In the first major foreign policy address of his campaign, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, speaking to an audience of cadets at the Virginia Military Institute earlier this month, accused the Obama administration of weak leadership in the volatile Middle East. Yet if the Romney foreign aid plan had been in effect at the time of the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, the U.S. effort would have focused on Libyan CEOs, leaving the majority pro-U.S. Libyans struggling on their own, and at risk to radicalization.
This piece has been updated.
NEW YORK, N.Y. -- Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's address on Monday to the Clinton Global Initiative, the organization founded by her husband, former President Bill Clinton, illuminated changes in international development and how they fit within the tumultuous changes on the streets and in the governments of the Middle East and North Africa.
Pointedly noted among her goals for fueling development is getting governments to collect taxes from their wealthiest citizens.
Given the recent focus in the U.S. presidential race on whether the wealthy are taxed enough, and Democratic pressure on Republican candidate Mitt Romney to release more of his tax returns, the secretary of state quickly noted, "You know I'm out of American politics...," a remark that drew applause from the audience.
"There are rich people everywhere," the secretary continued, "and yet they do not contribute to the growth of their own countries." The "elites," as she called them, are not supporting the fundamental building blocks of society, such as building schools and infrastructure she added.