Obama Foreign Policy: Seriously Sub-Optimal

Pictures of Barack Obama bowing courtesy of today’s Drudge Report.

Overview.

I’m not going to hammer on the president for his choice of words on Jon Stewart. I’m not a fan of the Dems’ insulting attempts at faux outrage over things like “binders” so I’ll not do anything but quote our president. But we can safely say, as President Obama did, when Americans die our president’s foreign policy is obviously “not optimal.” And when you look back at the past four years, really, we can’t say what’s happened are mere “bumps in the road,” either, but the result of having chosen the wrong road altogether. Today in the New York Post Amir Taheri put it more succinctly: the president’s foreign policy has “failed.”

So before tonight’s debate about foreign policy, let’s remind ourselves just how sub-optimal this president’s foreign policy has been, and how bumpy the road was. People may criticize Mitt for not having foreign policy experience, but Obama only has four more years than Mitt has, having had none when he started on the job training. The question is whether Barack Obama learned anything during that time, and perhaps the biggest indictment contained in the mess in Libya is that his record indicates he hasn’t learned what he needs to, and is willing to close his eyes to the obvious in favor of a narrative that supports, if tenuously, his world view. Meanwhile I’m sure someone else with a different philosophy, like peace through American strength, would do a lot better.

His One Argument: bin Laden

Let’s start by giving the president partial credit for his one “achievement.” In a true team effort, American intelligence, after years of searching that culminated during the Obama administration, was able to find Osama bin Laden. The president then sent a team of experts into Pakistan to kill him. Still, a number of things still trouble me about this “success.”

First, the president’s beaming over the mission and “spiking the football.” While it’s a comforting thought bin Laden is no longer a threat, call me old fashioned but it does not seem appropriate to throw a party when anyone is killed, even if a confessed terrorist and murderer. The appropriate attitude seems to be one of quiet gratitude, and confidence we were able to accomplish what we needed to protect American citizens from harm. But not elation.

Second, the president’s taking personal credit for the achievement. What happened was a success due to years of work starting in the Bush administration and involving hundreds if not thousands of people from intelligence gatherers to planners of the raid to those who actually executed it. Let’s not forget the president watched it on TV, and was not on the ground personally in Pakistan. He deserves credit as the person at the head of the team, but to the extent he deserves that credit, he deserves as much blame for what went wrong in Libya. And gracious leaders give credit where due. I agree he should be congratulated for making the decision to move forward. He took a risk and it paid off. But I disagree with President Clinton’s assessment that this decision took any special fortitude. I believe Mitt’s right that any president would have made the same decision. So Obama’s credit is for being in the seat at the head of table when the team succeeded, and for calling for the two-point conversion to win the game. He succeeded, and gets the credit for that strategic decision. But it was the team on the field, not him that deserves any glory, and an end-zone dance seems particularly inappropriate.

Third, in his desire to take personal credit, the president shared sensitive intelligence information. He volunteered the identity of the team that carried it out, putting them and their families in danger. And this was one of many leaks, coming per Dianne Feinstein directly out of the White House, of sensitive US information. The president seems willing to compromise security when it suits his political purposes, which I find difficult to condone.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, the success of this one mission does not mean Al Qaeda is really “on the run,” as has been claimed by the Dems. They’re still in Afghanistan and now are in Libya. And whatever the president’s policy in this regard, despite bin Laden’s removal, the date of Al Qaeda’s last successful terrorist attack is no longer 9/11/01. It’s 9/11/12.

Now, to more problematic issues: world hot spots

1. Libya. Four Americans are killed in Libya despite pleas for additional security. Reports out of the State Department, the intelligence community and the White House contradict who knew what when. Immediately after the attack the president made a generically deniable statement about not letting terrorism deter us, but spent the next two weeks allowing the American people to believe it’s somehow the fault of our freedom of speech and an obscure YouTube video, using rhetoric that could suggest we somehow deserve what happened. Why? Again President Obama and the Democrats insisted on “spiking the football” over Osama bin Laden’s death at their convention, such that it’s an inconvenient truth that Al Qaeda is not really “on the run,” especially in Libya where the president is trying to take credit for “leading from behind.” Contrary to his assertions, Libya is not a model for American foreign policy success as it is now the site of the first assassination of an ambassador in 30 years.

