On the campaign trail Thursday, Vice President Joe Biden said of the presumptive GOP presidential nominee's foreign policy proposals: "What would Gov. Romney do? The truth is, we don't know for certain. ... To the extent he's shown any foreign policy vision, it's through the glass of a rearview mirror."
Indeed, in the relentless effort to depict President Obama as weak on national security, Romney, his advisers and surrogates have had a hard time letting go of the last century, with references to the "Soviets," gone these past two decades, and numerous other tells. Biden, self-deprecating about his own renown for verbal gaffes, said the Romney team's comments befitting Cold War realities are more than mere slips of the tongue—they reflect "a mind-set."
In a Thursday conference call with reporters, it happened again when former Reagan Navy Secretary John Lehman and former Bush administration Ambassador Pierre Prosper spoke of the "Soviet Union" and said Obama had failed to protect Czechoslovakia, a nation that hasn't existed since it split into the Czech Republic and Slovakia 19 years ago. Said Lehman:
“We’re seeing the Soviets pushing into the Arctic with no response from us. In fact, the only response is to announce the early retirement of the last remaining icebreaker.” [...]Romney himself had to backtrack a week ago when he said Obama had made a bad deal over nuclear weapons when he "entered into an agreement with the Soviets, excuse me, with Russia..."
“You know, Russia is another example where we give and Russia gets and we get nothing in return,” Prosper said. “The United States abandoned its missile defense sites in Poland and Czechoslovakia, yet Russia does nothing but obstruct us, or efforts in Iran and Syria.”
So eager to embrace the simple past on so many issues.
All this suggests that Romney should jettison consideration of Sen. Rob Portman and Sen. Marco Rubio and Gov. Nikki Haley and pick a surprise choice to be his vice presidential running mate, Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa. Clearly compatible with Romney's foreign policy views, the senator said Tuesday that the prostitutes who serviced Secret Service agents in Cartagena, Colombia, might have been Russian spies.