WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States needs to regain its leadership role in the world, Republican Jeb Bush will say in a speech on Wednesday, while asserting that President Barack Obama has been inconsistent and indecisive in carrying out American foreign policy.
Bush’s speech at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs will be his first major foray into foreign policy since he announced in December that he is considering a run for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination.
“The great irony of the Obama presidency is this: Someone who came to office promising greater engagement with the world has left America less influential in the world,” Bush will say, according to speech excerpts that were provided to Reuters.
The former Florida governor is casting a wide net for advice on national security. An aide provided to Reuters a diverse list of 20 diplomatic and national security veterans who will be providing informal advice to Bush in the coming months. Many of them are from past Republican administrations, including those of his father and brother, former presidents George HW Bush and George W. Bush, as well as that of Ronald Reagan.
The list includes people representing a wide spectrum of ideological views in the Republican Party, from the pragmatic to the hawkish. It includes James Baker, known for his pragmatism in key roles during the Reagan and George H.W. Bush presidencies, and former World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz, a hawk as deputy defence secretary who was an architect of George W Bush’s Iraq policy.