Trump Puts 'America First' in Foreign Policy Speech
Critics call the speech 'incoherent' and 'rambling'
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 27, 2016 2:57 PM CDT
Donald Trump gives a foreign policy speech at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington DC on Wednesday.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

(Newser) – As part of his ongoing attempt to appear more presidential, Donald Trump gave a speech on foreign policy Wednesday in which he called for the country to be "America first" in its dealings with the rest of the world. “Both our friends and our enemies put their countries above ours, and we—while being fair to them—must start doing the same," Trump said, per the Hill. Trump said the US has been making too many deals that hurt it and needs to have a "two-way street" in the future, CNN reports. He characterized the foreign policy of Obama and Clinton as "randomness" and "chaos" and criticized them for ignoring Islamic extremists. Here are some of the early reactions to Trump's speech:

  • Chris Cillizza at the Washington Post, among others, knocked the speech's lack of specifics: "The 45-minute speech was heavy on what the country has done wrong under President Obama and decidedly light on the specifics of how Trump will fix things."
  • CNN's Fareed Zakaria called the speech "bizarre" and "incoherent."
  • Lindsey Graham's Twitter account, on the other hand, had burns for days. For example, "Are we sure the guy running the teleprompter has the pages in the right order?" and, "Not sure who is advising Trump on foreign policy but I can understand why he’s not revealing their names."
  • David Sanger at the New York Times says Trump "left questions on the table" and included "many big, Trump-like themes" that nonetheless contradicted each other.
  • White House press secretary Josh Earnest pounced on Trump's mispronunciation of Tanzania: "Apparently, the phonetics are not included on the teleprompter."
  • That slip didn't bother Newt Gingrich at all. "Washington elites mock Trump for mispronouncing Tanzania," he tweeted. "They don't get it. He said the most important word correctly: America. He gets it."
  • Finally, the New Republic's Ryu Spaeth was left unimpressed: "He declared that America is 'finally going to have a coherent foreign policy,' but literally nothing could be less coherent than the rambling, uncharacteristically telepromptered speech he gave today."