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Entries in Condoleeza Rice (2)

Wednesday
Oct172012

Condoleezza Rice Joins Paul Ryan on the Campaign Trail

STAN HONDA/AFP/GettyImages(BEREA, Ohio) -- Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice joined Paul Ryan on the campaign trail Wednesday, marking the first time she’s hit the trail for the Romney ticket since she fired up the crowd with a speech at the Republican National Convention in August.

“It doesn’t matter where you came from, it matters where you are going” was her message in this battleground state of Ohio, inferring that the president, whom she never mentioned by name, is not someone who’s offering the right direction for the country.

“As important as it is for us to pay our bills and not take on debt that we can’t afford, as important as it is to get people back to work, as important as it is to give people a sense of hope again, I want to make another argument to you,” Rice said, speaking to a crowd of over 1,000 at Baldwin Wallace University.

As secretary of state, Rice said, you get to travel and see what America “means to the world,” stressing a sense of equality is what makes the world admire the U.S.

“People here have never been trapped in their view of class as a prison,” Rice said to cheers. “We have never been envious of one another, and we have certainly never been envious of one another’s success. Instead, we’ve been a country of opportunity and hope,” Rice said. “That principle that it doesn’t matter where you came from, it matters where you’re going, has always meant that we have not been a people who were constantly aggrieved. ‘Why don’t I have?’ And we didn’t give way to aggrievement's [sic] twin brother, entitlement. ‘Why don’t they give me?’”

Rice said Americans know “we might not be able to control our circumstances, but we could control our response to our circumstances,” adding, “That’s what this election’s about.”

She acknowledged that “it’s been a rough decade or so.”

“9/11 changed our conception of physical security, the crisis of 2008 changed our conception of economic prosperity and security, and the last four years have been very tough on folks who just want to work hard and make a living,” Rice said. “So when Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan say they’re going to put this country back to work, this is an urgent call, not one for which we can wait another four years.”

Rice also reprised a line from her convention speech when she related the message to her youth in segregated Alabama and said, “Americans have had a way of making the impossible seem inevitable in retrospect.”

“And then a little girl grows up in Birmingham, Alabama,” Rice said to huge cheers. “She can’t go to a restaurant, a movie theatre, but her parents have her absolutely convinced she can be president of the United States, she becomes the secretary of state.”

When Ryan got to the stage, he hugged Rice, calling her the “embodiment of the American idea” and noted it was the second time he had followed her. The first was the GOP convention. “It’s a little intimidating, tough act to follow.”

Ryan praised his running mate’s performance in the second presidential debate, saying to cheers, “Didn’t Mitt Romney do a great job for us last night?”

The GOP vice presidential nominee also focused on women, possibly to court those who may have been turned off by his running mate’s “binders full of women” comment at Tuesday night’s face-off.

“We had a discussion about how women are faring in this economy last night,” Ryan said. “Five and a half million women are still struggling for work in this economy -- a half-million more are unemployed today than when President Obama was sworn in. Twenty-six million women are trapped in poverty today, that’s the highest rate in 17 years.”

The Obama campaign responded to Ryan’s remarks, saying he “was in a tough spot trying to spin Mitt Romney’s rattled, awkward, and dishonest debate performance.”

“Romney doesn’t have a plan to create jobs, reduce deficits, or strengthen the middle class -- all he’s offering is the same failed policies that nearly crashed our economy in the first place,” Obama campaign spokesperson Danny Kanner said in a statement.

After the rally, Rice and Ryan, as well as Ohio Senator Rob Portman, who has been a constant on the Ohio campaign trail for the Romney ticket, visited the Cleveland Browns’ training facility. Rice is a big Browns fan and they got to watch the players train as well as chat with a few. Rice told the players she had even taken some foreign ministers to football games, saying how she would explain football to someone who doesn’t know the game: “It’s a game of taking territory. Just keep taking territory.”

The most recent polls in this crucial battleground still have the president ahead between four and six points, but both sides are aggressively campaigning on the ground and on the airwaves in the state. Ryan has another event in Columbus on Wednesday evening before traveling to Florida on Thursday.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Aug302012

Condoleezza Rice Hits Obama on Foreign Policy

STAN HONDA/AFP/GettyImages(TAMPA, Fla.) -- Condoleezza Rice never addressed President Obama by name, but the former secretary of state delivered a sharp rejection of his foreign policy Wednesday night, charging that the White House had forsaken past and potential allies, leaving the world to wonder, "Where does America stand?"

"When our friends and our foes, alike, do not know the answer to that question," she told the Republican National Convention, "the world is a chaotic and dangerous place."

Rice picked up on a theme laid out earlier that night by Sen. John McCain, who warned that "if America doesn't lead, our adversaries will, and the world will grow darker, poorer and much more dangerous." Rice criticized the president for taking a backseat to NATO during the battle for Libya and not doing more to stop the bloodshed in Syria.

"We cannot be reluctant to lead," Rice told fellow Republicans, who welcomed her to the stage with enthusiastic applause. "And you cannot lead from behind. Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan understand this reality, that our leadership abroad and our well-being at home are inextricably linked."

"Our adversaries must have no reason to doubt our resolve because peace really does come through strength," said Rice, who was secretary of state in President George W. Bush's administration.

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Turning to concerns that a growing deficit could undermine American influence abroad, she focused on China.

"Just consider this," she said. "The United States has ratified only three trade agreements in the last few years and those were negotiated in the Bush administration. China has signed 15 free trade agreements and is in the progress of negotiating as many as 18 more. Sadly we are abandoning the field of free and fair trade, and it will come back to haunt us."

Working without a teleprompter, Rice occasionally looked down at her notes, but mostly drove home her points with a fierce right hand.

And her speech did not stop at the shoreline as she touched on domestic issues, lines that won her some of her evening's most raucous applause.

"On a personal note, a little girl grows up in Jim Crow Birmingham, the most segregated big city in America," Rice said, talking about her childhood in Alabama. "Her parents can't take her to a movie theater or a restaurant, but they make her believe that even though she can't have a hamburger at the Woolworth's lunch counter she can be president of the United States -- and she becomes the secretary of state."

That dream, she said, was in doubt as economic dislocation crushes opportunity in areas hardest hit by the slow recovery.

"Your greatest ally in controlling your response to your circumstance is in a quality education," Rice said. "Today, when I can look at your zip code and can tell whether you are going to get a good education. Can I really say that it doesn't matter where you came from? It matters where you are going. The crisis in K-12 education is a threat to the very fabric who we are."

It is an issue Rice knows well from her time as provost at Stanford University, which she returned to in 2010 to work as a professor.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio