This morning on MSNBC, former Secretary of State Colin Powell criticized Mitt Romney’s foreign policy team for being “quite far to the right.” Romney has been “catching a lot of heck from the more regular GOP foreign affairs community. We’re kind of taken aback by it,” Powell said.
Later on the same network, the retried four-star U.S. Army general, referring to Romney’s claim that Russia is America’s “number one geopolitical foe,” had some advice for the presumptive GOP presidential nominee — cut out the hyperbole when talking about foreign policy:
POWELL: I think he really needs to not just accept these cataclysmic sort of pronouncements. I think he really needs to think carefully about these statements because they’re now on the wall for people to see. … Let’s not go creating enemies where none yet exist. Does this mean that we should trust Putin or Medvedev? No. Let’s be mature people and look at the reality of the situation and not find ways to see if we can hyperbolize the situation.
Host Andrea Mitchell noted that Romney is attacking President Obama on his Iran policy, saying he’s “showing weakness.”
“Well I don’t know what Mr. Romney would prefer to do,” Powell said, “The fact of the matter is we need a negotiated solution and the only way you can get a negotiated solution is to talk to the other side.” Watch the clip:
Vice President Biden also recently chastised Romney for his militaristic rhetoric. “[L]oose talk about a war has incredibly negative consequences in our efforts to end Iran’s nuclear quest,” he said, adding that if war with Iran is “what governor Romney means by a ‘very different policy’ then he should tell the American people.”
And if Powell doesn’t know “what Mr. Romney would prefer to do” on Iran, as he said today on MSNBC, neither does anyone else. Romney has no real policy on Iran that differs much from the current administration’s approach. The New York Times reported recently that “when pressed on how, exactly, his strategy would differ from Mr. Obama’s, Mr. Romney had a hard time responding.”