President Barack Obama and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney during the third and final presidential debate in Boca Raton, FL on Oct. 22, 2012 (Courtesy of ABC News)
President Barack Obama and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney during the third and final presidential debate in Boca Raton, FL on Oct. 22, 2012 (Courtesy of ABC News)

Michael Crowley, POLITICO

WASHINGTON (Politico)—He saw Vladimir Putin as a threat to peace. He insisted that radical Islam was spreading. He warned that Iraq was at risk without American troops to stabilize it.

And he was right.

As Mitt Romney’s supporters push the idea that the 2012 Republican nominee might run for president again, one of their core talking points is that Romney was a foreign policy prophet in the last campaign. His vindication on several scores, they argue, gives him a rationale to run again — and a leg up on his potential Republican rivals.

“The results of the Hillary Clinton-Barack Obama foreign policy have been devastating,” Romney declared at the Republican National Committee’s winter meeting in San Diego on Friday. “The world is not safer.”

But, as Democrats point out, any losing candidate can cherry-pick a few issues that later broke his way. And Romney’s batting average was hardly perfect. Nor do bragging rights on a few specific issues necessarily translate to a popular foreign policy vision overall.

“Romney was right about the world getting more complicated,” said Mieke Eoyang, director of the National Security Project at the moderate Democratic think tank Third Way. “But a complicated world doesn’t mean a more simplistic response, which is what Romney was offering.”

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