US President Barack Obama speaks with Cuba's President Raul Castro on the sidelines of the Summit of the Americas at the ATLAPA Convention center on April 11, 2015 in Panama City.
Photo by Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty

Republicans balk at U.S./Cuba breakthrough

This year’s Summit of the Americas promised to be more newsworthy than most, and the gathering in Panama didn’t disappoint. President Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro met face to face – a development unseen in more than a half-century.
 
Obama acknowledged that after decades of a policy that accomplished nothing, “it was time to try something new.” The U.S. leader acknowledged “there’s still going to be deep and significant differences between our governments,” but remained hopeful that both countries are “in a position to move on a path toward the future.”
 
As the Washington Post reported, Republicans were, right on cue, outraged.
President Obama’s face-to-face meeting with Cuban President Raul Castro on Saturday angered Republican candidates vying to succeed him – and might help elevate an issue that so far hasn’t resonated widely among GOP primary voters. […]
 
The rapidly expanding Republican presidential field also includes several candidates deeply opposed to Obama’s worldview and some – given their home state politics, family lineage or general opposition to Obama – are especially angered by his overtures to Cuba.
The usual suspects repeated the usual complaints, and were led by Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, and Ted Cruz. None bothered to defend the old policy that wasn’t working, but the GOP presidential contenders nevertheless condemned the White House for embracing a new policy.
 
Rubio, in particular, called Obama’s willingness to pursue a new course “ridiculous.”
 
What’s striking is the degree to which Republicans appear to be the only people in the world who are thinking this way.
 
A clear majority of Americans agree with Obama. A majority of Cuban Americans agree with Obama. A majority of Cubans agree with Obama.
 
American allies are delighted to see the new U.S. policy towards Cuba, as is much of Latin America, which routinely criticized the failed American policy.
 
GOP lawmakers and presidential candidates have spent months condemning the White House’s foreign-policy overhaul. So far, Republicans don’t seem to be persuading anyone but themselves.
 
UP, 4/12/15, 9:17 AM ET

Dramatic step in US-Cuba relations

President Obama’s meeting with Cuban President Raul Castro marked the first meeting between U.S.-Cuba leaders in more than 50 years. NBC’s Perry Bacon Jr. and former U.S. Amb. to the UN Bill Richardson join to discuss.
 

Barack Obama, Cuba and Foreign Policy

Republicans balk at U.S./Cuba breakthrough