While endorsing President Obama today, Gen. Colin Powell ripped Mitt Romney’s ‘moving target’ foreign policy.
Here is the video:
POWELL: I signed on for a long patrol with President Obama and I don’t think this is the time to make such a sudden change. And not only am I not comfortable with what Governor Romney is proposing for his economic plan, I have concerns about his views on foreign policy. The Governor, who was speaking on Monday night at the debate, was saying things that were quite different from what he said earlier. So I’m not quite sure which Governor Romney we would be getting with respect to foreign policy.
O’DONNELL: What concerns do you have about Governor Romney’s foreign policy?
POWELL: Well, it’s hard to fix it. I mean, it’s a moving target. One day he has a certain strong view about staying in Afghanistan, but then on Monday night he agrees with the withdrawal. Same thing in Iraq. On almost every issue that was discussed on Monday night, Governor Romney agreed with the President with some nuances. But this is quite a different set of foreign policy views than he had earlier in the campaign. And my concern, which I’ve expressed previously in a public way, is that sometimes I don’t sense that he has thought through these issues as thoroughly as he should have, and he gets advice from his campaign staff that he then has to adjust to modify as he goes along.
ROSE: Are you concerned about the people that are advising Governor Romney?
POWELL: I think there’s some very, very strong neo-conservative views that are presented by the Governor that I have some trouble with. There are other issues as well, not just the economy and foreign policy. I’m more comfortable with President Obama and his administration when it comes to issues like what are we going to do about climate, what are we going to do about immigration? What are we going to do about education? Lots of things like that. I do not want to see the new Obamacare plan thrown off the table. It has issues, you have to fix some things in that plan. But what I see when I look at that plan is 30 million of our fellow citizens will now be covered by insurance. And I think that’s good. We’re one of the few nations in the world, with our size, population and wealth, that does not have universal health care.
Republicans had been quietly hoping for much of the year that Powell would endorse Mitt Romney, but once John Bolton and the Bush neo-con crew took over Romney’s foreign policy, there was absolutely zero chance of that happening. Since Powell was Secretary of State under George W. Bush, his 2008 endorsement was embraced by Obama supporters, but met with skepticism by some parts of the left who can never forgive him for his role in the lead up to the invasion of Iraq.
In 2012, it is more obvious that Gen. Powell has some serious disagreements with the neo-con vision of foreign policy that is personified by Mitt Romney. Hopefully, Colin Powell’s endorsement will prompt some Americans to see past Romney’s foreign policy me too snow job at the third debate, and think about what a potential Romney presidency would mean in terms of foreign policy.
Domestic policy dominated the 2000 election too, but it was George W. Bush’s foreign policy that led the country into two wars that we are still trying to fully extract ourselves from.
The reason why Mitt Romney changed his position on preemptive war in the third debate is because he knows that war is unpopular with the American people. Colin Powell lived the nightmare of dealing with a president who didn’t think things through on foreign policy up close and personally.
Gen. Powell is warning the country what a Romney presidency will bring. Unless Americans want more war, they had better listen.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association