How GOP candidates outsource their foreign policy to the same group of experts

Ever since Mitt Romney lost the race in 2012, his foreign policy team has been working to remain intact, become a resource for as many primary candidates as possible, and position itself to influence the next president, if he or she is a Republican. For candidates who haven’t the time or resources to build their own foreign policy staffs at this stage, the project, called the John Hay Initiative, is a handy tool to get smart fast on complicated subjects and even hand off some heavy lifting on national security issues.

For the party itself, the group’s omnipresence behind the scenes is shaping a hawkish, right-of-Hillary-Clinton foreign policy agenda that is quickly becoming the established position of the party hopefuls going into 2016.

Texas Governor Rick Perry has credited the group in several media appearances, such as his June 21 appearance on “Fox News Sunday” when he was asked how he had boned up on foreign policy since his last run.

“Sitting with George Shultz and Henry Kissinger and Brian Hook at the Hay Initiative, individuals who have deep knowledge what’s going on in the world,” Perry said, “I feel very comfortable now sitting on the stage that I can have those conversations and regurgitate that information.”