By Justin Sink - 04/26/12 03:52 PM EDT
“Well I think on several fronts, first of all Governor Romney certainly has a Cold War mentality as you heard in that discussion over Russia but the fact is that he’s made clear that he would have left our troops indefinitely in Iraq, ten to thirty thousand troops," LaBolt told Fox News.
"While he has been all over the map on withdrawing our troops from Afghanistan, he has certainly suggested that he would leave our troops there indefinitely when he hasn’t outlined a mission for them," LaBolt said. "He’s enlisted many of the same advisers that were the architects of the Iraq war. He has suggested that we should go it alone in the world -- that the United States should act unilaterally rather than rally the world around important international missions that are critical to American security and to global security.”
The Romney campaign pushed back in a conference call Thursday morning, saying the president was the first since Jimmy Carter to divert from a "peace through strength" doctrine.
"If Joe Biden or Barack Obama want to compare a weak Carter-Obama doctrine to peace through strength, we're happy to make that comparison," said Romney foreign policy adviser Alex Wong.
LaBolt also pushed back on Romney's frequent assertion that Obama often apologized for American success abroad, and argued the Republican candidate often shifted positions on important foreign policy issues.
“Well on the apologizing front every independent fact checker has rated that as absolutely false and this is what you’ve heard from Governor Romney on foreign policy a lot of chest thumping, a lot of tough talk, but not a lot of specific plans," LaBolt said. "The fact is a commander-in-chief only gets one chance to get it right, but [Romney's] been all over the map on the key foreign policy challenges of our time. He has been for and against setting a timetable to withdraw our troops from Afghanistan, for and against enforcing our trade laws against China. When it came to Osama Bin Laden a few years ago he said he wouldn’t move heaven and earth to do it and then when the president authorized the mission to get Bin Laden he said that any president would do so.”
During a speech Tuesday, Romney alluded to his criticism of the president's handling of issues like the military budget and conflict with Iran.
"This time we’ll get it right. We’ll stop the days of apologizing for success at home and never again apologize for America abroad," Romney said.
Romney has also criticized the president for what he calls a "lead from behind" strategy -- an allusion to a comment by an Obama administration official to the strategy in Libya -- while on the trail, but LaBolt said the nation was better off not trying to handle international crises alone.
“Well the president believes that America is stronger when our alliances with our allies are secure, allies that were alienated during the Bush administration, and Governor Romney has suggested he would go a similar unilateral route," LaBolt said.