In his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention, Mitt Romney neglected to mention Afghanistan or salute our troops.
The conservative Weekly Standard (Bill Cristol) blasted Romney for that glaring ommission:
"The United States has some 68,000 troops fighting in Afghanistan. Over two thousand Americans have died in the more than ten years of that war, a war Mitt Romney has supported. Yet in his speech accepting his party's nomination to be commander in chief, Mitt Romney said not a word about the war in Afghanistan. Nor did he utter a word of appreciation to the troops fighting there, or to those who have fought there. Nor for that matter were there thanks for those who fought in Iraq, another conflict that went unmentioned.
Leave aside the question of the political wisdom of Romney's silence, and the opportunities it opens up for President Obama next week. What about the civic propriety of a presidential nominee failing even to mention, in his acceptance speech, a war we're fighting and our young men and women who are fighting it? Has it ever happened that we've been at war and a presidential nominee has ignored, in this kind of major and formal speech, the war and our warriors?"
Last Monday ( 9-11-12) marked the eleventh anniversary of a day that changed our world. There were victims and heroes. Let us never forget what happened and those who died or risked their lives.
The Examiner post Ryan's opposition to the first-responders bill is remembered on 9/11 anniversary reminds us:
“ On September 11, 2001 over 3,000 thousand Americans were murdered in an act of terror. Thousands more have died and tens of thousands have been injured since in Afghanistan and Iraq. There are other victims of that attack—the first-responders—members of the police force, fire-fighters, ambulance drivers who risked their lives to help the victims that day, and other heroes too. They are the construction workers and others who worked for months to clean up the rubble of the fallen towers not knowing that they were putting their own lives and health at risk by doing so.”
“Sadly, many of those first responders and clean-up workers have developed serious, life threatening, and debilitating diseases as a result of their bravery that day and in the months after. Unfortunately, many politicians turned their back on them.”
Yeah, Paul Ryan was one of those politicians.
Jon Soltz, an Iraq War vet and co-founder of VoteVets.org ponders ---
"Do Republicans care about keeping our promise to veterans?
Looking at the recently released GOP budget written by Rep. Paul Ryan, it's hard to see how they do. In fact, looking at the nearly 100 page document, the word "veteran" doesn't appear once. Not once."
See his post titled GOP budget doesn’t say the word veteran
Recently, Mitt Romney criticized defense spending cuts that were part of last year's debt ceiling deal. "I thought it was a mistake on the part of the White House to propose [the defense cuts]. I think it was a mistake for Republicans to go along with it," Romney said.'
Among the Republicans who supported the deal was Paul Ryan, the chair of the House Budget committee and Romney's running mate. Ryan not only voted for the cuts, he bragged about them afterwards. Ryan even called the cuts “a step in the right direction”.
Oh, so Romney sought the Republican Party nomination and chose Paul Ryan to be VP, but doesn’t approve of what Ryan and other Congressional Republicans did? Really? See Mitt Romney Criticizes Defense Cuts that Paul Ryan Voted For.
As for foreign policy, according to a Aug. 12, 2012 Politico post, the Obama-Biden ticket has the edge.
“Romney’s choice of Ryan reflects that the 2012 campaign is all about domestic issues – the economy, unemployment, and taxes – and not about war or terrorism.”
" This time around, it’s the Democrats, not the Republicans, who can claim foreign policy and defense experience."
"Obama is the president who succeeded in killing Osama bin Laden and presided over the pullout of combat troops in Iraq – and in his short Senate career, he served on the Foreign Relations Committee, traveled broadly overseas and pushed bills on threat reduction, nuclear weapons and the Iraq war. As a senator, Biden served as chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee and worked extensively on foreign policy issues from arms control to Iraq.
As a governor and a businessman, Romney had little opportunity to gain that kind of experience. And as a member of Congress, Ryan hasn’t sought it out – choosing instead to focus on budget issues."
Romney's rash statements and poor judgment were on display during his foreign trip--a fiasco.
Asserts the GlobalPost: "The 2012 US presidential election is set in a time of global uncertainty and political turmoil" .
Its July 28th post Mitt the Twit: A ‘disconcerting’ trip to London also conveys:
“After just three days in London, on a tour that was supposed to demonstrate his qualities as a statesman and a leader, a chastened Romney leaves the United Kingdom widely reviled as a laughing stock.” Romney’s blunders included in a press conference, touting his productive meetings with the head of M16, the super secret intelligent agency, which by tacit agreement, is almost never mentioned in public.
The series of gaffes prompted one of Britain’s newspapers to ask, “ Why vote for a man, who on his first foreign trip as a presidential candidate, insults one of America’s staunchest allies---and can’t even keep a secret? Asked another way…is Mitt Romney ready to be president?”
