Most of the foreign policy talk among 2016 Republican candidates has involved accusing President Obama of weakness. But on China and Russia, there are exceptions.
No one has talked more about China than Donald Trump. He faults U.S. leaders for failing to stop their counterparts in Beijing and other foreign capitals from fleecing America economically — views Mr. Trump is sure to repeat Oct. 28 at the CNBC Republican presidential candidate debate in Boulder, Colorado. He insists that his negotiating skills as a long-time real estate developer with considerable investments abroad will allow him to serve workers and business owners far better than those in charge now.
"Their leaders are incompetent — in some cases, stupid," Mr. Trump said in an interview. "What is happening now where we allow China to devalue their currency constantly, where we allow Japan to devalue. You know, they just did a big devaluation. Where we allow Mexico to really take so many of our companies. What they are doing is very smart, but very bad for our country."
On Russia, the exception is Sen. Rand Paul. While rivals advocate a tougher U.S. stance toward Vladimir Putin and his aggression in Crimea as well as in Syria, the Kentucky senator warns of the dangers of intervention. In particular, he criticized Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida for advocating a U.S.-enforced "no-fly" zone to prevent Russian bombing runs against opponents of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.