Bob Dole on Foreign Policy
Former Republican Senator (KS)
The risks were considerable, but I had confidence in Mexico's new president, Ernesto Zedillo. Besides, we simply couldn't let Mexico fall without trying to help. In addition to the economic problems it would cause both for us and for the Mexicans, we would be sending a terrible signal of selfishness and shortsightedness throughout Latin America.
I called the congressional leaders to the White House, explained the situation, and asked for their support. All of them pledged it, including Bob Dole.
Congress would not pass the bill so we ended up providing the money to Mexico out of the Exchange Stabilization Fund.
Although a public poll said that 75% of the American people were opposed to giving Russia more money, and we were already in a hard fight for the economic plan, I felt we had no choice but to press ahead. American had spent trillions of dollars in defense to win the Cold War; we couldn't risk reversal over less that $2 billion and a bad poll. To the surprise of my staff, the congressional leaders, including the Republicans, agreed with me. At a meeting I convened to push the plan, Senator Joe Biden, the chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, strongly endorsed the aid package. Bob Dole came around on the argument that we didn't want to foul up the post-Cold War era the way the victors in World War I had done. Their shortsightedness contributed mightily to World War II, in which Dole had served so heroically.
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George W. Bush (R,2001-2009)
Bill Clinton (D,1993-2001)
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