Obama will take credit for ending two wars while pretending to have never initiated a third and practically suggesting he personally strangled Osama bin Laden with his bare hands.
It’s not true, of course. While targeted killings of terrorist leaders may be preferable to large-scale invasions and occupations, too many drone strikes with a high error rate will do as much to inflame anti-American sentiment as anything George W. Bush ever did.
While Obama deserves credit for ordering the bin Laden strike, al Qaida remains more powerful than the administration advertises.
And while Romney flubbed his Libya exchange with Obama — with Candy Crowley’s help, of course — Benghazi was an unmitigated disaster from which the White House is still trying to extricate the president.
Then again, Romney was steamed that Obama didn’t intervene in Libya sooner.
Part of Romney’s problem is that the domestic policy fluency that helped him keep Obama at bay in the first two debates seemingly goes missing when the discussion moves abroad. He is reduced to cliches about not apologizing for America or leading from behind, which his cheering section routinely praises for moral clarity.
But the larger difficulty is that Romney remains wedded to the notion that “it is the responsibility of our president to use America’s great power to shape history,” rather than merely defend the United States.
It’s a role many Americans no longer want and the Constitution has never truly envisioned.
Romney is on the verge of a major comeback. Coming out too trigger-happy Monday night will strangle that comeback in the crib.
W. James Antle III is the editor of The Daily Caller News Foundation. Follow him on Twitter.