September 13, 2012
Senator John McCain has used the attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya and the death of ambassador Chris Stevens to call for resurgent American exceptionalism in the Middle East.
Obama “does not believe in American exceptionalism” and Romney “has all the right instincts,” McCain said, reflecting his opinion that Romney’s neocon advisers need to run U.S. foreign policy.
McCain said there is “a belief in the Middle East that the United States is withdrawing” from the world and this departure creates a vacuum to be filled by al-Qaeda and other religious extremists.
Despite McCain’s criticism of the administration, Obama said during an interview Wednesday with the Spanish television network Telemundo, that “the United States doesn’t have the option of withdrawing from the world.”
“And we’re the one indispensable nation,” he added, repeating the mantra Democrats included in the foreign policy section of their platform in response to “American exceptionalism” finding its way into the Republican party platform.
In the past, Democrats have used “indispensable” to describe Social Security, Europe, and the United Nations, but not America. It became president Bill Clinton’s foreign policy motto.