Baumgartner: Romney failed to show leadership on Afghanistan


In presidential candidate Mitt Romney's convention speech last week, he alluded to World War II and the Mexican revolution.

But not one of the 4000-plus words in his speech included “Afghanistan.” A week later, it continues to be a controversy.

Meanwhile, Washington state Senate candidate Michael Baumgartner, a Republican, has been – to the point of profanity – upset that the media hasn’t been focusing more on the Afghanistan and Iraq questions. He’s repeatedly criticized his opponent, Senate Democrat Maria Cantwell, for her votes on the Iraq war and recent votes on war appropriation bills.

We had a chance to interview Baumgartner about his foreign policy positions after the Spokane Republicans Breakfast Club this morning, and asked him if he thought Romney not mentioning Afghanistan was a failure by Romney to show leadership.

Here’s how he responded:

“Absolutely. And if you read my September 2 facebook, you’d see I took issue with Romney. And it was extremely disappointing that in a time we have 60,000 troops still engaged in harm’s way in the longest war in our country’s history.

Again this is a bipartisan failure because people are afraid of leadership.

Of course, Romney’s very politically calculating. Sometime you have to stop looking at just what polls well, and think about at what the job is. I mean, they’re both politically calculating.

Since I’ve started this campaign, what I’ve had folks and expert Republicans in the state tell me is that that people don’t care about foreign policy, this is not a winning campaign issue, and talk only about jobs and the economy.

But this is one of the key reasons I’m running for office and it actually is the job.”