Republican presidential candidate Scott Walker on Friday delivered remarks on foreign policy at The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina.
In a departure from many of his predecessors, who have reined in the campaign rhetoric in their remarks at the military college, Walker’s speech was as much political broadside as policy prescription.
He assailed former secretary of state Hillary Clinton for “trying to appease” Russian president Vladimir Putin; for downplaying China’s human-rights abuses; and for her actions after the terrorist attack on the American diplomatic facility in Benghazi, Libya. “She stood by the caskets of Christopher Stevens, Sean Smith, Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty, looked into the eyes of their parents and pointed to a YouTube video she knew was not the cause of their deaths in Benghazi,” he said. “Outrageous.”
The Wisconsin governor offered a grab bag of prescriptions for rolling back ISIS and Iran, which he identified as the chief threats to American national security: Secure the homeland, fight terrorists abroad before they come to America, do more for the militias working to topple ISIS and Syrian strongman Bashar Assad; rip up the Iran deal; stand by our allies; use “economic instruments” to cut off funds to ISIS and Iran.
“The policy of a Walker administration will be to confront radical Islamic terrorism using the full range of statecraft options,” the governor said.
Though Walker’s speech was touted as the most robust expression of his foreign-policy vision to date, it was relatively short on specifics, on what tools of statecraft or economic instruments Walker would employ to achieve his stated goals.
The governor concluded by reiterating his core campaign messages. “I have been tested like no other candidate in this race,” he said. “America will not be intimidated. And neither will I.”