Washington: The White House today strongly defended President Barack Obama's foreign policy, asserting that it increased the stature of America, made the country safe and resulted in a stronger national economy.
Reacting to Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump's criticism of Obama's foreign policy, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said, "I think when it comes to this President's foreign policy, there is no denying that the US is safer and stronger than we were when President Obama took office back in January of 2009."
"There are a variety of ways to measure it. You can certainly, carefully consider the economic situation of the US. That certainly has an impact on the influence that we wield around the world," Earnest told reporters.
"Right now, the US economy, because of its longest streak of private sector job growth in American history over the last 73 or so months, resulting in more than 14 million private sector jobs, the US continues to be the envy of the world when it comes to having such a durable economy.
"As it relates to protecting the US from very specific threats, when President Obama took office, there was a genuine concern about the likelihood that Iran would develop a nuclear weapon. And at the time, the international community was fractured in terms of considering how exactly to respond to the situation," he said.
He said because of Obama's leadership, the US "united the world" in imposing stringent sanctions on the Iranian government and on the Iranian economy that compelled them to come to the table and compelled them to agree to a diplomatic agreement that prevents them from obtaining a nuclear weapon and establishes a verification regime, inspections, that allow to verify that Iran has not developed a nuclear weapon and that they are actually abiding by the terms of the deal.
"What we've also seen is a strengthening of our alliances around the world. We've seen an effective, renewed focus on the Asia-Pacific region that has both positive economic and strategic benefits for the United States," Earnest said.
"So the President's got his record to run on, to say nothing of the advances that we've made in improving our relationship with countries throughout the Western Hemisphere, in part because of the President's historic agreement or policy change to begin normalizing relations with Cuba," the Obama spokesman said.
"This has revolutionised the kinds of relationships that the United States has with countries throughout the Western Hemisphere. In fact, a country like Argentina that had long elected leaders that were deeply skeptical of the United States has now elected a leader that President Obama met with just last month, who ran on a platform of warmer relations with the US," he argued.
"It didn't happen by accident. That happened because of a renewed commitment to engagement by this administration in the hemisphere, and a commitment to move past the kinds of obstacles that have stood in the way of those warmer relations for decades," Earnest said.