Romney, with Cheney, Rove, All Admit Defeat in Iraq
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Dick Cheney was scheduled to appear at a $15,000-a-head Beverly Hills luncheon fundraiser for Mitt Romney on Monday, giving him a chance to watch the foreign policy debate that night from Hollywood. It would have been a fitting place for Cheney to hear his old fighting buddy from the Vietnam deferment trenches, Mitt Romney, auditioning for president, declare: “We don’t want another Iraq. We don’t want another Afghanistan. That’s not the right course for us.”
Apparently, our warrior veep is the forgiving type, because he, Glenn Beck and Josh Romney made a joint appearance at a gala Texas fundraiser on Thursday night. Praised by Romney for his “wisdom and judgment” earlier this year, Cheney even threw a $4 million bash for Mitt at his Jackson Hole, Wyoming home in July, where reporters in attendance were told that no photos of the two together could be taken. Like every other neocon soldier-in-my dreams vet on Romney’s national security and foreign policy advisory committee ( 17 of 24, including Liz Cheney, worked for W), the ex veep is apparently not taking all the peace pablum Romney served up at the final debate too seriously.
Neither is Karl Rove, who once headed the White House Iraq Group and now runs American Crossroads, the ultimate Romney superpac. The night before the debate, Rove appeared at Duke University to tussle with Howard Dean about an array of issues, with Rove still pushing the value of “boots on the ground” to counter terror.
Peter Wehner, who ran Rove’s Office of Strategic Initiatives and said as late as 2008 that he didn’t “see any reason why you’d get away” from the “working” Iraq war policies, is now the senior adviser to the Romney campaign who blogs on its website. Wehner, regarded as “the intellectual” of the Bush White House, is the only person to get special thanks from Romney in the acknowledgements of his 2010 book, “ No Apology,” and from Rove in his 2010 memoir “Courage and Consequence,” where Wehner is described as a “trusted former colleague” who “helped craft every chapter and every episode.” The only person other than Wehner that Romney said in his book “sharpened my appreciation of the dangers presented” by the Obama “shift in our foreign policy” was Dan Senor, the onetime top aide in Iraq’s Coalition Provisional Government who’s become the on-camera face of Romney foreign policy in this campaign.
Though Papa Bush is supposed to headline a Houston fundraiser at the end of the month for Romney, that other war champion, Bush II, is still conveniently hiding out, endorsing Romney two months after his parents did while the elevator door closed on an inquiring reporter, invisible at the RNC and even invisible now in the last-minute Texas cash surge. Mitt and W. went to the Harvard Business School at the same time, though it’s doubtful the party pooper and partygoer were very close. But Romney recounts in his book “ Turnaround” just how they bonded in the lead-up to and during the 2002 Olympics, when Bush delivered hundreds of millions to Mitt’s games.
Romney says that Bush asked that an apartment be built in a large hallway behind his Olympics box where he and his family could relax over the course of the three-hour Olympic opening ceremony, and Mitt obliged. “President Bush invited me to join him in his limo,” gee-whiz Romney also wrote. “Cool. It’s quite narrow inside; the thick protection panels, of course, make it smaller. People waved heartily when they saw him drive by. Here was the leader who had declared War on Terror, who had invaded Afghanistan to root out the Taliban. This was more than your average president.”