Friday night on “The Rachel Maddow Show,” guest host Melissa Harris-Perry attempted to glean a greater truth from all of the hullaballoo over Republican presidential candidate Gov. Mitt Romney (R-MA)’s disastrous trip to the 2012 London Summer Olympics. She compared and contrasted Romney’s trip abroad with then-Senator Barack Obama’s trip overseas in the summer of 2008, which, as Harris-Perry said, many foreign statesmen treated Obama as a “president-in-waiting” and audiences treated him like a rock star.
As Britons laughed themselves silly over Romney’s seeming inability to open his mouth without landing one or both feet in it, here in the U.S. Romney surrogates Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-LA) and Gov. Bob McDonnell tried to make hay of Team Romney’s mistakes, saying things like, “We’re not worried about overseas headlines. We’re worried about voters back here at home in America.” (Jindal)
The back and forth, Harris-Perry believes is emblematic of what we would see in terms of a President Romney’s approach to foreign policy. She reminded viewers of the infamous shoe-throwing incident in Iraq, in which an Iraqi reporter flung his shoes at then-President Bush. Not that she encourages shoe-throwing or any other form of violence, she said, but in a sense, that reporter spoke for the world.
“By the time he left office, his foreign policy agenda,” she said, “was deeply unpopular both overseas and at home.”
Nonetheless, in an interview with an Israeli newspaper ahead of his visit there, Romney said that uprisings of the Arab Spring could have been averted, or at least handled more peacefully if Egypt’s then President Hosni Mubarak had listened more closely to Pres. George W. Bush.
“President George W. Bush urged Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to move toward a more democratic posture, but President Obama abandoned the freedom agenda and we are seeing today a whirlwind of tumult in the Middle East in part because these nations did not embrace the reforms that could have changed the course of their history, in a more peaceful manner,” Romney said.
In other words, Romney believes that the problem with Bush’s invade-your-way-to-freedom policies was that they didn’t go far enough.
“He thinks George W. Bush was doing it right,” Harris-Perry said, “and that’s where he wants to take the country and the world.”
Watch the video, embedded via MSNBC, below: