Boston, MA (CNSNews.com) - Vice President Al Gore assailed Texas Governor George W Bush as being the captive of the "right wing" and of having a "cold war mindset," when it comes to foreign policy. Gore made his remarks before a meeting of the International Press Institute's conference of foreign journalists, attended by more than 250 people.
In the address, billed by the campaign as a major foreign policy statement, Gore outlined what he called a plan of "forward engagement," designed to solve international problems, before they became crises.
"He dangerously fixates on the Cold War past when speaking of the use of force. He suggests he would not intervene to relieve even the brutal repression of ethnic cleansing and genocide," Gore said of Bush. "One has to assume these gaps in Governor Bush's foreign policy views will be filled by the ideologies and inveterate antipathies of his party; the right wing, partisan isolationism of the Republican congressional leadership."
"We must reject the new isolationism that says, 'don't help anywhere, because we can not help everywhere," Gore added.
The Bush campaign responded by accusing the Clinton-Gore administration of being inconsistent in its foreign policy initiatives. Condoleezza Rice, the governor's foreign policy advisor, characterized the speech as "somewhat typical of the vice president," and added, "He has this tendency to say that he's going to do one thing and in fact... he's done another for seven years."
Rice also reacted to Gore's accusation of isolationism. "If what the vice president is saying is that the post-Cold War mission of American armed forces is to just intervene in other people's civil wars, because we might be able to help, I think that's a headline."
In his address, Gore listed several factors, which would impact his foreign policy agenda. These include strengthening the nation's military capability, building on key alliances, including NATO, selectively engaging in international conflicts, helping Russia move to a market economy, resisting isolationism and working toward democracy in Haiti and other countries of the Caribbean.
"We are in a global age. Like it or not, we live in an age when our destinies and the destinies of billions of people around the globe are increasingly intertwined. We should neither bemoan nor naively idealize this new reality. We should deal with it."
On dealings with Russia and China, Gore said, "during the Cold War, we worked to contain these two powers. Our task in the 21st Century is not making them weak, but encouraging forces of reform."
Gore also characterized Russia and China as "vital partners," and accused Bush of seeing the two as enemies, a characterization which was quickly refuted by the Bush campaign. "The governor has not said that Russia and China should be enemies. He has said that China is a competitor and we should reach out to Russia...it's very much like the vice president to distort the Bush record," said Rice.