Republicans looking for a full-throated supporter of the Bush foreign policy in the 2012 presidential field have a candidate in Tim Pawlenty. The former Minnesota governor today gave a hawkish speech to the Council on Foreign Relations in New York, railing against President Obama’s handling of world affairs and dinging his GOP primary opponents for trying to “out-bid the Democrats in appealing to isolationist sentiments.”
“America already has one political party devoted to decline, retrenchment and withdrawal; it does not need a second one,” Pawlenty said in his remarks. But he mostly criticized Obama for his “timid” policy on democracy promotion in Libya, Iran, Syria, and Egypt. “Our enemies in the War on Terror, just like our opponents in the Cold War, respect and respond to strength,” he continued. “Sometimes strength means military intervention. Sometimes it means diplomatic pressure. It always means moral clarity in word and deed.”
Here’s the full text of Pawlenty’s speech.