Back in July, Mitt Romney went on an overseas trip to three U.S. allies. The trip was, to put it mildly, not one of his better moments. Within a day of landing in Britain, he’d managed irritate both the Prime Minister and the Mayor of London, along with a great many Britons. In Israel, he managed to not only irritate the local press, he also blew off a meeting with the leader of the main opposition party. In Poland, one of his staff was … rude … to the press. It was not a great start for him on the international stage. Instead of showing himself prepared to be a world leader, instead it inspired a new term: Romneyshambles. I was reminded of that watching the final debate on Monday night
The consensus was that he lost, but while various pundits are scoring it “on points,” the problem wasn’t just that Obama “outpointed” him. He did worse than that. Romney was backtracking on his own previous positions, ending up saying, in effect, “I’d do what he’s doing, just … better. Somehow.”
Romney at times sounded like a cheerleader for Obama’s foreign policies — almost like he was Obama’s secretary of state and not Hillary Clinton.
“You mention the Navy, for example, and that we have fewer ships than we did in 1916. Well governor, we also have fewer horses and bayonets,” Obama said during the final presidential debate. “We have these things called aircraft carriers and planes land on them. We have these ships that go underwater, nuclear submarines.”
“It’s not a game of battleship where we’re counting ships, it’s ‘What are our capabilities?’”
In the end, Mitt Romney looked unprepared and out of his depth when it comes to foreign policy. He came out of this debate looking like he has no clear idea of what his foreign policy is. He’s either reading off whatever is currently in vogue with the conservative press, or he’s in favor of what Obama is doing – at the same time.
On foreign policy, the subject of Monday night’s final presidential debate, he had little coherent to say and often sounded completely lost. That’s because he has no original ideas of substance on most world issues, including Syria, Iran and Afghanistan.
…. At his worst, Mr. Romney sounded like a beauty pageant contestant groping for an answer to the final question. “We want a peaceful planet,” he said. “We want people to be able to enjoy their lives and know they’re going to have a bright and prosperous future and not be at war.”
Which is why most of the world prefers to see President Obama re-elected. To me, what is most frightening about Romney is not his foreign policy, or lack thereof. It’s that even after finding out how poorly prepared he was on his first overseas tour, he didn’t bother to learn anything from it. This debate showed that, and if he’s elected, we may be treated to four years of Romneyshambles. The “apology tour” may be his, because he’ll have to go back to apologize for the first time.