GOP Calls to Invade Mexico Are More Than Just a Political Stunt

GOP Calls to Invade Mexico Are More Than Just a Political Stunt
Former Vice President Mike Pence, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and businessman Vivek Ramaswamy stand on stage before the Republican presidential primary debate, in Milwaukee, Wisc., Aug. 23, 2023 (AP photo by Morry Gash).

Foreign policy is often neglected during U.S. presidential campaigns, with most candidates leaning into domestic affairs instead. After all, what happens in the world can seem distant, with abstract and indirect impacts back home, whereas domestic policy often directly affects the pocketbook issues that drive voter behavior. As political strategist James Carville aptly put it to describe then-candidate Bill Clinton’s campaign theme during the 1992 presidential election, “It’s the economy stupid.”

But if candidates tend to avoid weighing in on foreign policy, it’s also because when it is brought up, they can sometimes seem out of their depth. Indeed, the foreign policy discussion during the U.S. presidential campaign season can often veer toward the absurd.

That is exactly what happened a few weeks ago during the first debate between the Republican presidential hopefuls vying for the party’s 2024 nomination. While the debate featured some discussion of prominent foreign policy issues, such as continuing military assistance to Ukraine, news coverage that followed the event focused on one of the more offbeat topics to come up: whether or not the U.S. should invade Mexico.

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