msnbc | October 22, 2012
>> tie. lawrence o'donnell is in the spin room with john kerry whose twitter feed has become way more interesting. lawrence ?
>> thank, rachel. you played mitt romney in the debate prep.
>> ex sor sichl tomorrow. we're finished.
>> when you were playing mitt romney , did you say we are going to be out of afghanistan by 2014 ?
>> why didn't you say that?
>> because mitt romney hasn't said it and he's never said it. i mean, my head is dizzy tonight trying to follow mitt romney .
>> you were shocked when you heard him say it again.
>> i was. because weeks ago mitt romney said, i'm going to listen to the generals. you made a mistake, mr. president, to set a date certain. you never should have announced it and now tonight he agrees. this is a man -- i have to tell you, tonight we saw a commander in chief and a candidate in total confusion who is -- if you're leaders in the world, you're scratching your head tonight saying, how could the american people possibly elect a guy who has changed his position every few months and doesn't know what he's going to do in foreign policy ? i thought i was listening to the wikepedia candidate tonight. he would say, oh, there are taliban in pakistan. they have nuclear weapons . but what's the policy, governor? what are youing going to do that is different? how are you going to -- nothing. absolutely nothing. which is why i tweeted that they sunk the battleships. take the ships, as a navy guy, when i was in the navy, we had 680 something ships. there's not anybody that questions today that our navy isn't the most powerful on the seas, that we don't have the most powerful military in the world. we spent more, as the president said tonight, than the next ten nations in the world. china, russia, great britain, france, all put together we spend more. we will have the best military in the world but it isn't by counting the numbers of ships. it's by what is their capability? what do we have the ability to answer as a threat? lawrence , tonight i have to tell you, i was stunned. mitt romney scares -- he really scared me tonight. i mean, this is a guy if people think he's ready to be president, this country's going to go back to the bush policies that took us through eye rairaq. he's going to outsource to the people who organized that effort to go into iraq and we're in trouble. i listened to george pataki . half the things he said were just off the wall. i mean, you look at libya. the president did the most intelligent thing possible. and the republicans are complaining about it. they call it leading from behind. the president led from the front but managed to keep american troops from having to go in, managed to liberate a country together with nato and others who did a lot of the heavy lifting, be which is great and i would think americans would cheer that and our goals were advanced and after chris stevens was tragically killed, 30,000 libyans came out with signs saying, we love america, we love chris stevens . that's america at its best. on the mitt romney , you have this confusion, you have completely helter skelter policy.
>> tomorrow at work people will be talking about it and i have to say there's nothing from the romney side that i remember but that line about we don't have as many horses in the military anymore, that sounds to me like what people are going to be saying at work tomorrow.
>> well, i hope so because this is serious business. i'm not going to laugh about it. it is really serious business. we have, you know, still too many troops in afghanistan for many people's liking. we have to transition that war but we have to do it in a way that protects the sacrifice of the troops that have been there and what we need to do for our security as a platform against counterterrorism. we don't want people being able to come back into the country and plot against our country again. so we have enormous challenges. but i listen to mitt romney tonight trying to blame the president for uncertainty in an arab world that is going through the greatest transition since the empire fell. i mean, we and no islam mist told a tunisian fruit vendor to emulate himself. he did that out of a desire to break out of this yoke of crushing his as sppirations because they took his weighing machine. at tahrir square, that wasn't the brotherhood. they didn't start that. that was young egyptians with their tweets and their ability to google and to communicate to each other with their cell phones dreaming of a future where they have jobs and can reach out to the rest of the world and their country was giving them what everybody aspired to and then, of course, the brotherhood came in because they were organized and won an election. we want elections. i thought we were for democracy, not against it, governor romney. the same thing is now going on in syria. he says he doesn't want to put troops in. lawrence , there are so many weapons going into syria, the saudis, they have weapons going in. what we need to do is make sure it doesn't implode and that we don't have a sunni conflict in the middle east which has deep implication for jordan, for turkey, israel, our great ally and friend and you hear none of that sensitivity from mitt romney . it's a complicated world out there and we need a president who understands those complications and has the experience of making decisions about them.
>> final comment?
>> this is the most inexperienced candidate for president and vice president together.
>> a one term governor with no foreign policy experience.
>> one term governor and congressman that's been dealing with the budget. neither of whom have ever made a real decision about sending troops into war or about going into war or have gone into war themselves.
>> i have to ask you a question where i understand --
>> you just heard -- i don't know if that was a loose cable or something else but we just lost the tail end of that interview there. it was a live interview between lawrence o'donnell and john kerry . there has been a lot of discussion about if hillary clinton steps down, whether john kerry would be positioned to be a secretary of state. we're going