ABROAD WITH FORBES

ON THE STUMP, HE RECITES STIFFLY. BUT PRESS HIM ON A SUBJECT LIKE, SAY, CHINA, AND WATCH HIS MIND BEGIN TO WORK

IS THERE A MIND BEHIND STEVE FORBES' MADDENINGLY robotic ability to stay "on message"? Does he think deeply about anything besides tax policy? Well, Forbes said recently, "I'd put my foreign policy knowledge up against any other candidate." That wasn't as foolish as Gary Hart's daring reporters to prove his infidelity, but there it was anyway: the Forbes Challenge.

So I asked about China last week--and a brain opened. "Taiwan trumps everything," Forbes began. "It's the top priority." Would he defend the island if China attacked? "Of course," he said emphatically. "But unlike Clinton, I'd make damn sure Beijing knew that...

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