Martin Bashir | June 06, 2012
>>> mitt romney has a major problem with foreign affairs , namely the president is actually quite good at them. the death of abuallibby, is just the latest example. it is a major blow to that organization. even perennial obama critic republican congressman peter king of new york admitted to the huffington post it is, quote, another very important development yet mitt romney just can't bring himself to change the talking points of his own drone attack.
>> i once had the occasion of meeting with some of the leaders of great britain and one said to me the one thing we all fear the most is a weak america , a weak america , weak america , weak america .
>> back with us, julian epstein, karen finney and ron christy. if you were working with vice president cheney and this al qaeda leader had been taken off, you would be ordered to write a speech praising the administration quicker than you can say halliburton.
>> i was a domestic policy advisor. i give the president credit for this. he gave the order working with the c.i.a. and the military and we found the guy.
>> why does mitt romney describe him as a weak lead other foreign policy .
>> on foreign policy this is a military decision. on foreign policy i think he is extraordinarily weak and enflamed israel for one, our closest ally and, number two, by giving a date certain in afghanistan and the taliban is coming back and a lot stronger and china continues to manipulate their currency making it a lot more expense is i have for american exports to go over and a lot more difficult for us to sell our products. if you look at the president's record on foreign policy and what he has done, not military, but foreign policy , i think it has been atrocious.
>> did you write mitt romney 's speech? karen , coming to you, ron says the president is weak on foreign policy .
>> yeah, i guess he figures that it was, quote, weak of the president to say to the iraqis when dealing with the staus us forces agreement if we can't have it done in such a way that would protect american troops left behind , you know what, we're going to pull our troops out.
>> that was weak.
>> that was so weak, right, to say, no way, right? i mean, this is the rhetoric. this is the strategy, go after and try to turn an area of strength into an area of weakness. time and time again i will tell you what was interesting about the clip from mitt romney when i would travel abroad to europe during the bush years, i heard more europeans expressing concern about the weakened condition of the united states and how dangerous that was.
>> please don't remind me of that period, karen . i was there. i literally remember every single one.
>> i would say a lot of people would make the point that leading from behind and all of this, i think the president has done a good job and secretary of state hillary clinton in changing the nature of our relationship in the muslim world which is one of the best ways to keep us safe.
>> we take away that tool.
>> absolutely. julian , an unnamed romney advisor tells the huffington post that alibby's death isn't a game changer and another calls him a rock star . which is correct or is everyone flipping and flopping.
>> it is politics on the part of the romney cam pain. unlike the previous president who was all hat and no cattle --
>> no cheap shots, julian .
>> this is a president prosecuted two wars, a president who took down bin laden , took down gadhafi, the number two in al qaeda yesterday, who prosecuted an unbelievable successful campaign on drone attacks and these are the president's decisions, ron , they're not military decisions. these are decisions the president made. this president also took action against the chinese on trade sanctions which the former president didn't. i think that the romney campaign again is left with very, very little to critique this president with other than these empty arrirnisms. they have about as many ideas as the scarecrow in the wizard of oz . there is nothing out there in any serious way distinguishes themselves from what obama has done because obama has been a very centrist leader when it comes to foreign policy .
>> the other problem here, many of romney 's foreign policy advisers agree with the president's stance on many of these.
>> i think there are many issues that republicans and democrats can come together on. i think the drone attacks are certainly one of those. i disagree with the way that he is prosecuting the war in afghanistan . we never should have had a date certain . unlike julian i would never insult the president of the united states by taking a cheap name attack and i will say this. this president --
>> i just called him weak.
>> weak is not saying all hat and no cattle.
>> what's the difference?
>> what's the difference is that i respect the office.
>> the difference --
>> wait a minute, ron .
>> make your point.
>> the point being for the stellar record the president has in foreign policy i think syria is a disaster. i think that we have seen people slaughtered. we have done nothing there. the president had the opportunity to stand up to folks in iran when iran was looking for freedom. the president said nothing. you heard what i said about israel. i don't think his foreign policy record is strong.
>> let's step back for a second, ron . every single foreign policy leader on the political right said that we shouldn't intervene in iran because it would only help the regime. on syria , what would you do that the president didn't do in syria ?
>> i would have been engaged a lot earlier in syria .
>> they were very engaged in syria .
>> no, we were not. what have we done?
>> guys, guys.
>> go ahead, karen .
>> yeah. here is the other piece of all of this. you have to remember that foreign policy is not always as cut-and-dried which is why it is a very good way to look at the president's leadership when we talk about syria , that is not just about syria . that also involves iran . that also involves china. that also involves our relationship with russia who i think mitt romney thinks is our greatest world enemy right now.
>> number one geopolitical foe, yes.
>> it is very easy from the outside to throw bombs and say, oh, you should be doing this and doing that, but i know, ron , you know this because you have been in the white house . it is very different than when you are sitting there and looking at all of the top secret information in front of you that you don't have access to when you're on the outside and you say, you know what, we're going to have to go this way because the truth is who in syria would we help.
>> indeed, indeed, karen finney, julian epstein, ron christy. we have to call a cease-fire. thank