Mitt Romney and his campaign team seemed to be having such a good time with President Obama’s hot-mic comments to Russian President Dmitri Medvedev. It apparently didn’t occur to them that they could take this a little too far.
Late Friday, Romney spokesperson Andrea Saul, responding to calls for the former governor’s still-hidden tax returns, pushed her luck in a written statement:
“Obama should release the notes and transcripts of all his meetings with world leaders so the American people can be satisfied that he’s not promising to sell out the country’s interests after the election is over.”
This really wasn’t a smart thing to say.
Almost immediately after the Romney campaign’s press statement, the DNC distributed a statement from Dr. Colin H. Kahl, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for the Middle East, who explained that he’s been involved in many sensitive meetings with our allies around the world, and was in a position to say that the Romney campaign’s comment “shows a remarkable naivete about foreign policy.”
“For example, does Governor Romney think we should release all the notes and transcripts of the President’s conversations with our allies, such as the Israelis and Europeans, tipping our hand to Tehran about every last element of our strategy to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon?
“Our friends around the world need to trust that they can speak with the President of the United States in confidence, and that these conversations will not be politicized during an election. Such a dramatic and unprecedented step would undermine the ability of the United States to successfully conduct foreign policy at a time when our nation faces numerous challenges abroad, and suggesting it is just a reckless attempt to score cheap political points. It is yet another indication that Mitt Romney is not ready to be Commander-in-Chief.”
If the Democrats’ goal is to make Romney look like an unprepared rookie, not ready for the big kids’ table when it comes to foreign policy, the Romney campaign calling for the release of private transcripts makes the Dems’ job easier. There are plenty of reasons to question Romney on international affairs – he seems painfully out of his depth on the subject – and self-inflicted wounds won’t help.