Senate hopefuls talk foreign policy

06/18/10 Kate Bradshaw
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Yesterday, the four best-known candidates vying for Florida’s open US Senate seat spoke on a number of issues in front of reporters and editors in Sarasota. Along with their usual domestic policy stances, each offered his take on the Middle East.

At a candidate forum dominated by message, it’s not too surprising that the four mainstream Senate hopefuls weren’t spouting anything earth-shattering. Sure, Marco Rubio said the Feds should handle the border. Democrat Jeff Greene said he doesn’t remember if he was a Republican for one year or ten – it was the eighties, you know? Governor Charlie Crist said gay adoption should be judged ad-hoc.

But they also spoke on foreign policy, which one of them might have to deal with as a senator. Those accusing Crist of being too liberal will probably not want advertise the Governor’s take on Israel.

Crist presents himself as a middle-of-the-road kind of guy, with former House Speaker Marco Rubio to his far right and US Representative Kendrick Meek to his fringe left. But those who think of Meek as a peacenik probably haven’t heard his take on the President’s authority to order the assassination of an American citizen, as he did in the case of radical cleric Anwar al Awlaki.

Meanwhile, billionaire Jeff Greene said he disagrees with the President over his stance on Iran.

Former House Speaker Marco Rubio, the apparent tea party choice who has picked up endorsements from the likes of Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani, was able to speak like a true hawk while simultaneously decrying interventionism.

This year’s Senate race has drawn international attention in recent months. Many see it as indicative of the political climate on the national scale. Crist, who’s been politically unattached for nearly two months now, is leading in the polls. But with the amount of twists and turns this race has already had, it’s still anybody’s game.

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