Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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April 4, 2011

WHEN A TOP-TIER CANDIDATE 'REFUSES' TO TALK ABOUT LIBYA.... Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R) spoke in Las Vegas over the weekend, delivering a speech billed as a foreign policy address to the Republican Jewish Coalition's winter meeting. The focus was on the Middle East.

There was, however, one notable omission.

Yet Romney was silent on Libya, the newest and stickiest military and U.S. policy problem as the United States and its NATO allies enforce a no-fly zone to help rebels oust Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi.

After his speech, Romney refused to take questions from reporters about his position on Libya. Instead, he and his wife, Ann, fled down a hallway and escaped up an escalator at The Venetian, where the event was held.

Is it me, or does this seem very strange? A controversial U.S. offensive is underway in Libya, a leading Republican presidential candidate delivers a speech on foreign policy, and when pressed for a position, the candidate runs away?

When I talk about the GOP's presidential field struggling with U.S. policy in Libya, this only helps bolster the point.

Steve Benen 11:25 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (11)

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Brave Sir Mittens.

He bravely ran away!

Posted by: c u n d gulag on April 4, 2011 at 11:35 AM | PERMALINK

ah yes, and he pretends he can be a president ...

Posted by: st on April 4, 2011 at 11:35 AM | PERMALINK

Rethug Presidential Candidates: dufus #1, dufus #2, etc.

Posted by: Ted76 on April 4, 2011 at 11:36 AM | PERMALINK

Perhaps he doesn't want to discuss Libya because it is in negotiations to end the conflict and he has been notified. Or maybe he agrees with potus and doesn't want to admit it.

Why not give him the benefit of the doubt. He would just change his tune later anyway.

Posted by: CDW on April 4, 2011 at 11:40 AM | PERMALINK

In thinking about this further, maybe Mitt was subtly trying to demonstrate that we have no exit strategy by demonstrating HIS exit strategy?

Posted by: c u n d gulag on April 4, 2011 at 11:42 AM | PERMALINK

The core motivation for a flip-flop usually is a sense that the direction the wind is blowing from has changed and that another position than the one previously espoused has become more popular.

The problem with Libya is that we don't know yet how this is going to work out, and therefore how it is going to play in the 2012 election. And poor Mitt doesn't want to make a mistake. That's all that is too it, really.

Posted by: eserwe on April 4, 2011 at 11:44 AM | PERMALINK

Headline in the Des Moines Register this morning says Romney is being told that if he wants to talk about such arcane matters as foreign policy, he should leave the Iowa Bible and tax-bashers to Bachmann and Huckabee and concentrate on New Hampshire, in other words, play to his strengths....

Posted by: ericfree on April 4, 2011 at 11:48 AM | PERMALINK

Challenging any republican with questions is not allowed these days. Peasants do not ever question royalty.

Posted by: Silver Owl on April 4, 2011 at 11:54 AM | PERMALINK

Remember three years ago when one of the hot questions was which candidate you'd trust when the President's phone rings with news of a sudden crisis at 3am?

The Mittster can't figure out what he'd do, even though the phone rang a month ago.

Pretty sad, that.

Posted by: low-tech cyclist on April 4, 2011 at 12:15 PM | PERMALINK

eserwe is correct. Mitt can't tell yet whether the President's policy in Libya is going to succeed or fail, so how could Mitt know whether to support it or oppose it?

Posted by: Jose Hipants on April 4, 2011 at 2:19 PM | PERMALINK

Mittens doesn't know WHICH position to take...being the inauthentic piece of plastic that he is....his weathervane hasn't caught a position yet.

Posted by: rikyrah on April 4, 2011 at 2:54 PM | PERMALINK
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