Obama and Mitt Romney to talk about. “Rotney O’Shea”, for example, simply noted: “Global warming. Iran. Global inequality. Why we are still in Afghanistan? What are we going to do about Syria?”


soundoff (96 Responses)
  1. Stop hindu Jew's, criminal self centered, secular's.

    Regardless who is voted in, he will have no power to do right, but to obey hid hindu sanatan, filthy goon Jew's, seculars, deniers of truth absolute GOD. America is not inhabited by free human but gentile's, slaves of hindu Jew's, terrorist self centered. To learn truth about hindu criminal Judaism, filthy secular ism, please visit limitisthetruth.com

    October 21, 2012 at 10:22 pm | Reply
  2. dd

    Will Obama let Americans die overseas? Will he continue to let drug cartels have free access to US cities? Is Obama anti-American?

    October 21, 2012 at 11:03 pm | Reply
  3. REDFIRESTORM

    Let romney sound like fareed zararia while obama drops to his knees and cries in shame-CNN BREAKING NEWS: AMERICA LOVES ROMNEY AND RYAN! romney fire has turned magic blue to romnesia red across the country - judgment made can never bend now - The public already knows the negative talking points about obama foreign record - congress will handle any criminality/ lack of accountabilty involved. romney does not need to waste valuable debate time rehashing what we already know thanx to CNN. obama is undergoing intense programming to defend and deflect - axelrod supervising this therapy. romney can stay on the high road since the public already judged obama before congress had the chance to do so. blind obama believers can quake in fear of how romney will lay out in specific detail his view of the world condition, how it effects our nation and how economic growth ties in with solving international problems in innovative ways never dreamed of by team obama - just keep looking in that full length mirror and beating on romney pillows. people like romney, and will like him even more after monday night. two men debating: one prepared to offer positive solutions, the other anticipating negative problems - something axelrod and all the intense therapy in the world cannot change now.

    October 22, 2012 at 2:31 am | Reply
  4. Andy

    why should tough on China, we need each other dependenily

    October 22, 2012 at 5:00 am | Reply
  5. jman

    Everybody's rants on this page remind me of that new movie "The Campaign". You all sound just as stupid and radical as that movie. Dems and Reps BOTH need to get their facts straight before posting on here. You are making yourselves look silly. Just stop it.

    October 22, 2012 at 6:45 am | Reply
  6. nc1965

    OHIO
    Real clear politics
    FOX News 10/17 – 10/18 46 43 Obama +3
    Bye Bye Romney

    MICHIGAN
    Real Clear Politics
    Rasmussen Reports (a conservative leaning pollster) 52 45 Obama +7
    Bye Bye Romney

    WISCONSIN
    Real Clear Politics
    Rasmussen Reports (a conservative leaning pollster) 10/18 – 10/18 50 48 Obama +2
    NBC/WSJ/Marist 10/15 – 10/17 51 45 Obama +6
    Bye Bye Romney

    IOWA
    Real Clear Politics
    Rasmussen Reports (a conservative leaning pollster) 10/7 – 10/18 49 47 Obama +2
    NBC/WSJ/Marist 10/15 – 10/17 51 43 Obama +8
    WeAskAmerica 10/15 – 10/15 49 46 Obama +3
    Bye Bye Romney

    PENNSYLVANIA
    Real Clear Politics
    Rasmussen Reports (a conservative leaning pollster) 10/10 – 10/18 51 46 Obama +5
    Quinnipiac 10/12 – 10/14 50 46 Obama +4
    PPP 10/12 – 10/14 51 44 Obama +7
    Bye Bye Romney

    October 22, 2012 at 6:52 am | Reply
  7. Uber News Network (UNN) ©

    We would like the presidential candidates to focus on the following aspects of foreign policy in the debate and how they intend to deal with defragmenting India for sustainability purposes and poverty eradication.

    The American invasion of Afghanistan brought to the forefront the irrelevance of India as a nation. With a population of over 1.2 billion people there was no value that this nation could bring to the table. Their soldiers (ragtag) 1.2 million continue hiding in the trenches scared from Talibans. A few teenage Talibans invaded the country and held it hostage for days on end showing how useless India is. It was embarrasing for the world to observe this humiliation of a nation that was being touted as a regional power. The Talibans brought them down in a few days with some BB guns. It is all over for India. Its demise is in process and should be completed with Afghanistan withdrawal.

    The bottom line is that the only way to have peace in Afghanistan and lessen regional tension is split India into pieces. It has become too big to govern or create any value for western countries or even for its own population. We have invested a lot of resources in India over the past two decades and given a lot of aid to prop it up. There has been no investment on this return. Instead India has squandered all the resources in building nuclear weapons while poverty remains rampant in the country. We need to revisit our relationship with India. American taxpayers will not tolerate this anymore. We need to take care of our own populace going forward. We cannot be exporting jobs to India or giving it financial or technical handouts.

    October 22, 2012 at 8:25 am | Reply
    • Jimmy

      It worked in Soviet Union. Since India was an ally of the commies it surely will work here too.

      October 22, 2012 at 8:52 am | Reply
    • Obelisk ©™

      Indian troops are busy carrying out a genocide in kashmir while Obama looks on.

      October 22, 2012 at 1:09 pm | Reply
  8. Marzipan

    I agree and am of the opinion that India is a zero sum event in history and that a break up of sorts is the optimum way to maximize its potential for the people.

    October 22, 2012 at 8:32 am | Reply
    • Marzipan

      This is in response to @Uber News Network (UNN) above.

