Often on the campaign trail Mitt Romney will never mention specifics and only regurgitate platitudes. In the final debate on foreign policy (transcript) he did much the same. When he didn’t speak in platitudes, he spoke in what he believed (which was often demonstrably false: “I don’t see our influence growing around the world. I see our influence receding”), or in incorrect facts. But mostly it was platitudes.
I think this is best shown in his closing statement which is so full of no information, that I would love to have it presented by Obama and run it past conservative voters.
Here’s Romney’s entire closing statement. I have changed the word “president” to “my opponent” to make it more neutrally stated.
The red text is the only specific reference and is a an attack on the president, not a policy statement. (Earlier in the debate: “attacking me is not an agenda. Attacking me is not talking about how we’re going to deal with the challenges that exist” – Romney)
There is no foreign policy in this statement, at a foreign policy debate.
I’m optimistic about the future. I’m excited about our prospects as a nation. I want to see peace. I want to see growing peace in this country. It’s our objective.
We have an opportunity to have real leadership. America’s going to have that kind of leadership and continue to promote principles of peace to make a world a safer place and make people in this country more confident that their future is secure. I also want to make sure that we get this economy going. And there are two very different paths the country can take. One is a path represented by [my opponent], which at the end of four years would mean we’d have $20 trillion in debt heading towards Greece. I’ll get us on track to a balanced budget.
[My opponent’s] path will mean continuing declining in take-home pay. I want to make sure our take-home pay turns around and starts to grow.
[My opponent]’s path will mean continuing declining in take-home pay. I want to make sure take-home pay turns around and starts to grow. [My opponent]’s path means 20 million people out of work struggling for a good job. I’ll get people back to work with 12 million new jobs.
I’m going to make sure that we get people off of food stamps, not by cutting the program, but by getting them good jobs.
America’s going to come back, and for that to happen, we’re going to have to have a president who can work across the aisle. I was in a state where my legislature was 87 percent Democrat. I learned how to get along on the other side of the aisle. We’ve got to do that in Washington. Washington is broken. I know what it takes to get this country back, and will work with good Democrats and good Republicans to do that.
This nation is the hope of the earth. We’ve been blessed by having a nation that’s free and prosperous thanks to the contributions of the greatest generation. They’ve held a torch for the world to see — the torch of freedom and hope and opportunity. Now, it’s our turn to take that torch. I’m convinced we’ll do it.
We need strong leadership. I’d like to be that leader with your support. I’ll work with you. I’ll lead you in an open and honest way, and I ask for your vote. I’d like to be the next president of the United States to support and help this great nation and to make sure that we all together remain America as the hope of the earth.
Thank you so much.
An almost entirely content free statement. The gray part tips off who is speaking, but other than that and the red part, ANYONE could deliver this speech. It says NOTHING about his plan for the country on domestic or foreign policy. It states only his hoped/promised outcome of some unstated/unknown policy.
It’s not a direction. It’s waywardness.