Romney's Evolving Stances
Posted by James Lamond
In tonight's debate, Governor Romney outlined his strategy towards Iran. He stated he wants to lay out a pressure track of economic sanctions, which he says are working, combined with increased pressure to isolate Iran diplomatically, backed by a strong credible military threat. This was the message that came out of his speech last week at the Virginia Military Institute as well. This has also been the cornerstone of the Obama administration strategy over the past three years.
However, this has not always been Romney's position. In June, when speaking to a conservative audience Romney stated:
"I think, by and large, you can just look at the things the president has done and do the opposite... You look at his policies with regards to Iran... He's almost sounded like he's more frightened that Israel might take military action than he's concerned that Iran might become nuclear."
Of course, tonight he said he would do more sanctions and more diplomatic isolation, but that is not quite the "opposite" of what the president is doing. Accepting the premise of the strategy is a welcome development, considering some of the hawkish stances that his advisors have taken. However it is also another of the Governor's inconsistencies on foreign policy issues. A common trend throughout this campaign has been an attack from Romney on a current policy, then outlining essentially the existing approach. This has been the case on Syria, Afghanistan and Libya.
Earlier in the campaign season, Romney had embraced the rhetorical bluster of his neoconservative and hawkish advisors. Now as the election approaches he is forced to give specifics, he has shifted towards a more centrist approach. As friend-of-DA Brian Katulis wrote in this Sunday's New York Daily News, "Though in policies and plans, Romney offers nothing to distinguish himself from the President, in tenor and tone, he carries a neoconservative shtick."