November 8, 2007
(Manchester, NH) — Presidential candidates Governor Bill Richardson and Senator Joseph Biden today responded to a bipartisan group of New Hampshire business, civic, political and academic leaders who have joined a growing national campaign to urge all of the presidential candidates to strengthen and elevate America’s non-military tools for global engagement. Republican former Vice Presidential candidate and Housing and Urban Development Secretary Jack Kemp and four-star General (Ret.) and former White House drug czar Barry McCaffrey also joined the New Hampshire leaders for the launch of Impact ’08 in New Hampshire: Building a Better, Safer World.
Governor Richardson stressed the need for the use of the full slate of America’s foreign policy tools to meet the increasingly dynamic threats of the 21st century, noting, “The challenges that the world faces now are transnational: jihadism, terrorism, disease, climate change, our dependence on foreign oil. I believe that our foreign policy needs to employ our smart power tools – diplomacy, development, and making use of America’s moral leadership – to confront these issues.”
Senator Biden emphasized the need to increase America’s investments in development and diplomacy, highlighting the current political crisis in Pakistan as an example. Biden laid out a new plan for U.S. policy toward Pakistan which includes tripling non-security aid to $1.5 billion dollars annually for at least a decade. As he explained, “The aid would be unconditioned; it is our pledge to the Pakistani people. Instead of funding military hardware, it would build schools, clinics, and roads to help support the moderate majority in that country…. Democracies do not flourish in places where economies fail.”
Biden also said there is a need to restore America’s moral leadership in the world, and commended the Center for U.S. Global Engagement for convening the forum. “I’m proud to stand with this organization because of what they stand for. We have a common vision for the future. It’s the vision of an America that embraces the power of its example as well as the example of its power. It’s the vision of an America that recaptures the totality of its strength.” He added, “We should have an equally powerful civilian force to match our military force.”
In a message in a full-page ad in today’s Manchester Union Leader, New Hampshire GOP State Chairman Fergus Cullen, Democratic Party State Chairman Ray Buckley and dozens of business, religious, civic and political leaders from across New Hampshire said that the prosperity and security of America and New Hampshire are linked to those of other nations and their people, and that the next President must be prepared to lead with a bold, new vision of America’s role in the world. To view ad with full list of signatories go to www.usglobalengagement.org
Other Democratic and Republican candidates were also invited to speak.
Former US Reps. Charles Bass, Republican, and Dick Swett, Democrat, reflect the political diversity of the New Hampshire Impact ’08 group. Bass said, “The next President will face extraordinary challenges in redefining America’s role in the world and restoring our country’s global respect.”
Charles Arlinghaus, President of the Josiah Bartlett Center for Public Policy, summed up the views of many of the leaders from New Hampshire, Iowa, South Carolina and Nevada who have joined the Impact ’08 effort in early primary and caucus states. “It is critical that America be thoroughly engaged globally through international exchange, diplomacy, development and trade to address today’s global challenges and prepare our next generation of leaders.”
About the Organizers
The Center for U.S. Global Engagement unites business, civic, faith-based and military leaders in New Hampshire and around the country to promote greater understanding about America’s role in the world. For more information about the Center and Impact ‘08, visit www.usglobalengagement.org.
The New Hampshire Institute of Politics at Saint Anselm College serves as a resource for students, scholars, politicians, and the general public. Founded on the premise that engaged citizens are vital for a healthy democracy, the Institute conducts programs and research that are designed to enlighten and encourage people for a lifetime of civic participation. For more information, visit www.anselm.edu/nhiop.