Judge Jeanine of Fox lets it out here:

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Romney: More to Gain Than to Lose in Last Debate

Well, the final Presidential debate will be over in less than 24 hours.

I’m sensing a certain level of stress among some Romney supporters in the lead up to this debate. Sure, it’s human nature to feel anxious just before a big event … especially when we are so invested in Mitt’s success. But I’m not nervous one bit, and here’s why ….

Governor (soon to be “President Elect”) Romney has much more to gain than to lose in this debate. It’s Obama that has the tough job tonight. The non-incumbent challenger generally has a low-bar to clear in these debates. They only have to 1) show that they can credibly be Commander-in-Chief and 2) avoid major gaffes. Mitt has shown that he is more than capable of achieving this based on his first two debate showings.

Much of the “who won the debate?” game is about expectations. Obama was widely expected to be a superior debater/communicator, and it was a race-changing event when he lost the first debate so dramatically. This set up debate number two, where Obama had reset his bar down to the floor. As such, many observers felt that he “won” the second debate (by a much narrower margin than the 1st debate, and more on style than on actual issues according to polls). But the President’s “win” was really more of a “most improved” award … we’ve seen no bounce in the polls for him at all.

Conventional wisdom is that Obama is supposed to trounce Governor Romney tonight, since the topic is Foreign Policy. The problem for Obama, is that his supposed foreign policy superiority is already “baked into the cake” of his poll numbers/support. Obama’s problem arises from the fact that his foreign policy successes begin and end with “Bin Laden is dead.” Sure, that’s a HUGE point, but it’s sort of hard to talk about THAT for 90 minutes straight. And no voter is going to change his mind to vote for Obama on this issue. “Hey yeah, Obama got Bin Laden … I had forgotten that. I guess I’ll vote for him now.”

Even those formerly on Obama’s foreign policy team decidedly do NOT see this as a strength for him (be sure to read that scathing rebuke!).

The debate will give Mitt an opportunity to, once again, unexpectedly impress voters on the depth and breadth of his international experience and knowledge. The media have painted him as a lightweight on foreign policy, someone out of his depth. Mitt can and will highlight his substantial foreign exposure through his public, private, and religious experiences.

The wildcard issue for tonight is Banghazi … and not in a good way for Obama.


Despite the President’s higher foreign policy numbers in general, this recent Ohio poll (that was even a +8% Dem sample) showed Mitt UP 49%-47% on the question: “Do you trust Barack Obama or Mitt Romney more on the issue of Libya?” Mitt did miss an opportunity to fully expose Obama on Libya in debate #2. Don’t expect a replay of that tonight …

Foreign Policy #ObamaIsntWorking

If President Obama did as bad as he did in the debate on domestic policy, what is going to happen when the debates turn to the topic of foreign policy?

Obama Should Adopt Mitt’s Motto: “No Apology”

Reuters reported Thursday that the challenges in the Middle East over the past week represent a “perfect storm” of problems for President Obama.

An eruption of violent unrest across the Middle East is confronting President Barack Obama with the most serious challenge yet to his efforts to keep the Arab Spring from morphing into a new wave of anti-Americanism – and he has few good options to prevent it.

Less than two months before the U.S. presidential election, a spate of attacks on embassies in Libya, Egypt and Yemen poses a huge dilemma for a U.S. leader who took office promising a “new beginning” with the Muslim world but has struggled to manage the transformation that has swept away many of the region’s long-ruling dictators.

Perhaps a “new beginning” wasn’t what was needed in the region after all. Perhaps instead an unequivocal message of America’s willingness to protect itself is what’s needed. We’ll talk, sure, but we’ll also stand up for ourselves. Warning: naked cartoon Obama below the fold. (more…)

A Frightening Moment For Our Nation …

Let’s review things for a moment . . .

