“To try to re-litigate Benghazi would have done [Mr. Romney] no good,” GOP campaign consultant Floyd Ciruli said. “It would have let the press say he’s out on the far right with the right-wing conspiracy advocates. The press will not let him win on the issue.”

Most important, analysts said, the Republican nominee took a well-calculated risk — that in disappointing the more hawkish members of his base, he would win over more undecideds.

“He took a small risk in disappointing the more hawkish among his supporters by assuaging the fear of some undecideds and soft Romney supporters that he is a warmonger and that somehow he would take the country into a radically different direction,” said conservative campaign consultant Brett A. Sciotto.

In refusing to endorse a ground war in the Middle East, whether in Syria, Iran or anywhere else, Mr. Romney actually played to the majority opinion in America at the moment.


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