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Albright on foreign policy for the next American presidency

November 5th, 2012
06:44 PM ET

By Samuel Burke, CNN

When America elects a president, the world watches. And Tuesday, it is the candidates' turn, as they wait with bated breath for the outcome. According to CNN's latest poll, Barack Obama and Mitt Romney are tied in their quest for the popular vote. The outcome in the electoral college is far from certain.

What's also unclear is whether American foreign policy change will change, whether or not a new president takes office.

Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright knows exactly how tough it is to make foreign policy priorities and decisions. She has been campaigning for President Obama, and has kind words for her fellow Democrat on his approach.

"I think that he has been quite remarkable in the way that he has understood the issues that are out there for us to deal with that really do require partnership," she said.

She said she has a harder time understanding what former Governor Mitt Romney stands for.

"He has said, for instance, that Russia is our number one geostrategic problem, which made sense for the 20th century, but makes no sense in the 21st."

The United States' relationship with Russia, Albright said, must change no matter who is elected. 

Popular/electoral vote split?

"The rebalancing to Asia – a genuine understanding that the United States is an Atlantic as well as a Pacific power, and that we have to deal with a rising China that is both a friend and in some ways a competitor."

Albright believes that the U.S. should work with them not only on economic cooperation, but also work to prevent the escalation of problems in the South China Sea.

Albright described a small dinner she attended with China's leader in-waiting, Xi Jinping, when he was in the United States earlier this year.

"I think he was looking for ways to build on the long-term relationship that has existed with China and see where the areas are that we can cooperate. I think that's what we're going to be looking for also."

Romney has accused Obama of being weak not only in dealing with China, but also with Iran and its nuclear program. Albright supports Obama's "very tough" multilateral sanctions, which she says are working toward isolating Iran internationally.

"[Governor Romney] makes it sound as if we're ready to go to war with Iran," Albright said. "And I think that's dangerous just to have that as a flat-out policy."

One challenge for either candidate is the Middle East peace process. There has been no movement for quite some time; and the upcoming Israeli elections will make it clear what that country's position is.

"But in the end, the United States can't dictate terms. And so I think it is important to reenergize that and I hope very much that both the parties, the Israelis and the Palestinians, will be prepared to move forward."

Poor voting system?

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soundoff (19 Responses)
  1. rsmnr

    Romney is a scary prospect for the rest of the world.

    November 6, 2012 at 4:06 am | Reply
    • Kerry

      Agree. There is confusion behind that mask of a smile. The majority of Americans are not fooled. He is bound to lose.

      November 6, 2012 at 11:41 am | Reply
  2. Ojes

    I don't think the US need another war with any nation-middle east or asia. Whats important is rebuilding the economy.
    Almadinejad already has enough to deal with domestically-a direct fallout of the sanctions being imposed. This should be intensified. The new Presidency must also reduce its impact on the goings-on in Syria. Helping to oust a dictator/ally results in enthronement of fundamentalists or instability-Libya, Egypt, etc.

    November 6, 2012 at 5:06 am | Reply
    • mustafa

      Enthronment of of Al Qaida affiliations as moslem brotherhood or Salafists is the main danger and challenge to both native ppl and the whole humanity,,,,in case of introducing Shria Law as a main source for legislation not only natives future is jeopardized but also israeli-arab peace treaties,,,,this is the fact

      November 6, 2012 at 11:15 am | Reply
  3. Um,

    Who, like, ARE these people?

    November 6, 2012 at 5:34 am | Reply
  4. Bruce


    This choice of interviewees shows how little you know, esp of American politics. Madeleine Albright was perhaps the worst Secretary of State in recent history in her understanding of the international scene for America. What makes it worse, Chrisine, is your choice to interview her and air it on polling day...Have you heard of the American law prohibiting campaigning at the polling place? knew she would be blatently pro-Obama! As for your choice of interviewees, why did you not choose Condoleezza Rice – her intellect and understanding of foreign affairs, politics, economics, and national security runs circles around Albright! Plus, she's held a lot more positions than Secretary of State...National Security Advisor, National Security Council, highly respected Stanford University professor, and a self made minority person from poor, but intellectual means.

    November 6, 2012 at 6:42 am | Reply
    • TeamChaos

      I agree 100%. People need to understand it is not about democrats and republicans any more, it need to be about America and someone that can work with both sides. Someone who will give and take like a professional negotiator. 4 years of being in the back of the bus has gotten us know where. And it will only get us in big trouble again.

      November 6, 2012 at 7:03 am | Reply
    • Joseph Leiato

      Bruce you have absolutely no clue about the woman your disparaging and disrespectful remarks were aimed at. I had the privilege and honor to sit with her at the 2010 Joint Session of Congress with the address of the President of Mexico. The former SECYSTATE was extremely astute in her observations and is nowhere near the person you described. Had you ever met her, you would retract all the garbage you spewed out about something you know nothing about.

      November 6, 2012 at 10:13 pm | Reply
  5. TeamChaos

    We have not had a foreign policy for 4 years, this is one reason the middle east is in turmoil.

    November 6, 2012 at 6:58 am | Reply
  6. Nol Bur

    Why don't US mind its own business. This worldwide financial economic crisis was made in USA.
    You are not the police of this world! If we need help, we will let you rambo's know!

    November 6, 2012 at 9:51 am | Reply
    • Nol Bur

      By the way. I live in the Netherlands.

      November 6, 2012 at 9:53 am | Reply
      • Fsaha

        If not for THE USA you woud speak German instead of Dutch in your own Holland today

        November 6, 2012 at 10:26 am |
      • Nol Bur

        I'm thankfull for that! We needed them at that right moment. But that doesn't mean the USA must control us and everything. They can't control themself. They can't come together(left and right) and rule their country. Here in Holland left and right work together. The USA was a powerfull nation, but not anymore. China rules! Even your boxershort was made in China.

        November 6, 2012 at 10:53 am |
  7. Johosua

    President Obama still a better choice .....

    November 6, 2012 at 11:37 am | Reply
  8. ojh

    Obama has already seen the shoreline so he can surely deliver the goods for his America

    November 6, 2012 at 1:50 pm | Reply
  9. jeffrey ehis clement

    whosoever that wins is devine.
    barack or mitt. goodluck !

    November 6, 2012 at 2:54 pm | Reply

    Am not happy about what is going on in USA. like church of satan. we should try to praise God not satan.

    November 6, 2012 at 4:49 pm | Reply
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    December 8, 2012 at 1:13 pm | Reply
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    March 6, 2021 at 2:04 pm | Reply

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