A GOP operative told Reuters that Romney’s “instinct is to call the Cheney-ites” on foreign policy issues, and indeed, Romney reportedly turned to a former Cheney aide to guide his hard line on China. Romney’s Cheney-esque foreign policy raising questions about how much a Romney presidency would resemble the disastrous Bush-Cheney administration.
The questions are more than reasonable: Romney and Cheney already share controversial positions on matters like ending the Iraq war and whether the U.S. should torture terror suspects. Here’s a quick rundown of their positions on some top issues:
CHENEYROMNEYTORTURECheney said he was a “big supporter of waterboarding,” an interrogation method that is considered torture. “I would strongly recommend we continue it,” he has said. Romney agrees. His aides have said he does not believe waterboarding is torture,” and refused to rule out the technique’s use by a potential Romney administration.IRAQCheney supported starting, continues to defend, and opposed ending the Iraq war. He said ending the costly war “would be a real tragedy.” When the war was winding down over his objections, Cheney said the U.S. should “negotiate with the Iraqis on some stay-behind forces.” But Cheney and his comrades seem not to care at all about what Iraq’s democratically-elected government had to say about it.Romney also said withdrawing from Iraq was “more than unfortunate. I think it’s tragic.” Like Cheney, Romney called for the U.S. to maintain “an ongoing force, somewhere between 10 and 20 and 30,000 [troops] there,” without ever raising what Iraqis might think about it.IRANCheney said in 2009 that he wanted the United States to attack Iran in the waning days of the Bush administration. “I was probably a bigger advocate of military action than any of my colleagues,” Cheney said.While Romney tries to keep quiet on Iran during the campaign, his top foreign policy advisers don’t. John Bolton, who regularly calls for war with Iran, said recently that he hopes negotiations fail. And a host of Romney advisers — many of whom helped bring about the Iraq war — also advocate for war with Iran.
With their closely mirrored language on these controversial issues, it’s no surprise that Romney said last year that Cheney was a “man of wisdom and judgment.” For good measure, Romney added: “That’s the kind of person I’d like to have [as vice president] — a person of wisdom and judgment.”
That sort of lavish praise and the fundraising relationship could portend more war and strife for the U.S. in a potential Romney administration. Cheney is the second Romney fundraiser host this week who has been intimately involved with advocating for an attack on Iran.