A September 11, 2011 Maddowblog MSNBC blog post argues that for Romney foreign policy advisor Robert O’Brien to call foreign policy, on 9/11, a “distraction” is an unusually bad idea.
The same post also reports, “In the new Washington Post/ABC News poll, likely voters prefer President Obama over Mitt Romney on counter-terrorism 51% to 40%. The same poll asked about international affairs in general, and the president's lead was even larger, 51% to 38%. The new CNN poll also showed a 12-point lead for Obama on foreign policy."
The Bloomberg News’/AZCentral.com post Romney gets bipartisan scolding for his handling of Libya violence tells us:
"Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry, a Massachusetts Democrat, called Romney's statements "about as inappropriate as anything I have ever seen at this kind of moment." The comments show 'an insensitivity and lack of judgment about what is happening,' he told reporters."
" Commentator Peggy Noonan, a former Republican official, told Fox News that Romney wasn't 'doing himself any favors' with a response bound to be seen as politically craven."
The CBS post How Badly Did Romney Botch Response To Libya Attack? reports:
"The comments were a big mistake, and the decision to double down on them was an even bigger mistake," Steve Schmidt, senior campaign strategist to Sen. John McCain's 2008 presidential campaign, told CBS News. "There are legitimate criticisms to be made but you foreclose on your ability to make them when you try to score easy political points. And the American people, when the country is attacked, whether they're a Republican or Democrat or independent, want to see leaders who have measured responses, not leaders whose first instinct is to try to score political points."
Over at CNN, contributor John Avlon says:
"Partisanship ought to end at the water's edge" is a longstanding adage of American politics.
But in the hours after the death of the first U.S. ambassador killed in decades, Mitt Romney -- panicked as his poll numbers have slipped -- punched hard against the president, unleashing an unwise, inaccurate and unpresidential attack on the Obama administration.”
“The dishonest drumbeat that Obama travels around the world compulsively apologizing for America is a core Romney campaign tactic. This time, he went definitively too far -- trying to score petty political points with incomplete information at a time when our nation's embassies were being attacked overseas on the anniversary of September 11.
It was disgraceful.”
1. Today's Journal Sentinel op-ed Don't Drop Ball On Foreign Policy --by professor and former diplomat Nicholas Burns (http://www.jsonline.com/news/opinion/dont-drop-ball-on-foreign-policy-uk6rhva-169685716.html contends:
"Tuesday's tragic murder of Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other American diplomats in Libya illustrates the ever-present dangers for Americans in the volatile Middle East. Thousands of U.S. diplomats like Stevens are on point for us all over the world, and they make an enormous contribution to our national security.
But the tragedy also points to the need for capable, experienced and wise people at the top of our government when crises test the mettle of our leaders. President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton both made strong and determined statements in response to the attack on our diplomats, focusing on our unequivocal opposition to terrorism and fanaticism in the Middle East.
In contrast, GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney accused the administration of showing sympathy to terrorists and apologizing for their actions. By making these completely inaccurate charges, Romney injected the politics of the presidential race into a complex drama half a world away on a day when all Americans should have been rallying around our government and its diplomats."
2. Romney Flip Flops On Anti-Muslim Video (LA Times.com Commnentary, 9/14) http://www.latimes.com/news/politics/la-pn-romney-flip-flops-20120914,0,749715.story states:
"Romney has struggled to persuade enough Americans he is the preferable steward of America's economy. Now, with his uneven reaction to the attacks on U.S. installations in Libya and Egypt, he’s muddled the path toward showing himself as the steady hand who would better tame a ferociously complex world.
The air of inconstancy about Romney grew again Friday after he did an interview on “Good Morning America.” The candidate again took up the issue of Libya and seemingly embraced the very position—a sharp critique of an anti-Muslim video—that he had blasted just 48 hours earlier as an apologia to extremists."
3. James Rowen's The Political Environment blog contends that Paul Ryan was "posing for holy pictures" when he stopped in to a firestation on the 9/11 anniversary and praised the firefighters for their good work. Rowen points out that the Journal Sentinel captured the event with a photo and news story, but their coverage omitted to mention that Ryan more than once opposed extending health care coverage to 9/11 first responders and victims.
From a story by ABC News, among others:
Rep. Paul Ryan, the Republican nominee for vice president, voted July 29, 2010 against the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act when the measure first came up for a vote in the House of Representatives...
Eight weeks later on Sept. 29... Ryan voted no again. This time, however, the bill was considered under a rule, requiring only a simple majority for passage, and was sent on to the Senate...
Ryan, along with 167 other members of the House, did not vote on final passage in the House, having already skipped town to return to their congressional districts for the holidays.
Ryan explained in a floor statement that he would have opposed the final passage vote, too, calling the bill “deeply flawed.” He also complained that it “would create a new health care entitlement"...