Deciding America's place in the world
New Hampshire Union Leader
America's foreign policy was once defined by clear, principled leadership. We stood for the defense of freedom everywhere, and the defense of our homeland at all costs. Now no one understands what we stand for, or who we stand with or against.
Over the last few years, we’ve seen the American ship of state run aground on the shoreline of reality through the incompetent captaining of Barack Obama and his first mate, Hillary Clinton. Is it a surprise that we got played again by Iran three weeks ago? Is it any surprise that Russia is now in Crimea and Ukraine? Is it a surprise that North Korea is saber rattling with nukes? Is it a surprise that an arc of terror now extends from Libya to Syria to Yemen — and all the way to the streets of Europe and America?
In many ways, the situation today reminds me of the late 1970s. Then, we had another crippling lack of leadership from another Democratic President. It was only through a change in leadership at home that America’s leadership abroad was guaranteed. In 2016, we have a chance to make that change again. We have a chance to lead again. And if I’m President a year from now, this is how we’re going to do it.
Our number one priority will be to keep our country safe. The first and most important job as President of the United States is to protect the safety and security of Americans. This land is where our children are born, it’s where our grandparents are buried. This is our home.
On Sept. 11, 2001, my wife, Mary Pat, was working two blocks from the World Trade Center in New York. I remember those long hours waiting to find out if she was OK. In the days after, we learned of the friends, neighbors and people in our lives who we would never see again.
Those days weren’t that long ago. Today, our homeland is still threatened. So we need to strengthen our defenses at home and abroad against every possible foe. We need to strengthen our borders. We need to continue building our strength on land, sea, air, space and cyberspace. That also means stepping up our game dramatically in intelligence.
And we should not be ashamed to put our national interests first.
It’s fashionable for academics and industry leaders to talk about how we live in a global community. But it is countries that define that community, and it is America that is the world’s last, best hope to keep the peace. We shouldn’t ever apologize for putting our country first and choosing to live in the world as it is — not the fantasy world that President Obama wishes for.
It is time we restore some reality to our country’s foreign policy. In this election, you will have a chance to do that and to decide America’s place in the world. U.S. leadership in the world is often an opportunity, sometimes a burden — but it’s absolutely never a choice. Our country and the world is crying out for American strength from the Oval Office. A Christie administration will provide strength and security in a dangerous world.