The reviews are rolling in for Donald Trump’s big “serious” foreign policy speech this week and it seems to be provoking mostly derision and laughter. David Rothkopf, the CEO of Foreign Policy magazine and a fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, went on CNN and gave a rather blistering appraisal:
DAVID ROTHKOPF: I think if the objective was to establish that Trump’s serious on foreign policy, he failed at every level. This speech was incoherent, it was fact-free, you know he — his solution to almost everything was, let me handle it. You know, Russia, I’ll talk to them.China, I’ll talk to them. ISIS, I got a plan, I’m not going to tell you what it is. But, you know, saying that, you know, your personality is going to solve every problem isn’t a foreign policy.It’s really a kind of narcissistic personality disorder.
BROOKE BALDWIN (HOST): [I]t is also sort of interesting how this is resonating among Republicans. We have a couple of tweets, and let me just read a couple of them and you can see how this is resonating among former U.S. House Speaker — actually, let’s begin with Senator Lindsey Graham, who has been quite harsh already. So in typical Lindsey Graham humor, “question number one for Trump, are we sure the guy running the teleprompter has the pages in the right order? #Notmakinganysense.” So, from one extreme from Senator Graham, to — let’s go to Newt Gingrich, who supported him, and he tweeted, “This was a serious foreign policy speech by Trump. It is worth reading and thinking about it. It will be ridiculed by Washington elites.” And it is.DAVID ROTHKOPF: Well, it deserves to be ridiculed. You know, he was talking about facts or specifics, there weren’t any. You talk about a room full of foreign policy specialists, clearly everybody in the audience knew more about foreign policy than Trump. His delivery reading this thing off the teleprompter was halting. You know, he started out with a reference to America first. Well, that was pretty ill-considered. You know, the America firsters made their names in the 1930s when they preached isolationism in the face of Hitler. And the result of that was the setup for World War II. That America first policy was a failure. That was more specific than this one was. And when it came to facts, some of the facts he offered were wrong or misleading. He talked about a manufacturing trade deficit without mentioning the surplus in services. He talked about oil being shipped to ISIS from Libya when that isn’t actually what’s happening. He talked about, you know, Obama beating up on our allies, and then proceeded, as the governor noted, to beat up on our allies, and say, look at how they are not supporting us in Japan or Korea. Look at how they are not supporting us in Europe. I’m going to go after our allies. So it was either fact-free or it was incoherent. And most of it was fact-free and incoherent.
“Fact-free and incoherent” really should be Trump’s campaign slogan.