Struggling to gain a grasp on key foreign policy issues, Mitt Romney seems to be taking his cues from former Vice President Dick Cheney. Romney has offered high praise for Cheney as a vice president: “That’s the kind of person I’d like to have—a person of wisdom and judgment.” Cheney later returned the compliment, declaring, “Mitt Romney can do a whale of a job for us, as a candidate and as a president.”
But Romney and Cheney share more than mutual admiration. It seems Romney is intent on pushing the same failed policies that Cheney championed alongside President George W. Bush.
Launching the war in Iraq
Cheney: Asked by Wolf Blitzer, “So no regrets about Iraq?” Cheney: “I think we made exactly the right decision.”
Romney: “It was the right decision to go into Iraq. I supported it at the time; I support it now.”
Ending the war in Iraq
Cheney: Opposed bringing all of our troops home from Iraq, saying that the White House is “bound and determined to get out no matter what, and it would be a real tragedy if we leave too soon before they are ready to fend for themselves.”
Romney: “It is my view that the withdrawal of all of our troops from Iraq … [is] more than unfortunate, I think it’s tragic.”
Cheney: Has argued against the Afghanistan withdrawal timeline, saying, “I don’t think we need to run for the exits.”
Romney: “It is my desire and my political party’s desire to support the people of Afghanistan and not to leave.”
Cheney: “I was probably a bigger advocate of military action than any of my colleagues,” Cheney said in response to whether the Bush administration should’ve launched a pre-emptive attack on Iran.
Romney: “I can assure you if I’m President, the Iranians will have no question but that I would be willing to take military action, if necessary ...”
If Romney can’t seem to figure out his own foreign policy positions, he shouldn’t just adopt the failed policies of the past that jeopardized U.S. interests abroad and hurt our leadership on the world stage.
As Rep. Adam Smith points out, “A Romney presidency promises to take us back to something all too familiar: a Bush-Cheney doctrine—equal parts naïve and cavalier—which eagerly embraces military force without fully considering the consequences. That ‘attack now and figure it out later’ mindset had disastrous consequences for our country. We can’t afford to go back to the failed policies of the past, not when we’ve come so far and had so much success.”