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Missed opportunities

Posted by Richard on October 22, 2012

Romney lost the foreign policy debate because of missed opportunities. According to Romney campaign spokespeople, it was a calculated strategy to “go big,” focusing on overarching themes instead of challenging the President on specifics. That’s why Romney basically gave Obama a pass on Libya. I think that was a mistake.

I think there were a number of other specifics where Obama simply stated falsehoods and Romney failed to challenge him or did so rather softly. I want to keep this brief, so I just want to mention one of them.

During one of Romney’s tougher attacks, when he listed several Obama failures or errors in foreign policy, he mentioned the Green Revolution in Iran and the Obama administration’s lack of support for the people in the streets of Tehran. Obama rebutted that, claiming that the US stood with the pro-democracy demonstrators. Balderdash. And Romney should have called him on it.

People have forgotten that the Green Revolution began as protests against a fraudulent, stolen election. In the weeks leading up to it, opposition candidates were locked up. Their rallies were broken up and their supporters attacked by Revolutionary Guards. And there was compelling evidence of systematic vote fraud in the election itself.

I remember seeing video of demonstrators carrying “America Help Us” signs and hearing pro-democracy demonstrators plead for the US to speak out on their behalf. Contrary to his claim tonight, Obama didn’t do so. Instead, the Obama administration explicitly stated that it recognized the election as legitimate and the government of Iran as legitimate. It was shameful, and Romney should have said so.

The Romney strategy seems to have been to simply appear presidential and pass the “commander-in-chief test,” relying on his advantage on economic issues to win the election. That strategy will probably work. But I’d like to have seen a more robust challenge of the Obama foreign policy record and the numerous Obama falsehoods uttered during the debate.

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