A fresh-faced optimistic Democratic nominee (and future winner of the Nobel Peace Prize) is swept into office after a surprise win in the lead-off Iowa caucuses …

As this new President takes office, the economic crisis and national recession intensifies …

An iconic American automobile giant, on the verge of bankruptcy, receives a federal bailout and is “saved” …

Energy costs and inflation soar to historic levels …

Middle East relationships become tense and the US Ambassador to an Islamic agitator nation is murdered by Jihadist Muslim terrorists

The Islamic world isn’t frightened by obvious US military superiority, for they know this President wants to be loved and leave a legacy as a peace-maker …

The Republican Nominee is accused of a “shoot from the hip”/”shoot first; aim later” approach to foreign policy …

Russia is on the rise and emboldened by America’s decreased standing and respect in the world …

Against all reason (but with the help of a complicit media), this incumbent President leads his Republican challenger, a former Governor of a liberal state, in post-convention/pre-debate Gallup polls by close to double digits …

Many strong Republicans are disheartened by their prospects of winning the White House, thereby seeing their great country sink further into decline and disrepute …

The year? The President?

… none other than 1980 and Jimmy Carter my friends (or the present with Obama if you prefer …).


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Mitt Romney & Paul Ryan: A 9/11 Remembrance

US Marine Cpl. Mark Litynski of New Hope, Minnesota, gazes up at One World Trade while visiting the 9/11 Memorial at Ground Zero in New York, on July 4, 2012. Litynski was visiting the memorial with other wounded veterans as a part of a trip organized by the ‘Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation’, which helps build accessible homes for the wounded veterans. (Photo – Seth Wenig/AP)

September 11, 2001 – September 11, 2012

As life flows forward and we move farther away from that brutal morning of September 11, 2001, we need to take a few moments, or more, to step out of today’s hustle and bustle, lay politics down, and think about today’s anniversary. We would do well to remember there are merciless, remorseless haters in this world who want to kill and do kill Americans and others. We must especially remember on this day, eleven years ago, when caught unawares, those haters brought terror to New York City, Washington D.C., and a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Within two horrifying hours, 2,977 people would be murdered.

Former MA Governor and GOP Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney today issued the following statement:

“Eleven years ago, evil descended upon our country, taking thousands of lives in an unspeakable attack against innocents. America will never forget those who perished. America will never stop caring for the loved ones they left behind. And America shall remain ever vigilant against those who would do us harm. Today we again extend our most profound gratitude to our brave troops who have gone into battle, some never to return, so that we may live in peace. On this most somber day, those who would attack us should know that we are united, one nation under God, in our determination to stop them and to stand tall for peace and freedom at home and across the world.”

Statement from GOP Vice Presidential candidate Congressman Paul Ryan::

“Eleven years ago today, from Capitol Hill, I could see the smoke rising from the fires burning in the Pentagon. Like all Americans, I will never forget the moment that our homeland came under attack. For me, this is a day to remember those who perished on that day of terror, including the first responders. It is also a day to pay tribute to all those who have worked quietly and tirelessly both on the home front and abroad to prevent a repetition of such terrible events. And it is a day to give honor to those in our military who have sacrificed so much, including their lives, for the same end. Their courage and heroism and willingness to answer the call of duty have kept America safe and strong and free. We are truly the home of the brave.”

Last year, at the tenth anniversary, the National Sept.11 Memorial at Ground Zero opened for visitors. With it’s two impressive, cavernous reflecting pools and renewing waterfalls built in the footprints where the Twin Towers once jutted into New York City clouds, and names of 9/11 and 1993 World Trade Center bombing victims inscribed in bronze surrounding the memorial pools, it’s a sanctuary for remembrance, reflection, and honor. To experience memorial nighttime beauty (inscribed names are backlit), I located a video of Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife, Sara, visiting the site under the stars in September of last year:

Recapture some of what took place eleven years ago by watching this documentary of phone calls from the Twin Towers here and here. Really, do it.

Besides witholding television ads today, Romney has scaled back his activities:

Romney plans to address the National Guard Association Convention in Reno, Nevada, and campaign staffers in at least six states will collect donations and organize a letter-writing campaign for U.S. troops serving overseas.

Romney’s wife, Ann, is expected to participate in events marking the anniversary in Florida. Romney’s campaign will halt operations in Virginia, home to the Pentagon where 184 people were killed in the al Qaeda attacks.

“Team Virginia will not engage in political activity on September 11th,” Sara Craig, campaign manager in the battleground state, told supporters on Monday.

Today, there will be appropriate ceremonies, moments of silence, and many will offer prayers. We join with our fellow Americans in remembering the 9/11 victims and those who dearly love them, the first responders, firemen, police officers, and Port Authority officers. We remember our fallen and wounded military, including our allies, and those who continue to courageously wage war against terrorism.

What September 11, 2001 memories are most prominent in your mind?

We cannot, must not, ever forget…

UPDATE- Mitt Romney Delivers Remarks To The National Guard Assoc Conference; watch here. (Click below the fold to read transcript.)

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Which Convention was “strange, full of insults”? Romney Weighs In (Baier Interview – VIDEO)

Well, they’re over.

In an attempt to woo voters, Republicans and Democrats have put their best convention feet forward.

After just the first day of the Republican National Convention (a full day of activity was cancelled due to developing storm Isaac), Obama’s top adviser Robert Gibbs characterized the GOP gathering as “angry” and “strange” and “full of insults. His remarks must have been festering in a folded paper in his hip pocket for weeks; he was pretty pleased to grab a few headlines. What Gibbs wrote turned out to be a prognostication of his own party’s convention goings-on a few days later in Charlotte, NC…

In spite of the sensitive and well-handled Republican convention storm adaptations, some rabble-rousing Democrats called for a cancellation of the entire convention. But, once the Democratic National Convention got underway a few days later, there was no reference from speakers of Hurricane Isaac or helping the victims.

Our President’s re-election insecurity prompted a ‘save-me’ call to former president Bill Clinton. Team O thought he was needed to take center-stage to plaster some pizazz over Obama’s putrid economy. Yes, that Bill Clinton who once called Obama “the chief executor of good intentions” and formerly said of Obama “A few years ago, this guy would have been carrying our bags.” Yikes. Clinton jumped at the chance to appear be a team player while visions of Hillary in the White House (and himself) danced in his head.

Obama, in spite of doing his best to rattle the rafters, delivered a flat, warmed-over class-warfare speech we’ve numbingly heard before. Maybe knowing the jobs report numbers that were to be released today messed with his head.

ADDENDUM - A comment on Michelle Obama’s speech: One got the feeling Mrs. O spent a month of Sundays at studied speech practice in front of her ‘make-up’ mirror getting those inserted smiles and practiced pauses just right. The drama… Her “Obama hunched over his desk” (hunched – mind you!) poring over letters from people having a hard go in this hardship economy (no mention of Obama’s part in it) was that which made listening to her barely tolerable. But, the cake-taker for me was her affected stammers – meant to pepper following prose with dramatic sincerity but only highlighting insincerity – that relegated her to the category of ‘First Lady Duping-The-Folks Academy Award’. She laid it on too, too thick. Charles Krauthammer thought so, too:

Most brilliantly manipulative:

Michelle Obama, by three touchdowns. Beautifully structured, delivered with studied emotion — the feigned stammer to render natural a finely written telepromptered text was a touch of genius — she made the case for why her husband governed as he has.

Because he cares. He loves his wife, loves his children, loves his family — therefore he loves you. The syllogism, a total non sequitur, was laid on with panache.

It worked. She managed to drain her husband’s entire first term of any hint of ideological or personal motivation. He is driven by his caring, giving soul — not by a deeply felt ideology developed in youth: redistributionist, government-centered, disdainful of success, committed to his social-democratic view of social justice.

Only a wife can turn a ruthlessly ambitious pol, who undid the Clintons four years ago and today relentlessly demonizes Romney, into a care bear. She pulled it off.

Read more here and here.

How about that floor flight spectacle over including “Jerusalem” and “God” in their platform?! They actually BOOED God. Plus, those numerous, hissing references to Republicans as Nazis were a turn-off and deeply insulting to those who have actually endured Nazism.

Don’t forget the featured steel worker who claimed he worked for Bain Capitol. He embellished his story against Bain by stating he lost his job when the Bain-controlled company GST steel filed for bankruptcy in the early 1990s. A big LIE.

