Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney’s foreign policy mythology book tour continued on Fox News Sunday this morning. Romney started his interview saying that President Obama had engaged in an “apology tour.” This has been a standard conservative talking point in response to the massive positive shift in global attitudes toward America, as a result of President Obama’s diplomatic outreach.
However, Romney went further asserting that Obama’s words gave “support” to those saying the 9/11 attacks were a fabrication:
ROMNEY: It also adds fuel to the fire of those who are apart of the blame America crowd. I saw even Ahmadinejad is even saying 911 is a fabrication. These sorts of voices should not receive any kind of support from the words of the President of United States.
But I can tell you, that I am glad the the President reversed course in Iraq – he didn’t pull our troops out as he said during the campaign. He likewise supported our surge efforts in Afghanistan, having voted against the surge in Iraq… He has done some things right, but his apology tour was one of the things he did very very badly.
Romney’s outrageous claim that Obama’s words “support” Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad also belies the reality that the President’s outreach to the Iranian people helped bolster the movement for change within Iran that is intensely opposed to Ahmadinejad.
In his short answer to Chris Wallace, Romney was able to forward two more factually false statements. Romney seems to have no idea that US troops in Iraq are being pulled out at a fairly rapid rate that fits with the timeline outlined by candidate-Obama. There are now fewer than 100,000 troops in Iraq for the first time since the invasion.
Romney also claimed that the surge in Afghanistan was a GOP idea. This is completely wrong. During the 2006 and 2008 elections Democrats campaigned aggressively on shifting the focus from Iraq to Afghanistan. Upon taking office Obama immediately authorized an increase in troop levels – something that President Bush refused to do – bringing US troop levels in Afghanistan to the highest they had ever been. He then authorized a further increase and a timeline for withdrawal with his West Point speech last fall.