Former Vice President Dick Cheney gave GOP hopeful Mitt Romney his seal of approval on Thursday, saying the presumptive nominee was the “only” candidate to trust on tough foreign policy decisions.
During a Wyoming fundraiser, the former vice president said that his experience in Washington taught him that every president would have to deal with an international crisis that could mean sending U.S. forces into harm’s way.
“When I think about the kind of individual I want in the Oval Office in that moment of crisis, who has to make those key decisions, some of them life-and-death decisions, some of them decisions as commander-in-chief, who has the responsibility for sending some of our young men and women into harm’s way, that man is Mitt Romney,” Cheney said, according to The Associated Press.
For his part, Romney called Cheney a “great American leader,” but avoided mentioning to former President George W. Bush until a question-and-answer session when he contrasted President Barack Obama’s policies with Bush’s “freedom agenda.”
While Cheney has not been a vocal presence during the 2012 campaign season, he may have good reason to trust that Romney will be hawkish on foreign policy.
“Of Romney’s forty identified foreign policy advisers, more than 70 percent worked for Bush,” The Nation’s Ari Berman pointed out in May. “Many hail from the neoconservative wing of the party, were enthusiastic backers of the Iraq War and are proponents of a US or Israeli attack on Iran.”
“On some key issues, like Iran, Romney and his team are to the right of Bush. Romney’s embrace of the neoconservative cause—even if done cynically to woo the right—could turn into a policy nightmare if he becomes president,” Berman wrote.
“Romney’s malleability is an advantage for his neocon advisers, giving them an opportunity to shape his worldview, as they did with Bush after 9/11. Four years after Bush left office in disgrace, Romney is their best shot to get back in power.”