In the end, Democrats tried to razzle-dazzle with actresses and musicians James Taylor, Mary J. Blige, and the Foo Fighters. An array of liberal speakers brought forth a parade of theatrical over-the-top rhetoric, misrepresentations, and outright lies about Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan. (Did you know Republicans are plotting to take the vote away from women? And, will do all within their power to stop women from using contraceptives? NOT.) Did you happen to catch former MI Governor Jennifer Granholm’s meltdown?

It was a circus of slander.

Mr. Gibbs, YOUR convention was angry, full of insults, and very strange.

FOX New’s Bret Baier caught up with Mitt Romney today in Sioux City, Iowa to ask him about Obama’s acceptance speech last night, today’s jobs report, repeated false claims he didn’t care about the American auto industry, doesn’t care about the U.S. military, and more:


UPDATE – Another Romney interview with FOX News’ Carl Cameron:

► With only 96,000 jobs created in August (down from 141,000 jobs in July), Obama’s hoped-for convention re-gilding isn’t going to happen:

The economy created only 96,000 jobs in August, the unemployment rate remains above 8 percent, and more than 350,000 Americans have dropped out of the work force. While some may focus on the jobs that were created last month, this jobs report is nothing but horrendous. I welcome any jobs, but American workers giving up on employment in the weakest recovery since the Great Depression is cause for alarm, not celebration.

The unemployment rate has not fallen below 8 percent for the past 43 months. The labor force participation rate is at the lowest level in 31 years. If the labor force participation rate were at the same level it was before the recession started, the unemployment rate would be 11.6 percent today. And the rate of “underemployment” or “real unemployment,” including the unemployed, those who want work but have stopped searching in this economy, and those who are forced to work part-time because they cannot find full-time employment is actually at 14.7 percent. We’re still experiencing a significant jobs crisis, whether President Obama recognizes it or not.

President Obama’s policies of more spending, more debt and more taxes haven’t worked. It’s way past time for a course correction. The country needs responsible leadership, not the President’s boasts over anemic growth and unending pleas for patience. Americans are looking for a sustained and real recovery. This weak report is nowhere near enough, and this has gone on long enough. Any real jobs plan must stop the regulatory madness and avert the fiscal cliff of tax increases on January 1. The health care law is yet another drag on the economy. Small businesses need tax relief and regulatory certainty to grow and hire.

What about the numbers of those Obama has been systematically slipping onto disability rolls after their unemployment benefits run out? Once on disability? Most always ON disability for life. Also, the Dept. of Labor today did what they usually do; they revised down the job numbers for the two previous months, resulting in 41,000 fewer jobs created than originally reported.


The way Obama opted to defend his record of failure today demeaned himself. Speaking at a rally, this is what he said on Romney, Ryan, and Republicans: “Tax cuts, tax cuts, gut some regulations, oh, and more tax cuts. Tax cuts when times are good, tax cuts when times are bad. Tax cuts to help you lose a few extra pounds. Tax cuts to improve your love life. It’ll cure anything, according to them.”

A few cheap laughs for a failed president.

Let’s turn that around, Obama: “Tax increases, tax increases, inflict more regulations, oh, and more spending increases. Tax increases when times are good, tax increases when times are bad. Spending increases to help you lose a few extra pounds. Tax increases to improve your love life. It’ll cure anything.”

Obama’s got nothin’. The middle class, small businesses, and the one in six Americans who have slipped into poverty are especially fed up. That’s why his manipulative oratory in Charlotte did not include a word about the USA’s staggering, almost incomprehensible debt of over $16 TRILLION and the 47 million Americans who, under his watch, now put groceries on the table with food stamps.



Follow Jayde Wyatt on Twitter @YayforSummer

Romney to Travel to Israel, Germany, Great Britain, Poland

Politico announced yesterday “a major foreign policy offensive” in their article titled, Exclusive: Romney weighs foreign-policy tour by Maggie Haberman and Jonathan Martin.

