Yesterday, former Gov. Mitt Romney made the rounds on various television shows as part of a promotional tour for his new book, “No Apology: The Case For American Greatness.” During an interview on NBC’s Today show, host Matt Lauer noted that Romney has “been having a good time taking some shots at President Obama over the last several months.” When Lauer asked if Obama has “done anything right,” Romney cited the President’s Afghanistan policy:
LAUER: Has President Obama done anything right, anything good in the past 12 months?
ROMNEY: Yeah. No question about it, he’s done several things well. … He boosted our effort in Afghanistan, which is the right course to take.
Yet nearly 12 hours later on Fox News, Romney attacked the President’s handling of Afghanistan, claiming that Obama had diverted attention away from Afghanistan to focus on health care, which he dubbed a “classic error”:
HANNITY: Do you think Barack Obama is tone deaf? What do you think of him?
ROMNEY: Look, I think he’s a lot worse than tone deaf. I think he has such a low level of experience in dealing with tough situations like this that he’s made some classic errors. One of which is not to focus on job one from the first day he was in office. And that, of course, was getting jobs back to the American people. And then the second issue should have been making sure that we’re successful in our fight against terrorism around the world particularly in Afghanistan. But instead he diverted onto health care.
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Romney’s quick shift should probably come as no surprise. During his run for president in 2008, his penchant for changing positions on a number of key issues — including abortion, gay rights, and immigration — in order to placate to the right-wing base became widely known.
Most recently, Romney has now flipped back to supporting comprehensive immigration reform (something he supported as late as 2005 before he derided it during the campaign) and just last September, Romney attacked the bank bailouts he had once supported.
The Washington Independent’s Spencer Ackerman notes that in his new book, Romney “has absolutely nothing to say” about the 8-year-old Afghanistan conflict. “He proposes expanding the counterinsurgency capabilities of the military,” Ackerman writes, “but manages to say absolutely nothing about what they ought to do in Afghanistan, except for the content-free platitude that ‘we must draw upon the resources of our entire military.’”