Last weekend, the New York Times’ David Sanger asked, “Is there a Romney Doctrine?” and sparked a debate this week over the GOP presidential candidate’s purportedly weak foreign policy.
New America Foundation Senior Fellow Steve Clemons discussed Romney’s recent hardline statements on Iran, Russia and the Taliban with MSNBC’s Chris Matthews this week, concluding that when it comes to foreign policy, Romney is “an empty suit.”
During the interview, Matthews particularly questioned Romney’s assertion that Russia is America’s “number one geopolitical foe.”
“He wants to sound tough,” Clemons said. “He has no foreign policy experience. He has nothing to compare himself with. He’s from Massachusetts. His father was a Rockefeller Republican, so he thinks that by taking on a Goldwater foreign policy he’ll sound much more compelling.”
But though it might be easy to dismiss Romney’s rhetoric given his lack of foreign policy experience, Clemons argues that what he says now matters. “The issue is oftentimes people who are running for president act and say things that are un-presidential, and that’s what we see here,” he said. “ The reason it does matter is that it does lock him into something. It raises immediate suspicions on how he’s going to deal with other great stakeholders in the world.”
Watch the full conversation here.