The article stresses that Governor Romney is still planning exactly which stops to make and may include five or more nations (until I read this, I had not realized that President Obama has never visited Israel as President!). Tentatively, these include Great Britain, Israel, Germany, Poland, and possibly Afghanistan. Plans are expected to be finalized this next week and Romney will kick off the tour with a “news-making” speech at the VFW convention in Reno. Following are excerpts from the Politico article.

Great Britain

The presumptive GOP nominee then is slated to travel to London for the start of the Olympics and to give a speech in Great Britain on U.S. foreign policy.
[...]
The trip to London provides Romney with the chance to both reinforce America’s “special relationship” with the United Kingdom and to remind voters of his leadership role in rescuing the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.

Israel (Middle East)

Readers that are new to MRC may have missed two prior posts by Jacob Kornbluh about Israel. His post of April 27th references the 36-year friendship between Governor Romney and Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and just four days ago he wrote about Romney’s plans to visit Israel this summer. The Politico article continues,

Romney next would fly to Israel for a series of meetings and appearances with key Israeli and Palestinian officials.
[...]
Still, he [Bill Kristol] said Romney could make more of his trip to the Mideast with other stops beyond Israel.

“I think it would be nice if he went to Afghanistan,” Kristol said. “I think it would be nice if he visited the troops defending the country. I think it would be nice if he went in a very apolitical way.”
[...]
Then there will be an unspoken if obvious contrast when the Republican visits Israel, a country that Obama has yet to go to as president and the first place abroad Romney has said he’ll travel to if he wins in November.

In Israel, Romney will, as was first reported by The New York Times, meet with people across the ideological spectrum. He’ll sit down with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, but also the Labor opposition, Obama’s envoy to Tel Aviv, Ambassador Dan Shapiro, and the head of the Palestinian Authority. These sit-downs will help Romney push back against the idea that he’s merely in the Jewish state to curry favor with an influential political constituency. But even Republicans are candid about what the Israel trip could mean for the campaign.

“There are a lot of donors and potentially a few voters in places like Florida for which it sticks in people’s craw that Obama hasn’t been there yet,” said one informal foreign policy adviser to Romney’s campaign. It is also a place that resonates with the party’s evangelical base.

Germany

Romney officials are hoping to arrange a meeting between the candidate and German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin. While Merkel and Obama have been in frequent contact recently over the European debt crisis, she generally favors a policy of austerity that varies from Obama’s support for government stimulus spending.

Poland

Romney’s trek to Poland may not offer the same political dividends but will be as symbolically weighted given recent events and the Republican’s tough talk about Russia.

While Bush famously praised the Polish contribution — “You forgot Poland” — to the Iraq War, the relationship between Obama and Warsaw has not been as warm.

The Poles were angry when Obama in 2009, on the 70th anniversary of the Soviet invasion of Poland, announced plans to back out of a missile shield agreement and have been more generally uneasy about the administration’s “reset” policy toward Moscow.

More recently, Obama infuriated Poles when he misspoke in a White House ceremony and referred to “Polish death camps” when referring to Nazi concentration camps. Then there was the president’s hot mic moment with Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev earlier this year where Obama said he’d “have more flexibility” to deal with missile defense in a second term.

“There’s this sense that America is looking elsewhere, and then there are these horrendous misstatements,” said Andrew Michta, senior transatlantic fellow at the German Marshall Fund and director of the think tank’s office in Warsaw, on the view among Polish elites toward the U.S. administration. “There’s a general perception that the United States is putting distance between itself and Europe. In central Europe, you feel this.”

Michta also noted that Obama has yet to speak at a public event in the country — a contrast with both Bush and former President Bill Clinton.

Romney has taken a hard-line stance toward Moscow, saying after Obama’s overheard conversation with Medvedev that Russia is America’s “No. 1 geopolitical foe.” The remark was seized on by Democrats and criticized by some Republicans as an overreach. Still, other Republicans argue there is enough merit to the claim that Russia needs to be viewed with suspicion that Romney shouldn’t abandon the argument altogether.

I was excited to hear about this “foreign-policy” trip Governor Romney is planning. There are so many advantages to such a trip aside from the obvious. Most important to me is the opportunity Governor Romney will have to meet with world leaders, one on one to discuss international issues with an eye to the future.

