Never mind what he said when he was running for president back in 2012, now the Utah Senator basically said we need to keep troops in Afghanistan forever during an interview with CNN's Jake Tapper.
Here was Mittens promising to get our troops out by 2014:
And here's Romney telling Tapper we should have never closed Bagram Air Base, attacking both the Trump and Biden administrations for withdrawing our troops, and arguing for a residual force of thousands to remain in the country under the guise of fighting terrorism.
Tapper asked Romney what his response is to those that say we've been there for 20 years, and the rapid collapse of the Afghan government and military is just more evidence that we were never going to stabilize the country, showing that leaving was the correct decision.
Romney responded with the typical "we've got to fight them over there so they don't come attack us here" nonsense that we've been hearing from war hawks from day one. This was their justification to go to war in the first place.
But that doesn't translate it into a serious policy decision. And the real policy is this. You can't, as one party, end a war. It takes two parties to end a war. The Taliban and the radical violent jihadists in the world, they haven't stopped fighting. They're going to continue to fight us.
The war is not over. We're just no longer at a place where the war had its apex, where the Taliban was able to allow al Qaeda to grow and to attack us on 9/11. We went to Afghanistan because we got attacked on 9/11 and lost thousands of American lives.
Now America is more in danger. The reason we have a military is to protect America. And by -- the decision to pull our military out of Afghanistan puts us in greater danger.
We -- look, don't forget, we went to Afghanistan to knock down al Qaeda. But we stayed in Afghanistan to make sure they couldn't reconstitute to attack us again. So, pulling out means we are less safe. And, also, recognize the war is not over. We're just in a weaker position. We don't have boots on the ground. We don't have eyes on the ground.
When they say, look, we have over-the-horizon capacity, that's a fancy phrase. What does that mean? It means we're not there. The nearest American air base is, what, 1,000 miles away?
I mean I had eyes on my -- over the horizon on my teenagers, but that meant I had no idea what they were doing. Likewise, this idea that somehow we're still in control is not real. And America's in greater danger.
After Romney tried comparing our troop presence in Afghanistan to having American troops in Germany, South Korea and Japan, Tapper reminded him that those troops are not in danger of being killed by IEDs or insurgent groups, and asked Romney what his response was to people who say they don't want any more Gold Star families created in this conflict.
Romney responded with more fear-mongering over terrorists coming to the United States.
The idea that somehow we can pull out of a dangerous place where radical violent jihadists are organizing, and that we can pull out of that, and that's going to stop them, well, that's fantasy. They're going to continue in their effort to regroup and to come after America.
Don't forget what they did on 9/11. The reason, again, we're in Afghanistan was to keep another 9/11 from happening. Now we pull out, and the Taliban is much stronger than they were before, in part because of all the armament we have given them. ISIS-K is now alive. The old ISIS that was -- that still is in Syria and Iraq, they're stronger.
These forces of hate that consider America the great Satan, they're still out there. They're still fighting us. That war, unfortunately, goes on. And the idea that we pulled out of one of the places that was essential to push back against them is an idea that makes me far more concerned that, had we retained a small footprint there to support the people on the front lines, the Afghan national security forces that were doing a pretty darn good job.
Tapper didn't ask Romney about the fact that he took a completely different position back in 2012.