WASHINGTON, July 19 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Just days after a new National Intelligence Estimate demonstrated that President Bush has failed to make our homeland safe and allowed al-Qaeda to rebuild to pre-9/11 strength, smooth talking Mitt Romney "praised President Bush for keeping America safe during the war on terror." [AP, 7/18/07] During a speech in Colorado Springs last night, Romney praised the President even though the NIE revealed that al-Qaeda is regrouping and seeking ways to attack the United States , that its senior leadership is still based in the Afghanistan-Pakistan border regions, and that the Iraq war has helped to energize al-Qaeda.
It comes as no surprise that Romney, who called Osama bin Laden "insignificant" and said it is "not worth moving heaven and earth" to capture him, would praise President Bush's failed leadership in the war on terror. [AP, 4/26/2007] Romney, who has no foreign policy experience and refuses to discuss the war in Iraq in his stump speech, has consistently failed to outline clear plans for how he would handle the war. [Time.com, 5/31/07] Romney has also stood shoulder to shoulder with the President, even as his permanent commitment to a failed strategy in Iraq has stretched our armed forces to a breaking point and cost the lives of 47 brave men and women from South Carolina. [www.icasualties.org, accessed 7/20/07]
"The American people have already rejected one president who ignores military leaders and took his eye off the ball in the real war on terror; they are not going to elect another," said Democratic National Committee spokesman Damien LaVera. "Smooth talking Mitt Romney still hasn't learned that the American people are looking for clear and decisive leadership on the Iraq War not empty slogans and blind support for a president whose failed agenda has made America less secure."
Romney: Catching Osama "Insignificant," Said It's "Not Worth Moving Heaven and Earth" to Capture bin Laden. In an interview with the Associated Press on Thursday, April 26, 2007 , Republican Presidential Nominee Mitt Romney said, "the country would be safer by only 'a small percentage' and would see 'a very insignificant increase in safety' if al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden was caught because another terrorist would rise to power. 'It's not worth moving heaven and earth spending billions of dollars just trying to catch one person.'" [Associated Press, 4/26/2007]
Mitt Can't Make Up His Mind on Iraq Benchmarks: Says They're Needed to "Restore Public Confidence...""In a wide-ranging, hourlong interview with AP reporters and editors, Romney said the Bush administration would be wise to publicly disclose some goals for success in Iraq to restore public confidence.... 'This is a time when it would be helpful for the American people and the people of Iraq to see that we are actually making progress if that's what's happening,' Romney said. Helpful measurements could include power-sharing with the Sunnis, division of oil revenues, the status of certain militias, as well as the numbers and training levels of Iraqi military and security forces, he said." [AP, 6/7/07]
...But Opposed Them Weeks Earlier. During an interview on Good Morning America, Romney said, "The president and Prime Minister al-Maliki have to have a series of timetables and milestones that they speak about. But those shouldn't be for public pronouncement. You don't want the enemy to understand how long they have to wait in the weeds until you're going to be gone. You want to have a series of things you want to see accomplished in terms of the strength of the Iraqi military and the Iraqi police, and the leadership of the Iraqi government." [Good Morning America, 4/3/07]
Romney Praises Bush "Principled Leadership" on Iraq . The day after the President vetoed the Iraq troop withdrawal bill, Romney called the President to offer his support and commend his leadership. An adviser to Romney said that the presidential contender telephoned to "commend the President for his veto" and praise his "principled leadership in the war on terror." Romney's adviser made it clear that the campaign was not seeking to distance itself from Bush. "On the eve of this debate," said the adviser on the significance of the call, "it says we're not running from this guy at all." [Politico.com, 5/3/07]
Romney: American People Paying for Bush's Mistakes, But I "Wouldn't Presume" to Have Done It Differently. In May, Romney said his fellow Republicans in the Bush White House made mistakes in Iraq that the country is still paying for: "I think the administration made a number of errors... They made mistakes ... and we're paying for those mistakes." [CBSNews.com, 5/11/07] But less than a year earlier, Romney told Bill O'Reilly that he "wouldn't presume" to do it differently: "I wouldn't presume to present a plan different from that of the President. But I believe he was right to take on the war on terror on an aggressive front rather than a defensive front. We toppled the government ... walking away would mean a humanitarian disaster. We're there and we have a responsibility to finish the job." [O'Reilly Factor, FNC, 9/27/06]
Romney Displays "Superficial" Knowledge On Iraq , "Never Mentions" War in Stump Speech. Romney's latest attempt to dodge the issue comes as a Time Magazine column highlighted his "superficial" knowledge of the war and other top issues. The column magazine blasted Romney for "the brazen cynicism of his candidacy," saying "he skims the surface of issues" in a stump speech that "never mentions Iraq." In fact, on a recent swing through New Hampshire, Romney "cruised through two performances before the word Iraq perforated his balloon." When finally asked about it by a high school student, Romney "offered a welter of details... which sounded sort of knowledgeable but was actually quite superficial" before getting to the point: "he would support the President." [Time.com, 5/31/07]
Romney Can't Decide When to Decide if Iraq Escalation is Working: Said He'd Assess Bush Plan in Five Months, Now Up To 15. In February 2007 , Romney said "we'll see how well that plan is working" in "five to six months." [Real Clear Politics, 2/26/07] Now, when asked how long Romney needs, spokesman Kevin Madden said: "That will depend on input from the military commanders... It could be 15 months." [Los Angeles Times , 5/15/07]
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