Less than 24 hours after refusing to take hate radio host Rush Limbaugh to task for slandering Sandra Fluke , Mitt Romney reached a new low on Saturday. During an exchange with an Army mom in Ohio, Romney asked of the President who killed Osama Bin Laden, "How in the world can the commander in chief sleep at night?" That from a man who once brushed off the importance of even getting Bin Laden, opposed U.S. strikes to target Al Qaeda terrorists in Pakistan, flip-flopped on whether the Iraq war was mistake and declared his own five sons serve America by "helping me get elected."
How can Mitt Romney sleep at night?
As CBS reported, in Dayton this weekend an Army mother asked Governor Romney what he could do to speed her daughter back from Afghanistan. Romney, who has opposed President Obama's timeline for drawing down troops there, responded by blasting the Commander-in-Chief (around the 2:00 minute mark above):
[Mrs. Chura said] "There is no mission here. We have no definition of a mission."
Romney jumped on Chura's complaint and attacked Obama on the war. "If your daughter is not familiar with the mission that she's on, how in the world can the commander in chief sleep at night, knowing that we have soldiers in harm's way that don't know exactly, precisely, what it is that they're doing there?" he asked.
How in the world can Mitt Romney sleep at night, when during his first run for President he declared that Osama Bin Laden wasn't that important?
In a May 2007 diatribe conflating all Muslims into a single unified global threat, there was one Muslim he wasn't too worried about:
"But I don't want to buy into the Democratic pitch, that this is all about one person, Osama bin Laden. Because after we get him, there's going to be another and another. This is about Shia and Sunni. This is about Hezbollah and Hamas and al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood. This is the worldwide jihadist effort to try and cause the collapse of all moderate Islamic governments and replace them with a caliphate."
Even regarding that "one person, Osama Bin Laden," Romney struggled. After insisting in May 2007 that "It's not worth moving heaven and earth spending billions of dollars just trying to catch one person," Romney reversed course just three days later and declared of Bin Laden, "He's going to pay, and he will die."
He did, thanks to President Obama and no thanks to Mitt Romney.
How can Mitt Romney sleep at night, when he opposed the American strikes in Pakistan that killed Bin Laden and most of his lieutenants?
Repeatedly in 2007 and 2008, then candidate Barack Obama promised to unilaterally launch strikes against Bin Laden and other high-value targets in Pakistan and ramp up the U.S. effort in the under-resourced effort across the border in Afghanistan. In July 2008, Senator Obama pledged, "we must make it clear that if Pakistan cannot or will not act, we will take out high-level terrorist targets like bin Laden if we have them in our sights."
But Mitt Romney said no:
"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..."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."
That might seem like an incongruous statement coming from the same Mitt Romney who last fall said of our "ally" Pakistan, "We need to help bring Pakistan into the 21st century, or the 20th for that matter." It's more comical still coming from the same Mitt Romney who also told Chuck Todd of MSNBC that he now supports the very kind of operation to take out Osama Bin Laden he once opposed:
"I think in a setting like this one where Osama bin Laden was identified to be hiding in Pakistan, that it was entirely appropriate for this president to move in and to take him out," Romney replied, later adding that "In a similar circumstance, I think other presidents and other candidates, like myself, would do exactly the same thing."
Not true, as the 2008 edition of Mitt Romney made clear.
How can Mitt Romney sleep at night, when he can't even make up his mind about whether the Iraq war was a mistake?
Four years ago, Mitt Romney felt pretty good about killing Saddam Hussein, too. As Byron York noted, during a January 2008 GOP debate, Romney was asked, "Was the war in Iraq a good idea worth the cost in blood and treasure we have spent?" Mitt's response?
"It was the right decision to go into Iraq. I supported it at the time; I support it now."
Then in 2011, Multiple Choice Mitt was not so sure. The answer now depends:
"Well, if we knew at the time of our entry into Iraq that there were no weapons of mass destruction -- if somehow we had been given that information, why, obviously we would not have gone in."
Needless to say, over the past four years nothing has changed on that point: Saddam's non-existent weapons of mass destruction have not magically appeared. Then again, neither has Mitt Romney's backbone.
How can Mitt Romney sleep at night, after trying to lecture any military parent when he claimed his five sons serve their nation by getting their dad elected President?
Young Mitt Romney avoided military service during the Vietnam by virtue of multiple deferments granted to enable his church mission in France. There, he was either forced to poop in a bucket or live in an elegant Paris mansion, the answer depending on whether you ask him or anyone else. By Mitt's own accounts, he felt guilty - or not - about being in the vineyards of France instead of the rice fields of Vietnam.
But as Mitt Romney made clear in 2007, he felt no such guilt about his own sons' lack of military service. After all, they had a higher calling:
"My sons are all adults and they've made decisions about their careers and they've chosen not to serve in the military and active duty and I respect their decision in that regard. One of the ways my sons are showing support for our nation is helping me get elected because they think I'd be a great president. I respect that and respect all those and the way they serve this great country."
Of course, these are a just a few of the reasons the serial flip-flopper who would be Commander-in-Chief Romney should be experiencing a lot of sleepless nights. There are myriad others. For starters, telling jobless workers that "I'm also unemployed," proclaiming himself part of the "80 to 90 percent of us who are middle class" and insisting income inequality should only be discussed in "quiet rooms" even though as a $250 million man he pays a lower tax rate than most middle class families.
For the American people, the real nightmare could begin in November. If Mitt Romney becomes President of the United States, how will anyone sleep at night?
(This piece also appears at Perrspectives.)