- Dr. Ben Carson, already seen as weak on national security and foreign policy, begins a rapid collapse from second place in the Republican field to a weak fourth by New Year’s Day.
- National security dominates the December 15 Republican debate with many candidates scoring points, with Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio receiving the most attention. But it was Donald Trump who again dominated before and after coverage with his no Islamic immigrant position in early December.
- Possibly most dramatic was President Obama’s scrambling to assert a stronger national security position, even if mostly rhetorical. It started with an unusual speech from the Oval Office, and included a visit to the Pentagon, Homeland Security and several press conferences all dedicated to his views on having patience, tolerance and staying-the-course with his plan.
Polling shows Obama and Democrats are weaker on national security than on domestic issues and Democratic constituencies are less interest in it. For Obama and Clinton, 2016 will be a challenging year handling the issue.
President Obama speaks during news conference in White House briefing room
Dec. 18, 2015
Photo: Carolyn Kaster/AP
The D Brief, Dec. 15, 2015
Politico: Gen. Obama tries to seize the messaging war
Hawaii News Now: Before heading to Hawaii for vacation, Obama aims to defend terror-fighting strategy
CNN: Clinton makes general election pitch with focus on terrorism
New York Times: Under fire from GOP, Obama defends response to terror attacks