“I say any president, Jimmy Carter, anybody, any president would have, obviously, under those circumstances, done the same thing. And to now take credit for something that any president would do is indicative of take over campaign we’re under — we’re — we’re seeing…So all I can say is that this is going to be a very rough campaign,” McCain told Fox News in an interview set to air Monday night.
Can “Any President would have” be taken seriously? The Romney campaign is trying to create a feeling that a candidates positions and political patrons don’t matter by blurring distinctions between Romney and Obama. Republicans know Romney fares better if undecided voters believe that we’ll be OK no matter who we elect. They know Obama’s muscular foreign policy record and aggressive methods have taken away a public opinion advantage most Republican candidates have enjoyed for years.
While Barack Obama’s rivals attacked him vigorously over the statement at the time, not all of them did so on the basis of opposition to unilateral action. What did Mitt Romney say then? A source from Priorities USA Action points out that he said this to Reuters at the time:
“I do not concur in the words of Barack Obama in a plan to enter an ally of ours… I don’t think those kinds of comments help in this effort to draw more friends to our effort,” Romney told reporters on the campaign trail.
…Romney, the former Massachusetts governor who is one of the Republican front-runners, said U.S. troops “shouldn’t be sent all over the world.” He called Obama’s comments “ill-timed” and “ill-considered.”
“There is a war being waged by terrorists of different types and nature across the world,” Romney said. “We want, as a civilized world, to participate with other nations in this civilized effort to help those nations reject the extreme with them.”
Bush claimed that he wasn’t worried about Bin Laden’s whereabouts. Romney, McCain, and Clinton campaigns all dinged Obama for this stance during the 2008 campaign. Obama committed to quite a few things unequivocally regarding military action in the Middle East during the ’08 campaign: ending the war in Iraq, re-dedicating US Forces to Afghanistan, and hunting Bin Laden and al Qaeda in Pakistan with or without Pakistan’s permission.