When your party’s recent foreign policy track record consists of two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the obvious move is to draw attention to your opponent’s shortcomings — and away from your own diplomatic inadequacy.
Which explains why Republicans have spent so much time blasting Obama for the “apology tour” on which he embarked soon after taking office. Here are a few choice quotes:
“I think he had made a practice of trying to apologize for America. I personally am proud of America.” – Donald Rumseld
“Mr. President, stop apologizing for our country.” – Tim Pawlenty
There is also a Heritage Foundation list entitled, “Barack Obama’s Top 10 Apologies: How the President Has Humiliated a Superpower”, and Karl Rove published an article in the Wall Street Journal, “The President’s Apology Tour”.
And since Mitt Romney doesn’t know when to stop, here are a few he put together himself:
“I will begin my presidency with the jobs tour. President Obama began his with an apology tour. America, he said, had dictated to other nations. No, Mr. President America has freed other nations from dictators.” – acceptance speech during the Republican National Convention
“The president began what I have called an apology tour, of going to various nations in the Middle East and criticizing America.” – during the first debacleate
“The president’s policies throughout the Middle East began with an apology tour and pursue a strategy of leading from behind, and this strategy is unraveling before our very eyes.” – during the second debate
Mitt even named his damn book No Apology, and wrote in it, “I will not and I will never apologize for America. I don’t apologize for America, because I believe in America.”
Here’s the problem: that apology tour never happened. NO ONE DENIES THIS.
FactCheck.org disagrees using mild language. CNN simply called the allegation false. Fact Checker at the Washington Post gave the allegations “four Pinnochios”. Politifact rated the “apology tour” canard “Pants-on-fire”. I hope Mitt can afford a replacement pair of pants.
But thanks to Obama’s recent visit to Israel, fresh evidence that Goebbels’ old adage still rings true: if you repeat a lie often enough, it becomes the truth – in this case, Obama finally did go on an apology tour:
At the urging of President Obama, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu apologized to Turkey on Friday for the deaths of eight of its citizens during a raid in 2010 on a Gaza flotilla.
Obama, who finished up a two-day visit to Israel on Friday, was by Netanyahu’s side during the phone call, which he helped broker. The president joined the Turkish and Israeli leaders’ conversation at the end of the call.
Obama basically twisted Bibi’s arm hard enough that he dragged himself to a phone and expressed “regret” to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Erdogan for “operational mistakes.”
On second thought, maybe it should only count as an “apology” tour.