|Scott Walker on February 18, 2011 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
When Scott Walker took the stage at the South Carolina Freedom Summit on Saturday, it was not the usual rallying conservative causes – social issues such as the sanctity of life and railing against government dependency – that brought the crowd to its feet.
Instead, the roughly 2,000 grassroots activists who had gathered to see 2016 GOP hopefuls roared the loudest and rose to its feet when the governor of Wisconsin lambasted Barack Obama’s foreign policy and invoked the threat posed to the US by the Islamic State.
The moment was emblematic of the role foreign policy will play as candidates court primary voters in early voting states. Republicans are teeing up a debate over America’s standing as a global leader and seeking to cast the presidential election as a seminal moment in the nation’s history.
Conservatives howled and hooted as Walker, who was criticized by Obama for his lack of foreign policy expertise, went after the administration’s nuclear deal with Iran, its handling of terrorism and its relationship with Israel.
“We need a commander in chief who will once and for all call it what it is, and that is radical Islamic terrorism,” Walker said. “We need a president who will affirm that Israel is our ally and start acting like it.
“We need a leader who will have the courage to look the American people in the eye, and to tell them what might not be easy to say, and that is this will not take a day, it might not take a week, it might not take a month or even a year … but it’s not a question of it another attempt is made on our soil, it’s a question of when.”