Vice President Biden gave a speech on foreign policy yesterday, and spent some time describing the “negative consequences” of “loose talk” about war with Iran, including driving up oil prices.
“President Obama has said, ‘Now is the time to let our increased pressure sink in, and to sustain the broad international coalition we have built. Now is the time to heed the timeless advice from Teddy Roosevelt: ‘speak softly and carry a big stick.’” Biden added, “I promise you the president has a big stick.”
The audience laughed. Former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton, a Mitt Romney advisor, thinks he knows why.
For those who can’t watch clips online, Bolton said he thinks the audience’s reaction was “some measure of their belief about how assertive Obama is on behalf of our interests internationally.”
He didn’t seem to be kidding. Bolton heard an audience sympathetic to the White House chuckle when the vice president referenced the president’s “big stick,” and the Romney surrogate thinks it was a commentary on the public’s skepticism about Obama’s foreign policy.
As a rule, I tend to think Bolton is an embarrassment to himself and probably shouldn’t be representing a presidential campaign on national television. But if he is going to make these appearances, the least he can is try to have a sense of humor.
Granted, chuckling at “I promise you the president has a big stick” is only funny in a puerile sort of way, but even Fox News viewers had to realize Bolton’s analysis didn’t make any sense.