Hugh Hewitt Asks Mitt Romney About Obama’s Libyan Policy, Presidential Plans

Governor Romney was a guest today during the first hour of the Hughniverse (Hugh Hewitt’s radio program). Romney was asked about Obama’s foreign policy in Libya, the future of nuclear power, and his presidential plans for 2012:

Monday, March 21, 2011
HH: Joined now by former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney. Governor, always a pleasure, welcome back.
MR: Thank you. Good to be with you today.

HH: What is your reaction to President Obama’s announcement of air strikes on Libya?
MR: Well, first, I support military action in Libya. I support our troops there and the mission that they’ve been given. But let me also note that thus far, the President has been unable to construct a foreign policy, any foreign policy. I think it’s fair to ask, you know, what is it that explains the absence of any discernable foreign policy from the president of the United States? And I believe that it flows from his fundamental disbelief in American exceptionalism. In the President’s world, all nations have common interests, the lines between good an evil are blurred, America’s history merits apology. And without a compass to guide him in our increasingly turbulent world, he’s tentative, indecisive, timid and nuanced. And as a result, I think, he says, for instance, he’s committed to our success in Afghanistan unless it means commitment beyond 2011. He stands with our ally, Israel, but condemns its settlement policy even more forcefully than he condemns Hamas’ rockets. And he calls for the removal of Muammar Gaddafi, but then conditions our action on the directions we get from the Arab League and the United Nations.

HH: Did he wait too long, Governor Romney, to strike against Libya?
MR: There’s no question but that his inability to have a clear and convincing foreign policy made him delegate to the United Nations and the Arab League a decision about our involvement there. And I happen to have a very personal concern. I mean, 270 people were killed as a result of that tragedy over Lockerbie. We now know that that was ordered directly by Muammar Gaddafi. One of my colleagues at Bain & Co, and a friend, named Nicholas Bright, was killed in that flight. And the President had every piece of information he needed to be able to take action in America’s interest.

HH: Does he appear weak?
MR: You know, I think one of the comments I’ve heard from individuals abroad is that in the past, America has been feared sometimes, has been respected, but today, that America is seen as being weak. We’re following the French into Libya. I appreciate the fact that others are participating in this effort, but I think we look to America to be the leader of the world. You know, the cause of liberty can endure the mistakes that are inevitable consequences of human fallibility. But liberty’s standard can’t prevail if it’s not proudly, decisively and consistently held aloft.
[...]

At the end of the interview, Hewitt mentioned Tim Pawlenty’s exploratory announcement today and asked Romney about his plans:

HH: [...] Last question, Governor Romney, we’ve got about 45 seconds. Former Governor Pawlenty announced his exploratory committee today. Do you have any idea when you’ll be deciding whether or not to do the same thing?
MR: I have an idea, Hugh, but I’d tell you quietly, but I’m afraid you’d let your listeners know, so I’ll have to be giving that some thought, but no definitive plans right now.

HH: Are you going to the Reagan Library debate that Politico wants to hold in May?
MR: Well, that depends on when we get things organized, and that’s not something I’m ready to come out with right now. But I can tell you that I’m doing what I’ve got to do to make sure that if we decide to go ahead, that we’ll have a successful effort.

HH: Mitt Romney, always a pleasure, Governor, thank you for joining us.

(my emphasis) Read the entire transcript here.

UPDATE: Here’s an audio portion of the Romney/Hewitt interview:




I’m giving a shout-out to 16 year old Tyler Keegan for creating this new video
Mitt Romney – Common Sense for America:


Although I trust Mitt’s timing on when to get in the race, I’m getting excited for a Romney candidacy! Are you?

H/t to Sam for audio


► Jayde Wyatt

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11 Responses to Hugh Hewitt Asks Mitt Romney About Obama’s Libyan Policy, Presidential Plans

  1. Guy Mitt says:

    Go Mitt!

