Daniel Larison at The American Conservative explains Mitt Romney’s consistently hawkish foreign policy stance. If Americans see a Mitt Romney reboot for a third presidential run, they shouldn’t expect a change in his foreign policy views.
It is always a vain effort to try to figure out what Romney “really” believes on any subject, but foreign policy is the only area where he has been fairly consistent. Unlike his many other changed positions, Romney’s foreign policy views have been reliably, embarrassingly bellicose for as long as he has had said anything about these issues. He denounced then-President Khatami during his 2005 visit to Harvard in his first foray into these issues, and he has been predictably hostile to any and all attempts at engagement with Iran and Russia for a decade. That’s a ten-year period in which he has chosen to pander to his party’s hard-liners as often as possible, and during much of that time he went out of his way to bash the views of anyone that didn’t share his devotion to “American exceptionalism” and omni-directional belligerence. Even if Romney were now inclined to change scripts and start pandering to the people whose views he repeatedly derided for years, those voters would have to be the easiest marks in the world to fall for it.