October 30, 2012
Facing off in last week’s foreign policy debate, Mitt Romney nodded in agreement with much of what President Obama has done with his powers as chief executive — including a full-on embrace of the president’s claim to sole authority to expand drone strikes to kill terrorist suspects.
The Republican presidential nominee has reserved the right to deploy U.S. military power to world hot spots, as Mr. Obama did in Libya, and to greenlight unilateral action against Iran. To the dismay of civil liberties activists, he has shifted his position on indefinite detention, agreeing with the president that U.S. citizens deemed “enemy combatants” are not entitled to habeas corpus.
While regularly complaining about Mr. Obama’s use of unilateral authority, such as his appointment of policy “czars” and issuing waivers to let states opt out of federal welfare law rules, Mr. Romney has made clear he takes issue not so much with the president’s powers themselves, but with how those powers have been used during the past four years.