Political Notebook

On foreign policy, Romney compares his strengths to Reagan’s

Mitt Romney said Sunday that his conviction and problem-solving skills would make him a successful foreign policy president in the mold of Ronald Reagan, who like Romney had limited experience in international affairs.

“I would say that foreign policy is a place where intelligence, resolve, clarity, and confidence in cause is of extraordinary importance,” Romney said in an interview with CBS News before delivering a foreign policy address in Jerusalem.

“Ronald Reagan was one of our great foreign policy presidents,’’ Romney said.

“He did not come from the Senate. He did not come from the foreign policy world. He was a governor. But his resolve, his clarity of purpose, his intelligence, his capacity to deal with complex issues and solve tough problems served him extremely well. And if I were elected president, I hope I could rely on those same qualities.”

Romney said he believes that when voters look at him, “they will see a person who’s dealt with a number of challenging and extremely difficult circumstances and been able to successfully navigate through those and create greater strength and greater opportunity.

“I believe that people recognize that I am someone who has confidence in America’s cause, that I am clear in the purpose that America represents, and that I would exercise might, if it were necessary, with resolve.”

But the presumptive Republican presidential nominee offered few insights into the principles that would guide his decision making.

After Romney suggested he would consider military intervention in Iran to block nuclear development, interviewer Jan Crawford asked, “What would the Romney doctrine be, then, when you’re trying to decide whether to intervene abroad?”

“Well, my doctrine is as I’ve described,” Romney replied, “which is confidence in our cause, clarity in our purpose, and resolve in our might.”

Obama has also not ruled out military action, but he has warned Israel against any premature action, urging it to give sanctions a chance to work, including new restrictions on Iranian oil sales.

Foreign trip full of gaffes for Romney, Democrats say

Democrats knocked Mitt Romney on Sunday for what has been, at times, a bumpy overseas trip, with one saying the presumptive Republican presidential nominee “fumbles around on pretty easy issues.”

“When he gets off on the first leg of this trip and he goes to Great Britain and he insults the British people, and David Cameron, the prime minister, and the mayor of London both rebuke him, the question becomes this: If he can’t engage our allies on a simple topic like the international Olympics, how is he going to be tough enough to stand up to our gravest enemies, like Iran?” said Tim Roemer, a former US ambassador to India.

“Who is Iran going to take more seriously with the threat of a military option?” Roemer added in an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union.’’ “Barack Obama, who has used our troops effectively in Iraq and Afghanistan . . . or Mitt Romney, who goes to Great Britain and fumbles around on pretty easy issues?”

Romney, in London last week to meet with British officials and attend the opening ceremony of the Olympics, drew sharp criticism there for his assessment of the city’s readiness to host the games.

“It’s hard to know just how well it will turn out,” Romney said last Wednesday in an interview with NBC News. “There are a few things that were disconcerting: the stories about the private security firm not having enough people, supposed strike of the immigration and customs officials — that obviously is not something which is encouraging.”

Romney’s Olympic comments followed an ethnically charged remark by an unnamed adviser, who was quoted in a British newspaper as saying Romney’s “Anglo-Saxon heritage” would give him an advantage over President Obama in relations between Britain and the United States.

Romney said in the NBC interview that he did not agree with the adviser.

On Sunday, before a speech by Romney in Jerusalem, one of his campaign’s foreign policy advisers, Dan Senor, jumped ahead of the candidate when he told reporters that “if Israel has to take action on its own, in order to stop Iran from developing [nuclear] capability, the governor would respect that decision.”

Romney backtracked slightly in an interview with CBS News later in the day, saying “if all those [diplomatic] options fail, then we do have other options.’’

Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida, chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, called the episode “emblematic of how Mitt Romney’s entire trip abroad has gone so far.”

“I think he’s demonstrated pretty repeatedly since he’s been out of the country that he lacks the experience, he lacks the preparation and the diplomatic skills to be the commander-in-chief, to be the president of the United States,” Wasserman Schultz said.

Wasserman Schultz criticized Romney for not elaborating on his strategy for dealing with Iran.

“If Mitt Romney believes that it’s time to go to war to address Iran’s quest to achieve a nuclear vision, then he should say it,” she said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”

“In fact, if Mitt Romney has any foreign policy positions at all — which he has seemed to not indicate he has — then he should say them,’’ she said. “That’s the very least that the American voters can expect.’’

Callum Borchers

“I would say that foreign policy is a place where intelligence, resolve, clarity, and confidence in cause is of extraordinary importance,” Romney said in an interview with CBS News before delivering a foreign policy address in Jerusalem.

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