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As this new video from OFA demonstrates, Mitt Romney spent more time last night pretending that he shares President Obama's foreign policy than he did explaining why he should be elected:

Clearly, Romney's calculation was that Extreme Neocon Mitt Romney would have an even worse debate than Moderate Mitt Romney. In a vacuum, that seems like a reasonable enough assumption, but debates don't take place in a vacuum. Every time that Mitt Romney tried to Etch A Sketch the differences between his views and the president's, President Obama challenged him.

The result was that instead of coming off as a measured and reasonable, Romney came off as a calculating hack. Here's a perfect example—in Romney's opening remarks, he not only gave President Obama a verbal hug, he tried to run to his left.

I congratulate him on -- on taking out Osama bin Laden and going after the leadership in al-Qaeda. But we can't kill our way out of this mess.
But after President Obama challenged him for having an inconsistent strategy, Romney said this:
Well, my strategy is pretty straightforward, which is to go after the bad guys, to make sure we do our very best to interrupt them, to -- to kill them, to take them out of the picture.
Romney went on to say he would do more than just kill bad guys, but in the space of of about 120 seconds he want from sounding like a peacenik to hawk. It was a jarring beginning to the debate, and set the stage for President Obama to repeatedly challenge Romney for trying to shake away his old positions.

For the most part, Romney's strategy was just to run for the hills and try to run out the clock. He made frequent detours into domestic policy, leading to what was arguably the most amazing example of Romnesia of the entire debate. Defending his position on the auto bailout, Romney said this:

I said they need -- these companies need to go through a managed bankruptcy. And in that process, they can get government help and government guarantees, but they need to go through bankruptcy to get rid of excess cost and the debt burden that they'd -- they'd built up.
The key here is that Romney claimed that he had endorsed giving government financial assistance to the auto industry during the process of a managed bankruptcy—thus my emphasis on "in that process." But that's not what Romney said. Romney said that if car companies got a bailout during the the bankruptcy process "you can kiss the American automotive industry goodbye." He did say he could support "post-bankruptcy" government financing, but the question at the time was about whether or not to provide aide before and during the bankruptcy process—not about what to do after bankruptcy.

And for Romney to claim otherwise is to turn the truth upside down and claim that he actually supported the president's position on the bailout. And that's a perfect example of the shameless Romnesia that we saw throughout last night's debate.

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Sign up to help get Democratic voters to the polls in swing states with Workers' Voice, the largest independent Democratic voter turnout operation in the country. You can participate no matter where you live.

7:34 AM PT: In Florida right, now Obama going after Romney's Romnesia—singling out auto bailout, support for teachers, and Medicare.

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