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Offering a scathing critique of Romney/Ryan public policy,Sen. John Kerry gave a real barnburner of a speech, laying into Mitt Romney for his attempts to make President Obama look incompetent on foreign policy, and shouting, "Ask Osama bin Laden if he's better off than he was four years ago!" (Is someone auditioning to be the next Secretary of State? Sounds like it.)
Again and again, the other side has lied about where this president stands and what this president has done. But Prime Minister Netanyahu set the record straight—he said, our two countries have "exactly the same policy…"—"our security cooperation is unprecedented..." When it comes to Israel, I'll take the word of Israel's prime minister over Mitt Romney any day.
President Obama promised to work with Russia to reduce the threat of nuclear weapons and signed an historic treaty that does just that. He promised to lock down nuclear materials around the world, and he has done just that. He refused to accept the false choice between force without diplomacy or diplomacy without force. When a brutal dictator promised to kill his own people "like rats," President Obama enlisted our allies, built the coalition and shared the burden, so that today—without a single American casualty—Moammar Gadhafi is gone and the people of Libya are free.
So on one side of this campaign, we have a president who has made America lead like America again. What is there on the other side? An extreme and expedient candidate, who lacks the judgment and vision so vital in the Oval Office. The most inexperienced foreign policy twosome to run for president and vice president in decades.
It isn't fair to say Mitt Romney doesn't have a position on Afghanistan. He has every position. He was against setting a date for withdrawal—then he said it was right—and then he left the impression that maybe it was wrong to leave this soon. He said it was "tragic" to leave Iraq, and then he said it was fine. He said we should've intervened in Libya sooner. Then he ran down a hallway to duck reporters' questions. Then he said the intervention was too aggressive. Then he said the world was a "better place" because the intervention succeeded. Talk about being for it before you were against it!
Mr. Romney—here's a little advice: Before you debate Barack Obama on foreign policy, you better finish the debate with yourself!
"President Mitt Romney"—three hypothetical words that mystified and alienated our allies this summer. For Mitt Romney, an overseas trip is what you call it when you trip all over yourself overseas. It wasn't a goodwill mission—it was a blooper reel.
But a Romney-Ryan foreign policy would be anything but funny. Every president of both parties for 60 years has worked for nuclear arms control—but not Mitt Romney. Republican secretaries of state from Kissinger to Baker, Powell to Rice, President Bush, and 71 United States senators all supported President Obama's New Start treaty. But not Mitt Romney. He's even blurted out the preposterous notion that Russia is our "number one geopolitical foe." Folks: Sarah Palin said she could see Russia from Alaska; Mitt Romney talks like he's only seen Russia by watching Rocky IV.
So here's the choice in 2012. Mitt Romney: out of touch at home, out of his depth abroad and out of the mainstream. Or Barack Obama: a president who is giving new life and truth to America's indispensable role in the world; a commander-in-chief who gives our troops the tools and training they need in war, the honor and help they've earned when they come home; a man who will never ask other men and women to fight a war without a plan to win the peace.
And let me say something else. No nominee for president should ever fail in the midst of a war to pay tribute to our troops overseas in his acceptance speech. Mitt Romney was talking about America. They are on the front lines every day defending America, and they deserve our thanks.
Some of us from a prior war remember coming home was not always easy. President Obama has made it his mission that we welcome our troops home with care, and concern, and the respect they deserve. That is how an exceptional nation says "thank you" to its most exceptional men and women. Mitt Romney says he "believes in America" and he'll restore "American exceptionalism." I have news for him: We already have an exceptional American as president—and we believe in Barack Obama!
God bless you, and God bless America!