By Dwight L. Schwab, Jr.
It was exactly 34 years ago on September 1st when Republican presidential nominee Ronald Reagan launched his 1980 bid to replace President Jimmy Carter. In New York Harbor, with the Statue of Liberty in the background, Reagan gave an inspiring speech about freedom in what would be a campaign that ended in his landslide victory some 60-days later.
There are many pundits, frightened Democrats, even Mitt Romney himself, who scoff at the thought of him running a third time for president in 2016. But 34 years ago it was the beginning of Ronald Reagan’s third try also.
Monday night in New York City, Mitt Romney could be heard in a roundtable radio discussion hosted by John Catsimatidis beginning his third attempt at the presidency.
Romney spoke with passion of Barack Obama’s critical mistakes that have enabled the rise of the Islamic State (ISIS) and created the immigration crisis at the country’s southern border. Not unlike Ronald Reagan’s style, he was soft-spoken as he said of his 2012 opponent, “Mistakes were made and now we have ISIS.”
The two-time presidential contender argued with conviction that ISIS has only gained power because America did not listen to his plan to contain Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. He convincingly laid out the reality that a president cannot draw a line in the sand, as Obama did, and then relent when it is crossed.
With refreshing candor missing from any established presidential contenders thus far, Romney said, “If you go back a few years when Syria fell into revolution and tumult, when rebels were pushing against Assad, I laid out what I thought was a prudent course for us to see stability in Syria. Had we followed that course, there’s a good chance you would not see an ISIS today.”
He accused Obama of failing to heed American intelligence reports of the growing threat while he tended to domestic projects like Obamacare and redistribution of wealth. He said had proposed plan, which much of the mainstream press labeled “warmongering,” been done to back the revolutionaries in Syria; America wouldn’t be where it is today.
It was a very different, more forceful Romney many heard on the radio in New York City. Instead of his usual speech that is left unfinished, he finished his thoughts with a highly critical critique of President Obama’s handling of the Middle East crisis. He said, “We saw ISIS roll into Iraq and, instead of attacking them immediately and knocking them in their convoy when they would have been easy to knock down, relatively easy to knock down, the president again watched. And now we’re in a position where ISIS has run throughout major portions of Iraq. There have been horrific human rights abuses, tragedies.”
America is seeing the new Mitt Romney who would not have basically left the 2012 campaign two weeks before the job was completed. Hillary Clinton and others most certainly are watching this Mitt Romney with keen interest. He is indeed a candidate in 2016. Those who think otherwise are the most worried. They are wrong.