Mitt Romney has so far avoided laying out a detailed foreign policy. Part of his challenge is that his disagreements with Obama on some of the biggest issues are more tone than substance. And part of his challenge is that he’d rather talk about the weak economy than tangle on national security with the guy who got Osama and annihilates suspected terrorists with a drones instead of locking them up in Guantanamo. But Romney has seized on the killings of U.S. diplomats in Libya a an opportunity to label Obama a squish. One of his campaign advisors has gone so far as to tell the Washington Post that the embassy killings would not have happened under Romney:
“There’s a pretty compelling story that if you had a President Romney, you’d be in a different situation,” Richard Williamson, a top Romney foreign policy adviser, said in an interview. “For the first time since Jimmy Carter, we’ve had an American ambassador assassinated.”
So what is Romney’s foreign policy? A lot of people are hearing echoes of George W. Bush in Romney’s bluster. The Washington Post had this take:
“…That fogginess about Romney’s worldview was partly a function of the emphasis on economics so far, but also on the costs of talking globally when a sizable portion of the Republican base, including Ron Paul isolationists and fiscal conservatives, does not want anything to with the world outside America’s borders. That leaves George H.W. Bush-era realists, who advocate a modest foreign policy focused on U.S. interests, and George W. Bush-era neoconservative interventionists as the two available ideological schools to which Romney can subscribe.
His reaction this week made it clear that when it comes to Republican foreign policy, the neocons are still the only game in town…”
And in an interview, Romney’s foreign policy director, Alex Wong, tried as hard as he can to avoid using the n-word:
…So then does he dispute the classisfication of neoconservative?
“What I’m saying is,” said Wong, “Governor Romney’s embrace of American values and interests and his call for American leadership…”
So does he feel comfortable being called a neoconservative?
“What I am saying is,” said Wong, “that Governor Romney has used, has said, that his philosophy is peace through strength.”
Does he have a problem with the term neoconservative?
“Governor Romney has indicated that he has a philosophy,” said Wong, “peace through strength.”
So he does have a problem with the term neoconservative.
“Governor Romney,” said Wong, “has throughout this campaign talked about American values and interests and called for American leadership abroad.”
Does he embrace the concepts of neoconservatism, just not the title?
“I think I have given you a lot here,” said Wong. “I have described Governor Romney’s philosophy and the way he’s discussed it and how he makes his decisions.”