Senior Romney campaign adviser Eric Fehrnstrom on Sunday defended his boss for not thanking U.S. troops or even mentioning the war in Afghanistan while accepting the Republican presidential nomination during the GOP convention on Thursday.
During an interview on CNN, host Candy Crowley asked Fehrnstrom if Mitt Romney snubbed the troops on purpose or if it was an oversight.
“Well, the day before the convention speech, Candy, Gov. Romney traveled to Indianapolis on Wednesday, and he gave a speech before the American Legion,” the senior adviser explained. “That was an invitation that President [Barack] Obama declined. … And in that speech he talked about Afghanistan.”
Crowley pointed out that even conservative Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol also blasted the former Massachusetts governor for failing to “utter a word of appreciation to the troops fighting.”
“It has been since 1952 when a Republican did not mention troops serving overseas,” the CNN host told Fehrnstrom. “In hindsight, he should have said something.”
“Well, again, he spoke to Afghanistan in a big speech before the American Legion the night before his convention speech,” Fehrnstrom repeated. “Gov. Romney’s convention speech was an opportunity to introduce himself to millions of voters who are seeing him for the first time. And in that speech, he accomplished what he set out to do.”
Earlier this year, Fehrnstrom was widely mocked after he said that Romney could shake up his campaign “like an Etch A Sketch” and “start over again” after spending the primary season pandering to conservative voters.
Watch this video from CNN’s State of the Union, broadcast Sept. 2, 2012.