4 Areas Where Romney’s ‘New’ Foreign Policy Is Exactly The Same As Obama’s

Written by Zack Beauchamp

Mitt Romney, who has had trouble differentiating his foreign policy agenda from President Obama’s, gave a speech at the Virginia Military Institute that was designed to draw a contrast between his position and the President’s. Despite some sharp rhetorical criticism, however, Romney failed to develop new policy ideas that were meaningfully distinguishable from current Administration policy. The lack of meaningful difference was particularly evident on four issues:

1. Afghanistan. Romney pledged he would “will pursue a real and successful transition to Afghan security forces by the end of 2014.” This is precisely the same position the current Administration takes. Romney surrogates have been unable to point to one specific difference between Obama and Romney on our largest ongoing war.

2. Syria. Romney endorsed providing military aid through relevant third party states: “I will work with our partners to identify and organize those members of the opposition who share our values and ensure they obtain the arms they need to defeat Assad’s tanks, helicopters, and fighter jets.” The Obama Administration has already approved the provision of assistance to Syrian rebels through friendly Arab states.

3. Iran. Romney said he would “put the leaders of Iran on notice that the United States and our friends and allies will prevent them from acquiring nuclear weapons capability.” President Obama said that “four years ago, I made a commitment to the American people and said that we would use all elements of American power to pressure Iran and prevent it from acquiring a nuclear weapon. And that is what we have done.” Romney also pledged to “restore the permanent presence of aircraft carrier task forces in both the Eastern Mediterranean and the Gulf region,” but the US is already maintaining a carrier group in the Gulf.

4. Free trade. Romney, arguing that “The President has not signed one new free trade agreement in the past four years,” pledged to increase a push toward trade agreements. Obama has signed new free trade agreements with South Korea, Panama, and Colombia, and Romney didn’t specify what new agreements would be passed in a Romney Administration.

Indeed, much of Romney’s speech — like his pledge to “tighten the sanctions [on Iran] we currently have” — were too vague to constitute meaningful promises to make policy shifts. This is in keeping with Romney’s general “doesn’t want to really engage” view about challenging the President’s policy record on international affairs.

This post was originally published by ThinkProgress.


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Deborah F.
Deborah F5 years ago


J.L. A.
j A5 years ago

copying is so much easier than independent thinking, research and analyses...if it were a student's work, a charge of plagiarism might be levied yet it is tolerated in a candidate seeking the presidency...go figure

Lee Witton
5 years ago

Let me also add that 10's of thousands of voters are facing disenfranchisement right now because when they were born, they didn't have a birth certificate and a crude birth certificate issued later was often wrong (castration of the actual name). These people would be required to hire a lawyer to represent them to get this whole mess straightened out before this election and most of these people have voted in every election up to this year. How can any of you who stands with Romney, stand for the disenfranchisement of honorable citizens of this country. Many of whom fought for your rights? HOW???? You betray them because of your own prejudices, and again, I am ashamed of you. I am disgusted that we have come to this state of affairs in this country. And some of the judges (as in Florida), are facing being removed from the bench because they are ruling against corrupt governors, like Rick Scott, for trying to disenfranchise voters. Many of you here are fine with the who disenfranchisement issue because it will help you get what you want, but just remember, it may well be you the next time who needs these same people who are being discriminated against to fight for your basic freedoms!

Lee Witton
5 years ago

Remember, as many have already pointed out here, Romney was a draft dodger. He got the deferments then protested FOR the war in Viet Nam. He is a gutless piece of slime. Send others children to war, while rallying support for something so ill, so vile, because you can buy your way out of serving your country. And for any of you voting for Romney, I will say you are gutless as well because you stand for nothing! He is a coporate raider, he is a draft dodger (anyway you look at it), he is a major flip flopper (doesn't stand true to any of his so-called convictions), he is a blatant liar, and he is an animal abuser. It makes me wonder what those of you who are voting Romney stand for, other than Romney. You could not stand for much. And the state of Massachusetts was 47th in the country for job growth, all the while he was saying something far different because of his pitiful record versus the unemployment rate now. He thought people should have patience because "it takes more than one term to turn things around", and you fools are buying into his lies which makes me so ashamed to share space with you. If he truly believed in anything passionately (other than that he has 'a right to the presidency'), I would believe you should vote your own concerns. But how the hell can any of you say you are concerned citizens when you are standing with this liar? I think we all know by now what you are concerned about, and it is not the state of affairs of this country!

janice b.
jan b5 years ago

Romney can say whatever he wants and people will believe it who haven't the time to follow what is going on in the world and the USA.
If the Fairness Doctrine were still in effect, that stupid Citizens United decision by the Supreme Right Wing Court would have been neutered because those statements would have to be have PAID counter statements. Can you imagine the Koch Brothers or Romney risking having to pay for a rebuttal ad by Obama to the B.S. they are putting out now?

Mitchell D.
Mitchell D5 years ago

Vicky P. is right, both parties are corporate butt kissers, and Carole L, and Thomas P. are on point, in their responses to ridiculousness.
The wars that Bush initiated, especially the one in Iraq, based on outright lies, that alienated us from allies, and cost many American lives, damaged others, and was apparently really based on his imbecilic, fundamentalist reading of Gog and Magog, in the Bible, according to a recent French President's report, were not criticized by the right, were they? Again, where were the loudmouths when Bush and Cheney were destroying the Constitution, piece by piece?

Thomas P.
Thomas P5 years ago

To those criticizing the foreign policy of President Obama and Secretary Clinton....were you this critical of President Bush...remember 9/11? You seem to forget whose watch that fell under. Most would take President Obama's foreign policy and what he and Sec Clinton have done to repair America's standing in the world over any Republican president's foreign policy in recent memory, and I most certainly would take it over Gov Romney. And it's already old seeing Romney kiss Netanyahu's ass. It was Sec Clinton that finally called out Israel in saying that every time they build a settlement, it is a violation of UN Treaty & International law.

Carole L.
Carole L5 years ago

The difference between Obama and Romney’s foreign policy plans; Romney’s the white guy.

Interesting how those who oppose Obama are resorting to belittling and name calling of Obama supporters. They actual “think” that if they call us stupid, ignorant, lazy, victims, etc. that we’ll be shamed into voting for Mittens. Which would indeed be a shame. How 17th century of them.

Here’s a little serenade for the trolls we love;


Carole L.
Carole L5 years ago

Susan S.
“How many more innocent American patri” Obama and Hillery should have made this a TOP PRIORITY, especially because of the date, and because of the several threats in the few days before the attack.”

You mean like when Bush protected all those ppl in the WTC.
You mean like when Bush protected all those ppl from Katrina aftermath.

Bush ignored the PDB’s intel that provided clear, concise info that Osama was determined to attack US via airplanes.

3,000 lives lost WTC
4,000 lives lost in Iraq which had nothing to do with 9/11,
no wmd’s found,
1,833 lives lost due to Katrina,
You mean like when Bush protected main street from Wall Street AIG crash, economic crash etc. So, which admin was a negligent and outright failure again?

Arild W
“What does "Mint" know about foreign policy???”

He keeps his money in foreign banks.

“Our current foreign policies have done more to destabilize the middle east than anything else in the last 20 years”

Yeah, the Iraq occupation had nothing to do with destabilizing the middle east. Abu Ghraib was truly a “morally”, “uplifting” moment. Water boarding inmates at Gitmo certainly made me “proud” to be an American.

Cathy Hoskins
Cathy Hoskins5 years ago

Vicky P what candidate are you talking about we have two running for office no other so the reason being is no other candidate was running unless he or she had a bad grass root operation