Foreign Policy Could Sink Mitt

Sep 10 2012 @ 5:37pm

After reviewing public opinion, Drezner entertains the idea that "maybe, just maybe, foreign policy will matter a little bit during this election" and "not in a way that helps Mitt Romney":

[I]f the economy doesn't produce the national poll movements that the Romney campaign wants, they'll have to shift to secondary issues.  For the last forty years, the GOP has been able to go to foreign policy and national security.  If Romney does that this time, however, he'll alienate the very independents he needs to win.

Could Romney/Ryan simply retool their foreign policy message for the general election to allay the concerns of independents and undecideds?  No, I don't think they can.  For one thing, it's simply too late to rebrand.  For another, when cornered on these questions they seem to like doubling down on past statements. Finally, I get the sense that one reason Romney sounds so hawkish is because the campaign thinks it's a cheap way to appeal to the GOP base.  Deviating from that script to woo the undecideds will only fuel suspicion of Romney's conservative bona fides.