Romney builds foreign policy team
WASHINGTON –Mitt Romney announced his campaign’s national security and foreign policy team this morning, a group crowded with former Bush administration officials, counter-terrorism experts and advocates of a powerful US presence overseas.
“America and our allies are facing a series of complex threats. To shape them before they explode into conflict, our foreign policy will have to be guided by a strategy of American strength,” said the former Massachusetts governor.
The advisers include Michael Hayden, who directed the CIA from 2006 until 2009 and led the National Security Agency before that; former Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff; and former State Department Counterterrorism Coordinator J. Cofer Black. Black also directed the CIA’s counter-terrorism center from 1999-2002, when the Sept. 11 attacks occurred.
The announcement of the complete team comes one day before Romney is scheduled to make a major campaign speech on foreign policy at The Citadel in South Carolina, a speech in an early primary state sure to receive close attention from defense hawks and supporters of the armed services.
The group does not include advisers of any single stripe. National security and foreign policy experts see both moderate as well as conservatives Republicans, neo-conservatives as well as realists, among the dozens of advisors.
“This is a very impressive team. These are serious people, they’re internationalists, they are very experienced, and all of them very successful,” said R. Nicholas Burns, a professor of diplomacy and international politics at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. “He’s done well.”
The team includes former US Representative Vin Weber, who had backed former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty. Pawlenty came out with a forceful foreign policy speech early in his campaign before dropping out.
The team includes another well-known Massachusetts figure: Romney’s former lieutenant governor, Kerry Healey.