When North Korea launched a rocket earlier this month in a failed attempt to supposedly put a satellite into orbit, U.S. President Barack Obama was quick to condemn the latest provocation and then canceled a deal to resume nutritional assistance.
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, the presumptive GOP nominee for president, offered a blistering statement of his own. But his statement was not entirely directed at the new leader in Pyongyang. It was also directed at the U.S. commander in chief.
“Instead of approaching Pyongyang from a position of strength, President Obama sought to appease the regime with a food-aid deal that proved to be as naive as it was short-lived,” Romney said in a written statement. “At the same time, he has cut critical U.S. missile defense programs and continues to underfund them,” he added, digging at another area of Obama foreign policy.
As the Republican candidate transitions from the long primary slog into the general election battle, his effort to cut down Obama on foreign policy and national security will sharpen. Naivety, appeasement, apologist and a menu of other unflattering descriptions are likely to be emanating from Romney’s attack machine trying to cut down the president’s perceived advantage on foreign policy. The president and his campaign team will be doing their best to ensure that advantage is maintained.