After watching last night’s debate I was struck by how often Mitt Romney agreed with President Obama on a string of the most significant foreign policy issues. It’s hard to fathom how Romney can go out on the campaign trail and lambaste the President for a foreign policy that he asserts is falling apart, when he seems to concur nearly across the board with what Obama is doing and has done.
Setting aside the fact that Romney has also blasted Obama for these very same policies, here is a short list of examples of his Etch-a-Sketchy new positions that he has cribbed from the President:
- I believe, as the president indicated, and said at the time that I supported his action [in Libya].
- I don’t blame the administration for the fact that the relationship with Pakistan is strained.
- I support that and entirely, and feel the president was right to up the usage of [drones], and believe that we should continue to use it,
- I congratulate him on taking out Osama bin Laden and going after the leadership in al-Qaeda.
- It’s absolutely the right thing to do, to have crippling sanctions [on Iran].
- The surge [in Afghanistan] has been successful and the training program is proceeding apace [...] and we’re going to be able to make that transition by the end of 2014.
- We can be a partner with China. We don’t have to be an adversary in any way, shape or form.
- First of all, I want to underscore the same point the president made which is that if I’m President of the United States, when I’m President of the United States, we will stand with Israel.
- I couldn’t agree more about going forward.
That kind of acquiescence makes for a pretty one-sided debate – which is what it was. On a question regarding Syria, Obama responded to Romney’s answer by saying “What you just heard Governor Romney said is he doesn’t have different ideas. And that’s because we’re doing exactly what we should be doing.” That might just as well have been the answer almost everything Romney said. Romney obviously doesn’t have an original thought to contribute to the discussion so he pathetically mimics the President.
The Huffington Post helpfully put together a video that features just how deferential Romney was to Obama last night.