In response to hypothetical questions about attacking Pakistan or facing a nuclear attack on the US, the leading four Democratic candidates for president discussed various ideas for curbing nuclear proliferation. Senator Hillary Clinton proposed having a responsible party within the government for “marshaling our resources” against the proliferation of nuclear weapons. Senator Barack Obama proposed rebuilding the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, negotiating with Russia to reduce our nuclear stockpiles, and expanding programs to secure loose nuclear material. Governor Bill Richardson also expressed a willingness to negotiate to reduce stockpiles and deal with loose nuclear material. Former Senator John Edwards offered the boldest vision for dealing with the nuclear weapons threat:
And I think this ad hoc policy does not work over the long term. And what I believe we should be doing over the long term and what I will do as president of the United States, besides dealing with these short-term threats — which are very serious and should be taken seriously — I, as president of the United States, want to do what some Republicans and some Democrats have said, which is to lead a long-term initiative — international initiative — to actually rid the world of nuclear weapons, because that is the only way to make the world safer and secure and to keep America safe. [emphasis mine]
This is exactly the kind of proactive response we want to hear from the candidates—linking America’s security with the long-term goal of eliminating nuclear weapons. Our Voters for Peace and Security campaign continues its work to pressure candidates to make the elimination of nuclear weapons a priority.