Mitt Romney seems repeatedly unsteady on foreign policy — the gaffes this summer in England and now his popping off about a very fluid and tragic situation in Libya and Egypt. As violence was brewing in Cairo and Benghazi, our embassy in Egypt issued a statement condemning the actions of religious bigotry against Islam in an effort to calm the situation. Mitt Romney seized on this statement as “disgraceful,” an appeasement by the Obama administration of a mob attack that killed our ambassador to Libya and other Americans.
Problem is, Romney had his timing wrong, or one can only hope that is the reason for his stupidity. Romney must not have known that the administration’s first statement was made to try to prevent the violence from escalating. And he must not have known that the administration condemned the attacks forcefully when it learned the situation on the ground. If that is the case, then we can only say that Romney hasn’t learned that timing is everything in a fluid international crisis. Romney’s foreign policy approach seems to be shoot your mouth off first, before trying to put your foot in it.
And now Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Chutzpah is a perfect word to describe his repeated attempts to influence domestic U.S. politics — asking the United States to place specific parameters around its possible response to the Iranian nuclear program and demanding a meeting with President Obama before the election — all designed to embarrass the president and to fan doubts about his commitment to Israel. Bibi ought to think twice about who he really wants defending Israel, given Mr. Romney’s amateur status in world affairs.