On his way to his estate on Lake Winnipesaukee on Thursday, Mitt Romney stopped to visit campaign workers who happened to be veterans. Asked by a reporter why he decided not to discuss the Afghanistan war on his party’s biggest stage last week, the AP story offers this assessment :
Romney’s omission of Afghanistan in Tampa reflected weak public support for the Afghan war, fatigue over a decade of terrorism fears, and the central role of the economy in the campaign. But it was still a remarkable shift in tone for a party that, even in peacetime, has used the specter of war to call for greater military spending and tough foreign policy.
Mitt Romney may have been the first Republican nominee since 1952 to not mention war during his convention speech, but that does not mean that his foreign policy experience was not explored during the DNC.
That job was left of John Kerry, the Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee. Here is the transcript and the highlights.
In this campaign, we have a fundamental choice. Will we protect our country and our allies, advance our interests and ideals, do battle where we must and make peace where we can?
Or will we entrust our place in the world to someone who just hasn’t learned the lessons of the last decade?
We’ve all learned Mitt Romney doesn’t know much about foreign policy. But he has all these “neocon advisors” who know all the wrong things about foreign policy. He would rely on them—after all, he’s the great outsourcer.
But I say to you: This is not the time to outsource the job of commander in chief.
Barack Obama promised always to stand with Israel to tighten sanctions on Iran—and take nothing off the table.
Again and again, the other side has lied about where this president stands and what this president has done. But Prime Minister Netanyahu set the record straight—he said, our two countries have “exactly the same policy…”—”our security cooperation is unprecedented…”
When it comes to Israel, I’ll take the word of Israel’s prime minister over Mitt Romney any day.
So on one side of this campaign, we have a president who has made America lead like America again. What is there on the other side? An extreme and expedient candidate, who lacks the judgment and vision so vital in the Oval Office. The most inexperienced foreign policy twosome to run for president and vice president in decades.
It isn’t fair to say Mitt Romney doesn’t have a position on Afghanistan. He has every position. He was against setting a date for withdrawal—then he said it was right—and then he left the impression that maybe it was wrong to leave this soon. He said it was “tragic” to leave Iraq, and then he said it was fine. He said we should’ve intervened in Libya sooner. Then he ran down a hallway to duck reporters’ questions. Then he said the intervention was too aggressive. Then he said the world was a “better place” because the intervention succeeded.
Talk about being for it before you were against it!
Mr. Romney—here’s a little advice: Before you debate Barack Obama on foreign policy, you better finish the debate with yourself!
“President Mitt Romney”—three hypothetical words that mystified and alienated our allies this summer. For Mitt Romney, an overseas trip is what you call it when you trip all over yourself overseas. It wasn’t a goodwill mission—it was a blooper reel.
But a Romney-Ryan foreign policy would be anything but funny. Every president of both parties for 60 years has worked for nuclear arms control—but not Mitt Romney. Republican secretaries of state from Kissinger to Baker, Powell to Rice, President Bush, and 71 United States senators all supported President Obama’s New Start treaty. But not Mitt Romney. He’s even blurted out the preposterous notion that Russia is our “number one geopolitical foe.” Folks: Sarah Palin said she could see Russia from Alaska; Mitt Romney talks like he’s only seen Russia by watching Rocky IV.
So here’s the choice in 2012. Mitt Romney: out of touch at home, out of his depth abroad and out of the mainstream.
Or Barack Obama: a president who is giving new life and truth to America’s indispensable role in the world; a commander-in-chief who gives our troops the tools and training they need in war, the honor and help they’ve earned when they come home; a man who will never ask other men and women to fight a war without a plan to win the peace.
And let me say something else. No nominee for president should ever fail in the midst of a war to pay tribute to our troops overseas in his acceptance speech. Mitt Romney was talking about America. They are on the front lines every day defending America, and they deserve our thanks.
Ouch … the truth hurts … Mitt Romney is hopelessly unprepared for the responsibilities of being Commander-in-Chief. Worse yet, his desire to increase the size of the military and to expend monies on behalf of the military-industrial complex for programs that the military does not want. Wanna-be Commander-in-Chief wants to add another 100,000 troops, which is expensive, and it’s not clear what they would do. The Marine Corps, for example, actually wants to cut its size. It has traditionally numbered around 175,000, and was bumped up to 202,000 temporarily to address its long “Army-like” missions in Iraq and Afghanistan. Once those are over it wants to get back to its core mission, which is not extended land warfare. Wanna-be Commander-in-Chief Romney also has failed to explain how he would pay for the estimated $7 Billion a year just for more Navy ships.