2:25 pm ET
Romney has every right — really, the responsibility — to express his disagreements with the administration on foreign policy and national security straight through Election Day.
But Romney himself has acknowledged that there are times when a challenger should not criticize the incumbent regarding national security. For example, during his high-profile overseas trip, Romney repeatedly declined to take issue with the President’s record both in interviews and speeches.
It is also the case that Romney has been called out at various points throughout the campaign for seeming to seek tactical advantage by attacking Obama’s foreign policy. This criticism has come not just from Democrats, but also from prominent Republicans, and even, on background, from some of Romney’s own top foreign policy advisers.
When more facts are known, and the immediate threat to Americans has passed, Romney will have many opportunities to present a reasoned address laying out any criticisms of the President’s policy and the conduct of the government. We might find out that errors were made for which the President and his administration should be held accountable.
It is very much the case that Romney’s critique in this case matches up with his overall view of the Obama foreign policy as being too quick to apologize for American actions. And maybe some voters will rally around Romney’s tough commentary. But that really is not the point.
The media’s criticism of Romney’s statements has nothing to do with bias, political spectator sport, or a lack of understanding of foreign policy.
In a time of immediate crisis, when American lives have been lost and more might be at stake, a challenger should consider reserving judgment, and perhaps even confer or show solidarity with the administration. Whatever political points Romney might score within one 24-hour news cycle are just not worth it.