Mitt Romney delivered what he reportedly dubbed his “closing argument” speech today in Wisconsin and while he rattled off a series of attacks on the Obama administration for various alleged failures, the former Massachusetts governor entirely ignored foreign policy. Actually not entirely. Romney did repeat his “wrongheaded” claim that he would label China a currency manipulator upon taking office, an idea that pretty much no one thinks is a good one.
It’s not entirely surprising that Romney had nothing to say today about veterans, the U.S. military, the war it is engaged in in Afghanistan or any other national security issue (recall he didn’t mention the troops or the war in Afghanistan in his RNC speech). He and his campaign has gone to great lengths to avoid talking foreign policy throughout the campaign. When he does, Romney sounds a lot like President Obama, at least he has since securing the Republican nomination for president. Before that though, Romney sounded more like Dick Cheney, which made sense because most of his foreign policy advisers are holdovers from from the George W. Bush administration.
Bush administration Secretary of State Gen. Colin Powell recently noticed this trend. “The governor who was speaking at the [presidential foreign policy] debate was saying things that were quite different from what he said earlier,” Powell said late last month while endorsing Obama for president, adding, “My concern which I’ve expressed previously in a public way is that sometimes I don’t sense he has thought through these issues as thoroughly.”
Obama delivered his “closing argument” speech yesterday, also in Wisconsin. “So long as I’m Commander-in-Chief, we will pursue our enemies with the strongest military the world has ever known,” he said. “But it’s time to use the savings from ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to start paying down our debts here and rebuilding America.”