Mitt Romney looked presidential during his foreign policy address at the Virginia Military Institute Monday night, but looks aren’t everything. He spoke eloquently about America’s history of boldly leading the world, but there was little substance — or even internal consistency — under the surface. In many cases, his statements flew in the face of reality on the ground. Perhaps the most impressive thing about the speech was how well it showcased Romney’s ability to pass off policy solutions that are already in place as his own new ideas that have never been tried.
For instance, Romney criticized President Obama for not being tough enough on Iran, promising that he “will not hesitate to impose new sanctions.” But people who have been following the news know that the Obama administration helped institute the harshest sanctions in Iran’s history — an oil embargo followed by most of the world. Just last week, Iran’s currency lost 40 percent of its value in two days, crippling its economy. That was an historic American foreign policy success on an issue Romney says is paramount. Yet his speech ignored it completely, framing the idea of tough sanctions as a much-needed change Romney would bring.