      October 22, 2012 at 8:33 am | Reply
  9. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    I would like to ask Romney when he's going to take his family out and drink Kool-Aid.

    October 22, 2012 at 9:21 am | Reply
  10. George McGovern

    I would like to hear Gov. Romney say:

    "My fellow Americans. I must apologize to all of you for the way I have behaved in the past 4 years. I let my ambition and pride get in the way of my ethics and morals. I chose to do and say anything that would further my political goals. I turned my back on my past good works. I embraced ideals I did not agree with. All to further my goal. I now see my past behavior as morally bankrupt and unacceptable for a candidate for the office of President of the United States."

    "I want to apologize to everyone, each and everyone, who I have offended. I want to specifically apologize to women, minorities, gays, teachers, retirees, service persons, the middle class, the poor, single mothers, single fathers, members of other faiths and... my loving wife. I don't know what got into me! (Choking back tears.)"

    "As a sign of my sincerity. I hereby withdraw my candidacy for President of the United States. I plan to retire from politics and business effective immediately. 'If elected I will not serve.' I throw my support behind President Obama – 110%. He is a good man and deserves all our support. Good night and good-bye!"

    October 22, 2012 at 10:29 am | Reply
  11. Free Jammu & Kashmir From India's Occupation

    NEW YORK: Renowned Indian activist and novelist Arundhati Roy has decried the silence of the international community over the continued “brutal Indian occupation of Kashmir” and said Kashmiris should be given the right to self-determination……
    She said so little was known about the atrocities being committed by more than half a million Indian troops, the continuing repression and indignities let loose on Kashmiri men, women and children.
    More than 700,000 troops were concentrated in the tiny valley, with checkpoints at every nook and corner of Kashmiri towns and cities. The huge Indian presence, she added, was in sharp contrast with 160,000 US troops in Iraq.
    Ms Roy alleged that Indian army or security personnel were killing young children, pregnant women and elderly.

    October 22, 2012 at 1:08 pm | Reply
    • walkingfan

      please.....does anyone care
      ?

      October 22, 2012 at 1:17 pm | Reply
  12. walkingfan

    I'm totally media-hyped out and debate-hyped out, let's get this election over with already! If there is something I don't know about any of these two's stances, I would ask myself, where have you been in the last two years?

    October 22, 2012 at 1:16 pm | Reply
  13. Jim

    Silence. I'm so sick of targeted campaigning. Drop the electoral college and go with the popular vote to spread the misery around. Yes, I am currently in Ohio.

    October 22, 2012 at 2:09 pm | Reply
  14. Daniel

    Why did they decide to have this debate on a monday night. Now they have to compete with Monday Night Football and game 7 of the NLCS. I'm betting that the ratings arent going to be what they expect. I thought these guys were supposed to be smart???????????

    October 22, 2012 at 2:17 pm | Reply
  15. MDATB

    Oil and natural gas.Also renewables.

    October 22, 2012 at 2:24 pm | Reply
  16. Kate

    What do I want to hear? THE TRUTH.

    October 22, 2012 at 3:39 pm | Reply
  17. Lee Oates

    If the results in the poles don't seem to follow events, it's because noone wants to mentiion the 600 lb gorilla in the room. It's simply because about half of the American population are racist, mostly the Republican half. They want the "blackman" out of the "white" house. Nothing Obama does counts, nothing will convince them to vote for him. They will instead vote for a "whiteman", that is essentially a liar and a theft, and a con-man. Look at what Romney did to Freeport, Illinois, out of greed and a total lack of ethics. Only a self-destructive person would vote for someone who plans to remove the safety net, legislate against women, and whose party has done everything it could to suppress the vote. The election is about white privilege, and fear of minorities. I would like to hear Romney explain Freeport and his relationship with China.

    October 22, 2012 at 5:01 pm | Reply
  18. Joe Clark

    I want to hear their plans on how they will downsize the current federal government bureaucracy that we now have. We have to much federal government intrusion into the domain of the governments of all 50 states. We need to empower state governments and reduce the federal governments size and influence in the decisions being made on behalf of all Americans.

    October 22, 2012 at 5:21 pm | Reply
  19. Segeny

    I would like to hear an answer to just what 'flexibility' does Obama intend to use toward Russia and others if re-elected? What flexibility is he unable to use NOW?

    October 22, 2012 at 6:41 pm | Reply
  20. deniz boro

    Obama get substance, the other party has charms. What Obama says is sound and based on experiance. The other party will promise anything to get to a position...When there, he will be singing the same tune. Showing American leadership in the area would result im another vile pathe that may lead to another sept 11. Sept 11 showed that you do not need massive gun power to hit a country. And Arabs are not just idiots to herd. Obama is taking the right path on this. America will not be safe untill a sustainable peace and balance is established in the Orient. And that will take time.

    October 22, 2012 at 9:27 pm | Reply
  21. andre bouchard

    i am still waiting to see the last ten years of romney taxe return as politician do for the ladt 50 years,after romney saw ten years of taxe retuns from all the candidates for vice-president.if it is good for him,it is good for all citizens to see if he is worthy to be president of the first wold power.

    October 22, 2012 at 11:11 pm | Reply
  22. Drveruju

    I would like to know what they are going to do to address Global Warming.
    I want to hear how they will dismantle all the lunatic free trade agreements they have gotten us into.
    I want to hear how they are going to put a stop to the flooding of the US labor market by cheap foreign labor.

    October 23, 2012 at 1:08 am | Reply
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