COMMENTARY | Mitt Romney’s continuous claims that President Barack Obama is an apologetic commander-in-chief were finally put to rest Monday night during the last presidential debate that covered foreign policy.
The Los Angeles Times reported Monday that Romney charged Obama with going around the Middle East for “an apology tour” and those nations “saw weakness” as a result. Obama rebutted his claim by commenting, “This has been probably the biggest whopper that’s been told during the course of this campaign.”
Why does Romney keep bringing up the “apology tour,” especially when The Washington Post on Monday reaffirmed that this tour never happened, citing previous scrutiny, including by the fact checker? The reason is simple. For anti-Obama partisans, hearing the same untruth over and over only reinforces their reasons to be against a second term for the president. But this debunked claim won’t help win over uncommitted swing state voters.
I watched this debate, and the president sounded forceful throughout the 90 minutes when defending his policies abroad. Obama didn’t apologize for anything he’s done regarding foreign policy.
Furthermore, the majority of viewers surveyed after the event saw the president as the winner, not as a leader who goes around the globe apologizing. In three “who-won-the-debate?” polls cited by The Nation Tuesday, Obama topped Romney 48 to 40 percent in CNN’s survey while the CBS poll gave Obama a victory by 30 points, 53 to 23 percent. PPP’s swing state voters poll gave Obama a 53-42 win.
If anyone should go on an “apology tour” during the rest of the campaign season, it’s Romney for lacking insight into the difference between a modern national defense as opposed to the military of the early 20th century.
CBS News reported Monday the instance where Obama refuted Romney’s claims of the Navy having fewer ships than it did in 1916 by commenting, “Well, Governor, we also have fewer horses and bayonets, because the nature of our military’s changed.” Obama said the military uses aircraft carriers and nuclear submarines.
If Romney continues to campaign on the “apology tour” allegation after this debate, he’ll be out of line with his “biggest whopper” of a charge the president rightly deemed it as. Romney is supposed to be running for president of this country, not the president of Burger King, where touting “whoppers” is appreciated more.