Shifting Sands: Mitt Romney Changes His Mind Again
When interviewed by Human Events back in December, he had no opinion on the proposed "surge" in troop levels in Iraq:
I’m not going to weigh in. I’m still a governor. I’m not running for national office at this stage. I’m not going to weigh in on specific tactics about whether we should go from 140,000 to 170,000. That’s something I expect the President to decide over the next couple of weeks and announce that to the nation. I want to hear what he has to say.
Apparently recognizing that not taking a stand was hurting him, Romney now says he supports the surge:
"In consultation with Generals, military experts and troops who have served on the ground in Iraq, I believe securing Iraqi civilians requires additional troops. I support adding five brigades in Baghdad and two regiments in Al-Anbar province. Success will require rapid deployment."
No serious contender for the GOP nomination in '08 could remain silent on this issue, and Romney's reluctance to lay out his position beforehand shows the learning curve he faces as a first-time national candidate.
This highlights Romney's weakness on the foreign policy front. Back in the 1990s many people felt we had reached "The End of History" and that foreign policy could be neglected. We learned painfully that was a mistaken notion on September 11, 2001.
And for those who think that Mitt might be a little light on foreign policy experience, but at least he's a solid conservative on the social issues unlike John McCain and Rudy Giuliani, check out this:
I absolutely think there's a place in the Republican party for people who believe what Romney professes in there. But you can't then turn around and proclaim yourself the "real conservative" in the race and the "successor to Reagan".