    I like that Mitt is smart enough to not stick to what the constitution says about using military force. The President should use taxpayer money to attack any country he thinks is necessary. It would be a waste of time to declare war with the approval of Congress. What we need is a truly modern President, like Mitt, who doesn’t allow his objectives to be constrained by the old and outdated constitution!

    Go Mitt!

  2. Shimdidly says:

    @Guy Mitt
    Brilliantly sarcastic. Sad to see Romney, a guy with so much potential otherwise, towing the Republican party line of pre-emptive wars and world policing.

  3. ChuckP says:

    Old and outdated Constitution? Either you are woefully uninformed, or you are deliberately trying to make Romney look like he does not respect constitutional restraints. This may come as a surprise to many who have not studied the constitution, but the President is the commander in chief of the armed forces and can use them to defend the interests of this country without a declaration of war. Jefferson had no such declaration when he sent the Marines to the shores of Tripoli, and Obama can take action against a tyrant on those same shores who has demonstrated a willingness to murder our citizens using terrorist means. He does not need a declaration of war.

  4. Sam says:

    Guy Mitt, your argument is fatally flawed, because the situation doesn’t warrant a declaration of war.

    If President Obama said, “OK, we’re going into Libya and taking the entire government down.” That would be a war. But that’s not what’s happening here.

    This is unilateral usage of the military. Under the War Powers Act, the President has the authority as Commander in Chief of the U.S. armed forces to use force when he determines there is an emergency against the U.S.

    One can argue, quite correctly, that there was no imminent danger to the U.S. So Obama should have consulted Congress on the issue under the War Powers Act.

    But you are making the assumption that because Mitt supports action, he SOMEHOW supports action without the consent of Congress. Wrong. You are putting words in his mouth.

  5. Crystal says:

    “Guy Mitt” is obviously a plant .. most likely from the Ron Paul constituency .. trying to distort what Mitt believes in. No problem with people coming on the site to give their opinions, but when they come on to try to put words in Romney’s mouth that are incorrect .. their post should be stricken from the site.

  6. Crystal says:

    .. or perhaps “Guy Mitt” is simply trying to make Romney supporters look as stupid as his post by pretending that someone here would post such rubbish.

  7. Mark says:

    @Crystal
    good point. someone please remove that trash.

  8. Mark says:

    @Shimdidly
    great to see a person, such as mitt, who will use lawful means to defend freedom and powerless citizens from tyrants.

  9. Luke says:

    @Crystal

    @Mark

    MRC welcomes perspectives from other camps (yeah, unfortunately even the snarky or sarcastic ones) so long as they remain semi-civil. Obviously, we wouldn’t allow anybody to be crass, crude, or offensive to other commentors, but opposing viewpoints often encourage lively debate and help us Mitt fans sharpen our skills. For now, we’ll allow these misguided souls to linger.

  10. Noelle says:

    Personally I have mixed feelings about our involvement in Libya. I don’t know the ideology of the rebels, and therefore I don’t know if we get rid of Gaddafi will we end up with something just as bad or even worse? However, we have good evidence that Gaddafi was behind the Lockerbie bombing, and as such we have the right to retaliate. I am not willing to condemn Obama’s decision to get involved, but I do think he waited too long. If we were going to help the rebels why did we wait until after Gaddafi had a chance to regroup?

    Whether or not the no-fly zone in Libya is a good idea I am not qualified to make that decision with my information, but I do believe that Obama’s lackluster leadership and slow decision making is a problem.

  11. Noelle says:

    Personally I have mixed feelings about our involvement in Libya. I don’t know the ideology of the rebels, and therefore I don’t know if we get rid of Gaddafi will we end up with something just as bad or even worse? However, we have good evidence that Gaddafi was behind the Lockerbie bombing, and that being the case we have the right to retaliate. I am not willing to condemn Obama’s decision to get involved, but I do think he waited too long. If we were going to help the rebels why did we wait until after Gaddafi had a chance to regroup?

    Whether or not the no-fly zone in Libya is a good idea I am not qualified to make that decision with my information, but I do believe that Obama’s lackluster leadership and slow decision making is a problem.