FACT CHECK: Rice, McCain Can’t Detail Romney’s Foreign Policy Vision

FACT CHECK: Rice, McCain Can’t Detail Romney’s Foreign Policy Vision

Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice just joined John McCain in failing to detail Mitt Romney’s foreign policy vision from the stage tonight. But that’s no surprise – Romney hasn't outlined a plan for America's relations with a single region of the world or put forth a coherent foreign policy agenda – and his trip abroad as a candidate for President this year showed he was completely unprepared to represent America on the world stage.

ROMNEY’S FOREIGN POLICY IS DRIVEN BY ATTACKING THE PRESIDENT RATHER THAN A LONG TERM STRATEGIC VISION

Former Romney Foreign-Policy Adviser Dimitri Simes: “I Worry That Too Much Of Romney's Criticism [Of President Obama’s Foreign Policy] Is Driven By What He Thinks Is Best Politically, And Not By Any Larger Strategic Vision.” “The Russia remark has fanned concerns among both Romney supporters and nonpartisan foreign-policy experts that Mr. Romney's desire to contrast himself with President Barack Obama has led the GOP candidate to take positions that would be difficult to maintain if he wins the presidency. ‘I think Obama's foreign policy is seriously flawed, but I worry that too much of Romney's criticism is driven by what he thinks is best politically, and not by any larger strategic vision,’ said Dimitri Simes, a Russia expert who was a Romney foreign-policy adviser in 2008.” [Wall Street Journal, 3/29/12]

Aaron David Miller, Middle East Policy Adviser To Five Secretaries Of State Going Back To The Reagan Administration: “Romney Keeps Staking Out Positions That Are Meant To Be Sharply At Odds With Obama, But Also Happen To Be At Odds With What He Would Have To Do If He Were President.” [Wall Street Journal, 3/29/12]

New York Times: “In Seeking To Define Himself In Opposition To President Obama, Mr. Romney Has Openly Rejected Positions That George W. Bush Came Around To In His Humbler Second Term.” [New York Times, 5/12/12]

Center For Strategic And International Studies’ Jon B. Alterman: Romney Has Criticized “Current Foreign Policy Without A Well-Thought-Through Set Of Alternatives Going Forward.” “The wars in Afghanistan and in Iraq have created a strong isolationist strain within the Republican Party, embodied this campaign season by the candidacy of Ron Paul. At the same time, another wing of the party argues that the United States must still play the leading role in the world on behalf of democracy, human rights and open markets — ‘an exceptional country with a unique destiny and role in the world,’ as Romney put it at The Citadel last fall. ‘What Romney is trying to do, in the midst of a campaign, is to bring together these different strands of the Republican constituency that seem to have fractured after the Bush presidency,’ said Jon B. Alterman, who holds the Zbigniew Brzezinski chair in global security and geostrategy at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. But, Alterman said, Romney is attempting to ‘criticize the current foreign policy without a well-thought-through set of alternatives going forward.’” [Washington Post, 3/29/12]

ROMNEY’S FOREIGN TRIP SHOWED HIS NAIVETE

National Journal: “Romney Appeared So Amateurish During His Recent Gaffe-Strewn Tour Through Britain, Israel, And Poland.”  [National Journal, 8/27/12]

Tampa Bay Times Editorial: “Mitt Romney Bounced From Careless To Reckless Over The Weekend During An Overseas Trip Meant To Showcase His Foreign Policy Credentials.” [Editorial, Tampa Bay Times, 7/31/12]

Tampa Bay Times Editorial: “Instead Of Burnishing His Credentials, Romney Raised More Questions About His Preparedness To Be President.” [Editorial, Tampa Bay Times, 7/31/12]

Anonymous Republican Strategist: “The Whole Experience In England Was A Disaster. I Think It Amplified His Naivete.” “‘Has a trip convinced voters that he’s ready to be commander in chief? Absolutely not,’ said a Republican strategist and veteran of presidential campaigns. ‘The gaffes have received far more press than anything positive he got anything out of it. The whole experience in England was a disaster. I think it amplified his naivete.’” [Washington Post, 7/31/12]

Los Angeles Times: “[Romney’s] Two-Day Visit To Poland Was Marred Tuesday When  A Romney Press Aide Cursed At Reporters” But That Incident “Was A Far Less Consequential Bit Of Negative Publicity Than The Gaffes Romney Made On The Trip.” “The two-day visit to Poland was marred Tuesday when a Romney press aide cursed at reporters who shouted questions at the Republican candidate as he walked across a plaza to his car after laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The aide later apologized. But it was a far less consequential bit of negative publicity than the gaffes Romney made on the trip — questioning Britain's preparedness and excitement for the Olympic Games and musing during a fundraiser in Israel about how the economic disparities between neighboring countries, including Israel and the Palestinian areas, show the power of culture.” [Los Angeles Times, 7/31/12]

Guardian: “Romneyshambles’, ‘Party-Pooper’, ‘Worse Than Palin’ – British Papers Are Unimpressed By Republican’s Charm Offensive.” [Guardian, 7/27/12]

ROMNEY DOESN’T WANT TO ENGAGE ON ISSUES OF FOREIGN POLICY

Romney Adviser: Romney “Doesn’t Want To Really Engage” On Issues Of Foreign Policy Until He’s In Office. “Another adviser, saying he would be ‘cashiered’ if the campaign caught him talking to a reporter without approval, said the real answer was that ‘Romney doesn’t want to really engage these issues until he is in office’ and for now was ‘just happy to leave the impression that when Obama says he’ll stop an Iranian bomb he doesn’t mean it, and Mitt does.’” [New York Times, 5/12/12]