His position reflects the difficulties of managing the multifaceted Iranian problem, which affects oil prices, the fragile world economy, U.S. alliances and the U.S. relationship with Israel, the domestic politics of American political support for Israel and Middle East power politics. As a result, Obama's position is hard to sum up as a campaign issue.
A recent Washington Post-ABC News survey found that Americans trust Obama over Romney on international affairs, 53 percent to 36 percent.
Sen. Marco Rubio, a potential Romney vice presidential pick, outlined a similar vision Wednesday.
The Florida Republican lamented "liberal Democrats and conservative Republicans" who championed U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan and opposed involvement in Libya, and said Obama should have done even more to advance the cause of the rebels who toppled Moammar Gadhafi.
"Global problems do require international coalitions. On that point this administration is correct," Rubio said. "But effective international coalitions don't form themselves. They need to be instigated and led, and more often than not, they can only be instigated and led by us. And that is what this administration doesn't understand."
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