January 21, 2016

South Carolina Forum: Republican Presidential Campaigns Urge U.S. Leadership Overseas Including Investments in Development and Diplomacy

Republican Party Chairman Matt Moore, State Representative Kenny Bingham, South Carolina Chamber of Commerce President Ted Pitts, joined surrogates from Bush, Carson, Cruz, and Rubio campaigns for a foreign policy forum on America’s role in the world

COLUMBIA – Four Republican presidential campaigns joined the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition for its Impact 2016 forum today to discuss American global leadership. The forum focused on why strategic investments in development and diplomacy are more critical than ever in our increasingly interconnected world.

“There is a clear expectation around the world that the United States must lead. We’ve played this role since World War II and we are, I still believe, the indispensable nation,” said Admiral Mike Mullen, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. “The United States must combine its strong military with robust, effective civilian tools of development and diplomacy to secure our national interests in the 21st century.”

South Carolina Republican Party Chairman Matt Moore said, “Our primary gives us a unique platform to showcase to those seeking to be our next Commander-in-Chief that we here in South Carolina understand that in an interconnected world, there is no pulling back, and no substitute for American leadership. I encourage all of you to join me in reminding these candidates that we need a range of tools to advance our interests around the world, including our development and diplomacy programs, alongside our military.”

Ted Pitts, President and CEO of the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce added, “Today, 95 percent of the world’s consumers live outside of our borders, and the fastest growing markets are in the developing world. These are our current and future markets.” He continued, “As a businessman in South Carolina, I understand that an economically strong United States must use all of the tools at its disposal – and that includes protecting our national security.”

FOX News’ National Security Analyst KT McFarland moderated a panel discussion on foreign policy and America’s role in the world with surrogates representing the following Republican presidential candidates:

Bush Campaign: Brigadier General Mick Zais (Ret.)
Carson Campaign: Colonel Christopher Bourne (Ret.)
Cruz Campaign: Former South Carolina Attorney General Charlie Condon
Rubio Campaign: Representative Mike Pompeo (KS-4)

Brigadier General Mick Zais, speaking on behalf of Governor Jeb Bush, said that his candidate believes that a “strong military is not the only component of a strong national government.” He added that Bush “understands that national power has four major components: military power, diplomatic power, economic power, and information power.”

Colonel Christopher Bourne, who spoke on behalf of Dr. Ben Carson, said his candidate “sees development particularly as an investment… in peace in the future… Education particularly of women and girls around the world, development in terms of infrastructure, medical care, maternal and infant health, prevention of disease – all of these sorts of things that the United States is very good at — and that we need to ensure that we are investing in — help to prevent conflicts from arising in the first place.”

Speaking on behalf of Senator Ted Cruz, former South Carolina Attorney General Charlie Condon said, “Ted talks about the need for American exceptionalism, the need for strong American leadership… The American people, Ted notes, they’ve traditionally responded with great generosity to humanitarian crises. And that is what we can and should continue to do.” He also highlighted Cruz’s belief how supporting allies like Jordan “is both in our humanitarian, and equally and perhaps more importantly, our national security interests.”

Representative Mike Pompeo (KS-4), speaking on behalf of Senator Marco Rubio said that “Senator Rubio understands that it is important that our values are… part of the leadership that America exhibits… He has worked tirelessly on behalf of those that don’t have a voice” including educational programs for young women.

“Palmetto State voters have a special opportunity in this election to ask the presidential candidates about their vision for America’s role in the world,” shared USGLC President and CEO Liz Schrayer. “And not surprisingly, the leaders in this state clearly get that what happens overseas matters directly to South Carolina’s economy, security, and values.”

South Carolina is home to some of the largest global brands and organizations with rapidly growing international operations in emerging markets. More than 1 in 5 jobs in the state are dependent on exports – and in 2014, businesses in the state exported more than $29.7 billion in goods and services to overseas markets making American global leadership a strategic issue for the local community.

Impact 2016 is the USGLC’s nonpartisan initiative to engage and educate all the presidential and congressional candidates on the critical importance of strengthening American global leadership. The web site, Impact2016.org, is a go-to resource for voters and journalists to learn more about the candidates’ foreign policy positions. It includes in-depth candidate profiles, quotes, videos, and articles along with continuous updates on what the candidates are saying on the campaign trail.

The U.S. Global Leadership Coalition (www.usglc.org) is a broad-based influential network of 400 businesses and NGOs; national security and foreign policy experts; and business, faith-based, academic, military, and community leaders in all 50 states who support strategic investments to elevate development and diplomacy alongside defense in order to build a better, safer world.