Remember the secret video………the 47 percent video? In that same video, or the full length version of it, Mitt Romney had an exchange with an audience member in which Romney said he would “work to find a way to take advantage of the opportunity”. The “opportunity” Romney referred to was a foreign policy crisis.
In the first section of the quoted conversation between Mitt Romney and one of his fellow plutocrats (an audience member), the audience member suggests that Romney “sort of duplicate” the scenario which got Ronald Reagan elected, emphasis mine:
Audience member: If you get the call as president, and you had hostages…Ronald Reagan was able to make a statement, even before he became, was actually sworn in—
Audience member: the hostages were released—
Romney: on the day of his inauguration, yeah.
Audience member: So my question is, really, how can you sort of duplicate that scenario?
Romney: Ohhhh [A few chuckles in audience.] I'm gonna ask you, how do I duplicate that scenario.
Audience member: I think that had to do with the fact that the Iranians perceived Reagan would do something to really get them out. In other words [unintelligible]…and that's why I'm suggesting that something that you say over the next few months gets the Iranians to understand that their pursuit of the bomb is something that you would predict and I think that's something that could possibly resonate very well with American Republican voters.
Of course, we now know exactly how Reagan achieved the release of the hostages and won the presidency.
In 1980, when Carter was on the verge of achieving the release of the hostages, Ronald Reagan’s people told the Iranians that if they would wait to release the hostages until right after the election, Reagan would give them a sweet arms deal. This eventually resulted in the Iran Contra scandal, and Jimmy Carter lost re-election because Republicans will do anything to win.
Back to 2012 when Mitt Romney’s response to his fellow plutocrat in the audience of the Boca Raton fundraiser was not to strongly dismiss the notion of using Americans at risk of harm to win a political advantage. No, Mitt Romney’s cold, calculated response was to tell the plutocrat that Romney would find a way to take advantage of a foreign policy crisis to score political points, emphasis mine:
Romney: I appreciate the idea. I can't—one of the other things that's frustrating to me is that at a typical day like this, when I do three or four events like this, the number of foreign policy questions that I get are between zero and one. And the American people are not concentrated at all on China, on Russia, Iran, Iraq. This president's failure to put in place a status forces agreement allowing 10-20,000 troops to stay in Iraq? Unthinkable! And yet, in that election, in the Jimmy Carter election, the fact that we have hostages in Iran, I mean, that was all we talked about. And we had the two helicopters crash in the desert, I mean that's—that was—that was the focus, and so him solving that made all the difference in the world. I'm afraid today if you said, "We got Iran to agree to stand down a nuclear weapon," they'd go hold on. It's really a, but…by the way, if something of that nature presents itself, I will work to find a way to take advantage of the opportunity.
Romney found his “opportunity” in the Benghazi attack which killed four Americans, and as he told his fellow plutocrat he would do, Romney moved to score political points by blaming President Obama and his administration for the attack, claiming that it was a result of “perceived weakness”:
“We have seen a foreign policy of weakness and decline in American influence and respect. Yesterday, we saw the consequences of this perceived weakness.”
Mitt Romney cares only about achieving the power of the American presidency. He cares little for the well being of his American countrymen. Remember this as you watch the foreign policy debate tonight, and vote accordingly.