Former governor Mitt Romney is delivering a speech today at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank in Washington, D.C. whose ideas form the root of the Bush administration’s right-wing ideology.
Romney’s talk at AEI is meant to lay out his “Comprehensive Strategy For Winning The War On Terror.” Here’s an excerpt from the speech released to reporters:
I know that our liberal friends shake their head when a conservative talks of a nuclear Iran, or bio terror, or global Jihad. But for conservatives like me, facing reality is not a source of fear. It is a source of confidence. I am convinced that America — and our friends — can overwhelm any threat, but only if we acknowledge it, confront it, and respond thoughtfully and strategically.
In fact, facing the reality of the war in Iraq is a source of fear for Romney.
In the 600-word speech excerpt leaked to reporters today, there is not a single word about Iraq. Romney’s “comprehensive strategy for winning the war on terror” makes zero mention of what Romney claims is the “central front” of this war. (Time magazine reports this month that Romney “never mentions Iraq in his stump speech.)
In recent months, Romney has voiced support for the escalation, opposed efforts to withdraw U.S. forces, even claimed it’s “entirely possible” that Saddam Hussein actually had WMD. Yet like former mayor Rudy Giuliani, who failed to mention Iraq in his recent “12 Commitments” to America, Romney is making a concerted effort to downplay his support for President Bush’s Iraq strategy in public.