Mitt Romney’s foreign policy as hubris, Romney’s moderate makeover [AM Briefing]

October 9, 2012

Mitt Romney on foreign policy: “Romney gave a policy-by-policy accounting of what he said he would do differently, including arming Syria’s rebels, restoring the United States’ commitment to traditional allies, and increasing U.S. military spending to better project American force in Asia and the Middle East. Much of it he has said before, and some of it differs little from Obama’s approach. But more broadly, Romney outlined a more assertive American role in the world, and argued that it is a U.S. obligation to lead despite hard times at home.” (Washington Post)


Hubris is not a strategy, either: “In his speech at the Virginia Military Institute, Romney called for a new approach to the Middle East, based on “these bedrock principles: America must have confidence in our cause, clarity in our purpose and resolve in our might.” Those are attitudes, not principles. And if jut-jawed self-assurance that we know what we’re doing in the Middle East was the key to victory, we’d have a little more to show from the last 11 years of war. Hope is not a strategy, but hubris isn’t either,” writes Cato’s Gene Healy. (Washington Examiner)

CFR’s James Lindsay told Politico’s Josh Gerstein: “There’s absolutely nothing in this speech. This is a repackaging of language that has been a staple of Romney’s campaign since he threw his hat in the ring,” said James Lindsay of the Council on Foreign Relations. “If Romney has a foreign policy strategy, he still has not told us what it is. The governor is very fond of saying hope is not a strategy, but that cuts both ways. He didn’t answer two key questions: what he would do differently and why we should expect what he would do to work.” (Politico)

Mitt Romney’s major reversal on foreign aid. (ThinkProgress)

Politico’s Arena asks: Politico reports today that a recent Romney family intervention has reshaped the way Mitt Romney’s campaign is being run. Ann Romney and her eldest son, Tagg, are now working emphasize a more moderate image for Mitt. Meanwhile, the job profile of top strategist Stuart Stevens has been significantly scaled back, moving away from his anti-Obama economic message. Has and will this new focus be the change that Romney needed? Does Romney appear to be shedding his stiff image?

Heritage’s James Carafano: Orange you glad the terror color code was abolished? (Washington Examiner)

Room for Debate asks: In Northern Virginia, drivers on the Dulles Toll Road are paying more than half the cost of an expansion of the Metro train system. In Ohio, the director of the turnpike authority says its revenue should be used for other projects. Should revenue from toll roads be spent on other transportation priorities, like public transit? (New York Times)

Heritage’s Hans von Spakovsky: Violating the WARN Act. (National Review

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Allen McDuffee · October 9, 2012