Sounding and Acting Like Reagan, Romney Has Them Terrified
I knew Ronald Reagan. Ronald Reagan was a friend of mine. And Mitt Romney is reminding me an awful lot of Ronald Reagan.
The comment for which Romney is being so relentlessly and viciously scorned by Barack Obama and his merry band of media puppets sounds to me exactly like comments Ronald Reagan would have made.
It is indeed "disgraceful" for the US government to respond to the threat of an attack against an American embassy by issuing a statement condemning "the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims" and denouncing hurting their feelings as an "abuse" of free speech - and then as the embassy was being overrun and our flag burned issuing another statement saying they stand by that.
"It's disgraceful that the Obama Administration's first response was not to condemn attacks on our diplomatic missions, but to sympathize with those who waged the attacks."
Mitt Romney was simply but forcefully expressing, as Ronald Reagan so often did, what most Americans think and how they feel. And you can bet the Obama campaign realized this and found it frightening.
They said that they were "shocked" that Romney "would choose to launch a political attack" -- the usual and expected sort of political statement gibberish -- but isn't it revealing what they did? The Obama White House asked its media allies to report that the statement that Romney took such exception to "doesn't reflect the views of the U.S. government."
What? Isn't a U.S. Embassy an important part of the U.S. government, and all the more so when that embassy happens to be located in a country of great consequence to U.S. national interests? Isn't the U.S. Ambassador who leads that embassy - as anyone who is or ever has been one loves to remind people - the personal representative of the President of the United States? Wasn't the Obama Administration claiming that the U.S. government does not reflect the views of the U.S. government?
No matter. The media fell in line and trumpeted the charade.
Only days before, Democratic Party strategists had been boasting that this year they were going to turn on its head the usual order in which the Republican candidate for president is more trusted on foreign policy and the Democrat perceived to be weak because they were going to tout Obama "successes" overseas as a way to offset his failures at home.
And only a week earlier, Obama had in his acceptance speech mocked Romney as "new" to foreign affairs, doing so with supreme confidence that the media would not point out that he himself had claimed that his having lived in the largest Muslim country in the world, Indonesia, between the ages of six and ten counted for foreign policy experience.
How could Obama and his media allies counter the words that Romney had said that were resonating so well with average Americans?
First: Ignore what Romney actually said. Ignore the fact that the Obama White House itself claimed to take exception to what Romney had taken exception to.
Next: Ignore the fact that Barack Obama and John Kerry constantly carped about George W. Bush's handling of crises and instead pretend that there is something inherently wrong about a candidate for President criticizing an incumbent president during a crisis.
Then: Attack the very idea that Mitt Romney had dared say anything.
President Obama held a press conference September 12th at which he, naturally, bemoaned the killing of Americans and violence and spoke vaguely about justice being done. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stood at his side. So many questions come to mind -- but neither of them took questions and soon Obama was off to Vegas to campaign and raise money.
Quite a contrast with what the media had in store for Mitt Romney. Certain journalists banned together and plotted a strategy for hammering Romney. They deliberately conspired to make it appear that the key thing that should be on the minds of the American people that day was the thought that it is almost beneath contempt that the challenger would challenge the Obama Administration for placing our first emphasis on apologetic worrying that some Muslims might have had their feelings hurt. Not one reporter at Romney's news conference asked him why he thought that was wrong. Instead every - every - question put to him was a not-so-subtle denunciation of his having dared to criticize.
Calling Romney's statement "toughly worded," one asked, "Do you regret the tone?" Another asked if he thought it "appropriate" to criticize when the crisis was "unfolding." Another asked if he thought he was "jumping the gun."
Note the difference: Barack Obama, who can depend on the media to fawn over him rather than challenge him, took no chance that some difficult question might come his way. Mitt Romney, who risks being accused of making a gaffe if he says hello, stood there like a man, like a leader, like a real President, stood firm and forcefully articulated why the United States needs to act like the great and powerful country that it is. Just like Reagan would. Check it out.
Barack Obama then sat down with one of his main sponsors, CBS' 60 Minutes, and said silly things such as that Mitt Romney shoots first and aims later without any fear they would remind him that he was the guy who denounced the Cambridge, Massachusetts, police department for acting "stupidly" while admitting he had no idea of any facts in the case to which he had referred. And without any fear that even given such strong evidence that his foreign policy was a complete debacle they might ask him if he still believes, as he claimed the last time he sat down with 60 Minutes, that he is at least America's fourth greatest Presiden, possibgly the greatest.
Obama and Hillary Clinton then effectively hid, even though they had little cause to worry that their media allies would turn on them and ask any truly difficult questions about possible dereliction of duty and whether they stand by their claims that what happened in Cairo and Benghazi was really just the work of a few misguided people rather than clear evidence that radical Islam is at war with us.
They can probably count on the media to cling to the pretext that this violent uproar is simply all about some poorly done and little-viewed film that had been around a couple of months and has little or nothing to do with a deliberate strategy by radical Islamists. The fact that so many Muslims supposedly suddenly got so worked up about it and decided to "protest" on a day that happened to be the 11th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on America? What a coincidence! The fact that so many participants in these spontaneous outbursts just happened to have rocket propelled grenade launchers and automatic weapons with them? Well, ah, ah...
Three days after the Cairo and Benghazi attacks, as radical Islamists were conducting assaults against US diplomatic missions and other properties across the Middle East, North Africa, Europe and Asia, the White House Press Secretary stepped forward to assure the American people on behalf of President Obama that all this violence and turmoil "is in response not to United States policy, and not to, obviously, the administration, or the American people, but it is in response to a video, a film that we have judged to be reprehensible and disgusting."
Don't people who are desperate and terrified that the tide has turned against them have a knack for saying incredibly dopey things?
Isn't it disgraceful that the media so desperately tried to convince the American people that the big story here is not the clear and compelling fact that Obama's foreign policy is every bit the disaster that his domestic policy is but rather that Mitt Romney must be some bumbling idiot to so strongly and clearly articulate what the American people think and how they feel rather than what Obama and the media want them to?
This is a foreign policy crisis of the highest magnitude. And the more the American people see of it and think about it, the more it will sink in that during this great crisis Mitt Romney sounded and acted as Ronald Reagan would while Barack Obama sounded and acted as Jimmy Carter would.
And this stark contrast is going to help cause a Romney landslide on November 6th.
Fred J. Eckert, author of the book, That's a Crock, Barack, is a former conservative Republican Congressman from New York and twice served as a US Ambassador (to the UN and to Fiji) under President Reagan, who called him "a good friend and valuable advisor." He's retired and lives with his wife in Raleigh, NC.