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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