This reminds me of the naive statements Mr. Obama made in 2007 and 2008 when he scolded President Bush for not solving the Iranian crisis by extending the hand of friendship to Iran and through diplomatic negotiation — how is that working out Mr. President? Americans are embarrassed by Mr. Obama’s passive and apologetic foreign policy. President Romney will not take a passive approach to foreign policy.


American Values: “In God We Trust” — “Liberty” — “E Pluribus Unum”

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Romney Notes G.I. Bill Anniversary: Day One, Will Work to Create Jobs for Vets

It’s a battle they shouldn’t have to fight…

Commander-in-Chief Obama has bequeathed an onerous economy upon Iraq and Afghanistan U.S. veterans. According to last month’s report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, vets face a 12.7% unemployment rate (the actual number is higher than reported due to many having stopped searching for work). Here’s a punch-in-the-gut story of IAVA Member Carlos Pena of Jamaica, Queens:

… Carlos has served 12 years in the National Guard and three combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan since 9/11. On his last deployment in 2011, he helped run security for the US Army Corps of Engineers on construction projects throughout Afghanistan. The number of combat patrols he went on might not mean much in the civilian world, but the fact that he had worked on multiple infrastructure projects that totaled hundreds of thousands of dollars certainly does. While Carlos’ peers were practicing economic hypotheticals in the classroom, he was conducting real world scenarios in a warzone under the most stressful conditions. Yet, he’s struggling to find a full-time job to support his family now that he’s back home. And unfortunately, his story is all too familiar to those in the military and veterans community.

A look at one of a number of job fairs held yesterday for vets:

Governor Romney is keenly aware of the struggles our U.S. vets have been handed by the Obama administration as they seek to find civilian work. He’s committed to strengthening veterans’ employment opportunities by solving our economic crisis and ensuring this century is an American century for them and all of us.

In honor of our vets and in commemoration today of the 68th anniversary of the G.I. Bill, Governor Mitt Romney made the following statement:

“Sixty-eight years ago today, the G.I. Bill became law. It was an exemplary act that gave unparalleled opportunities to America’s Greatest Generation, the millions of veterans who answered our country’s call in the supreme emergency of World War II. Today, we have a new Greatest Generation that has answered our country’s call in the aftermath of 9/11. They have stood for us through many hard trials, and we must stand by them. That obligation begins with restoring our economy to health. Those returning from the front lines should not be coming home to unemployment lines. As president, I will work from day one to turn around America’s economy and create good jobs for veterans and for all Americans.”

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Mitt Romney: Financial & Economic Expert — Chief Executive with Decades of Experience

NOTE: To see my choice as the Romney PHOTOGRAPH OF THE DAY along with a tribute to the men and women of America’s armed forces, click through below the line and scroll to the end.

In my opinion, Chris Wallace of FOX News is one of the best journalists alive. He is tough in his questions, but most fair, I believe. He is equally tough will all those he interviews. He is by far the most prepared of any journalist I have seen on television and is always ready with an intelligent comeback to any answer provided by the person being interviewed. If Wallace has any partisan biases, I have been unable to detect them.

Remember the question that Governor Romney was asked in the last debate about the biggest misconception voters have of him? Remember he chose to answer that question with a more substantive reply, providing information voters could use? In the following video, Wallace asks him that question again and this time he answers it directly.

Governor Romney provides important answers that the voters need to hear in Michigan and Arizona. His answers are unambiguous and I believe outstanding. Wallace asks questions on the following topics:

  • Afghanistan — Obama’s announced withdrawal and recent apology
  • Gov. Romney’s winning margin in Michigan in 2008 & expected margin Tuesday
  • Who’s going to win Michigan Tuesday?
  • Gov. Romney’s recommendation to allow the auto companies to go through bankruptcy
  • Gov. Romney’s more detailed economic plan detailed
  • Two Cadillacs

Governor Romney exudes a high level of confidence in this clip. I realize I am biased, but I think any objective viewer would agree that Governor Romney is the brightest of the four candidates left in the race. Clearly, he is not merely recalling facts as Gingrich does, but is speaking as an economic and financial expert with decades of experience as a chief executive. See next page for the video, photo, and tribute. (more…)

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