Martin Bashir | August 30, 2012
>>> three days into the republican convention and the only thing mentioned less often that george w. bush are the wars he started in iraq and afghanistan. in fact, those wars have taken a backseat to the ones mitt romney seems itch tog start in syria and iran. on wednesday night, john mccain suggested that might be a good place to start.
>> we must return to our best traditions of american leadership and support those who face down the brutal tyranny of their oppressors and our enemies. america must be on the right side of history.
>> julian epstein is a democratic strategist and jimmy williams , former staffer with senator joe biden . in addition to promising big increases in spending, romney continues to say the u.s. should do more to intervene with iran and help the syrian rebels. so, what do you think he would actually do if elected?
>> well, i think you'd have to put your tooth on the ground. by doing so, you would a, put us in a third war. the war in afghanistan , the war on terror since we're now pulling out of iraq and now, syria. so that would be three different wars that we would be in. that's a problem because i think the american people at this point with without a doubt, whether they're democrats, republicans, independents or don't give a damn, they're tired of war. we have been at war longer in afghanistan than any war in the history of our nation. going into the middle east , another country is a big huge problem. i expected john mccain to talk about that last night. that's not news to us. he talks about it from the guys of the armed service committee in the building behind me. but for mitt romney to do something like that i think would be a huge problem and he would lose support instantly.
>> and yet, julian, despite that, you had mr. mccain and condoleezza rice also rehearsing these ideas, which again were hinting at america being formidable overseas again.
>> yeah, well, someone tweeted today and we know why barack obama got the nobel peace prize , for keeping john mccain out of office. gop comes into this election at least in the battleground states . mitt romney has this perception of being an empty vessel. conventions are not just about projegting feelings, they're about framing choices. that's what the republican convention has done. they framed up an argument on debt and medicare which they cannot win. they have not yet made an affirmative argument about the economy. then you have elder statesmen coming and talking about being on war footing in five different countries when as jimmy said, this country is more weary. this is a party that you could only come to the conclusion is to tone deaf on so many different levels and i think when it comes, the day after election, martin, we're going to look back and we're going to say when we try to analyze this election that one of the great opportunities missed by the republican party was really an effective framing of what the choices were at the republican convention largely because the republicans do not have an affirmative argument.
>> jimmy, here's what romney told veterans of foreign wars this summer. take a listen to this.
>> as commander in chief, i will have a solemn duty to our men and women in uniform. a route to more war and potentially to attacks here at home is a politically timed retreat. my duty is not to my political prospec prospects, but to the skut of the nation and safety of our troops.
>> now, he says a politically timed retreat. we found that fascinating when contrasted, we've told the boston herald in 1994 , quote, it was not my desire to go off and serve in vietnam. nor did i take any actions to remove myself from the pull of young men who were eligible for the draft.
>> wait, you mean mitt romney held a position before that he doesn't hold now? is that what -- you're not suggesting that mitt romney is flip-flopping --
>> stop humiliate iing he and -- thought of something unique that you thought of perhaps ten years ago.
>> listen, i don't believe anything mitt romney says. i think he's a very good person. i just don't believe him. i think he will say anything to be elected president of the united states and we have seen in the last two days, last three days, at the convention, a lot of say anything to get him elected president of the united states by his surrogates and by the way, the democrats are doing the same thing next week. here's the problem with that. i can't think of have more issues that barack obama has quote flip-flopped on. i can think of myriad issues that mitt romney has flip-flopped on. not only from the time he was if france, but when he was governor and to now. today, right now, in august, the last day of august, 2012 , there's not a single position that mitt romney holds that he didn't hold the exact opposite position when he was governor of massachusetts . this is a problem. he's not believable. and try to convince people to actually believe him. i find that hard to believe is going to happen.