McCain goes where Romney won’t

August 29, 2012

FILE - In this March 28, 2012 file photo, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. listens during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington. McCain said in an interview posted online Friday that "foreign money" was helping fellow Republican Mitt Romney's presidential hopes and singled out one of his ally's most generous supporters. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) used his speech Wednesday night to once again criticize President Obama for not taking a more active role in revolutions across the world, including in Syria.

Which is interesting, given Mitt Romney isn’t exactly on the same page as McCain.

McCain said Obama missed an opportunity to take an active role in revolutions in Iran and shouldn’t repeat that mistake in Syria.

“America must be on the right side of history,” McCain said. “The demand for our leadership in the world has never been greater. People don't want less of America. They want more.”

Notably, though, Romney hasn’t embraced McCain’s call for action when it comes to Syria. 

For months, McCain has called for military intervention in Syria, but Romney has declined to endorse that strategy.

Even as late as Tuesday, a Romney foreign policy adviser stressed that Romney doesn’t support a no-fly zone over Syria, as McCain and Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) have proposed.

“The governor has not called for a no-fly zone. Close friends of his such as Sens. McCain, Lieberman, and Graham have called for a no-fly zone for weeks. That is not a step that Governor Romney has made," senior campaign adviser Rich Williamson told Foreign Policy

In his speech Wednesday, McCain said in broad terms that he has faith in Romney’s foreign policy. 

“I trust that Mitt Romney has that faith, and I trust him to lead us,” McCain said. “I trust him to affirm our nation's exceptional character and responsibilities.” 

McCain’s speech, as all speeches are, was scripted and was undoubtedly approved by convention organizers. So it’s interesting that he would bring up an area in which he disagrees with Romney.

At the same time, McCain didn't specifically address issues where he and Romney disagree and didn't repeat his calls for airstrikes or a no-fly zone.

Aaron Blake covers national politics and writes regularly for The Fix.
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