Mitt Romney: Nationally Insecure?
Posted by Heather Hurlburt
Which Mitt Romney will show up at the Citadel to give a ‘major foreign policy address’ tomorrow? Will we see Tea Party-pleasing Mitt who’s proposed getting out of Afghanistan and staying out of the international effort on Libya? War Party Mitt who supports unending war in Afghanistan, a new war in Iran and U.S. troops to Pakistan -- and who just named the Bush old guard to his national security team? Free-trader Mitt who opposes tariffs on China or Mitt who supports sanctions for Chinese currency manipulation? Or maybe crowd-pleasing Mitt who refused ‘to scold the audience’ for booing an active-duty servicemember deployed in Iraq? Best guess is he’ll go for all of the above—no apologies!—but you never know.
President Obama: Keeping Promises Across The Globe
It will take some doing to challenge a president who has taken Bin Laden and more than two dozen wanted terrorist leaders off the battlefield, kept a pledge to begin winding down wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, shown firmness toward China, driven Moammar Qaddafi from power and rallied our allies together around sanctions for Iran and support to prevent global economic collapse.
Mitt Romney: All Over The Map
From hand-to-hand combat in presidential debates over Afghanistan, to intra-party Congressional food fights on defense spending, the conservative movement is torn between its War Party and Tea Party factions. Meanwhile, on a litany of foreign policy issues --Afghanistan, China, Libya, terrorism, American allies and military-- Romney’s attempts to define himself as all things to all people have placed him on the wrong side of the experts – and often, his own previous statements.
Romney was against a drawdown of troops in Afghanistan before he was for it; he said he would not send troops to Pakistan, but then said he could imagine a scenario where it would be necessary; he said the President was wrong to join a coalition intervening in Libya, but then celebrated when Qaddafi was forced out; he said we shouldn't criticize our allies, then made disparaging remarks about Mexico and France; he said Presidents Bush and Obama were too tough on China’s steel and tire exporters, but then said the President wasn’t tough enough on China trade.
Romney says he was not prepared “to scold the audience” at a recent debate for booing an active-duty servicemember deployed in Iraq. Last year he was unprepared to support our military leaders’ call for a treaty that would reduce Russia’s nuclear weapons. Instead, he followed Congressional Republicans and opposed it, in what an independent journalist called a “shabby, misleading and thoroughly ignorant” attack.
Team of Rivals?
The Bush national security hands that he’s named to his national security team are the same people who brought us the bungled aftermath of the Iraq invasion, the elections that brought Hamas to power in Gaza, and the decision to pull troops away from the hunt for Bin Laden and send them to Iraq instead.
The “shadow National Security Council” rolled out by the Romney campaign today includes advisers who think the Obama Administration’s planned transition away from combat operations in Afghanistan would be “a disaster,” and others who say that skepticism about any continued mission there simply “accounts for reality.” He has advisers who think the U.S. tried to “run away from” Libya, and others who think we did too much. What does Romney think?
In domestic politics, flip-flops make your donors insecure. In foreign policy, they make us all less secure.