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Mitt Romney, John Bolton bash Obama for 'mission creep' in Libya

A Libyan rebel fighter gestures as he and others make their way to the frontline on the outskirts of Ajdabiya, Libya, Wednesday, April 20, 2011

This post has been corrected, please see note below.

Mitt Romney, the former Massachussets governor who trails billionaire Donald Trump in visibility among would-be GOP presidential candidates, stepped out in the limelight Thursday to criticize President Obama about what he calls "mission muddle."

"It is apparent that our military is engaged in much more than enforcing a no-fly zone, Romney wrote in the National Review. "What we are watching in real time is another example of mission creep and mission muddle."

Romney, who has yet to officially announce his plans to run for the GOP nomination, quoted former United States U.N. Ambassador John Bolton, who earlier wrote in the Boston Herald that Obama could be headed into a Libyan quagmire.

"Our Nobel Peace Prize-winning president has gotten things badly wrong," Bolton wrote. "By demanding Moammar Gadhafi’s ouster while restricting U.S. military force to the more limited objective of protecting civilians, Barack Obama has set himself up for massive strategic failure."

Romney, who would be in a dead heat with Obama if he did enter the race, according to a recent McClatchy-Marist poll, said the president should tell the nation his plans in Libya.

"The president owes it to the American people and Congress to immediately explain his new Libya mission and its strategic rationale," Romney wrote.

[For the record: 5:33pm 4/21/2011: a previous version of this post noted Mr. Romney's religion. Because that fact was unnecessary to the story, that descriptor has been removed.]

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Note: Andrew Malcolm is on vacation.

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Photo: A Libyan rebel fighter gestures as he and others make their way to the frontline on the outskirts of Ajdabiya, Libya, Wednesday, April 20, 2011. Moammar Gadhafi's loyalists shelled the Nafusa mountain area and clashed with opposition forces in the besieged coastal city of Misrata Wednesday, rebels said, as the Libyan leader also sought to quell resistance in the western part of the country that is largely under his control. Credit: AP Photo/Bernat Armangue

 
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What an incredible statement in these days of political correctness! "The Mormon calls..." is an amazing demonstration of acceptable modern bigotry. You wouldn't dare refer to Huckabee as "the Baptist" or Lieberman as "the Jew". Yet it is acceptable in today's world to label Romney by his religion.

How exactly is Romney being Mormon important to this news story?

What does religion have to do with this and why wasn't Obama's, Trump's, and Bolton's relgion identified?

You state "Mitt Romney....the Mormon calls "mission muddle."". Please also identify the religion of Obama, Bolton and Trump since the author apparently believes it is relevant for one of the candidates, I would suggest that it thus should be considered relevant for each of them.

As a Mormon, I am usually not offended at things that poke fun at my religion. For example, the creators of South Park created a Broadway musical to this end, and I could care less - I would probably see it if I lived close enough.

Although I would not say I am offended, I am certainly annoyed at the "injection" of the term "Mormon" into every story surrounding Mitt Romney. The story above states: "[Romney]... stepped out in the limelight Thursday to criticize President Obama about what the Mormon calls "mission muddle.""

The Mormon? There is no reason to point out Romney's religion in this article, unless Malcolm is trying to leverage Romney's faith to get readers to make a value-judgment about Romney's opinion based on his association with the Mormon church. Doesn't everyone know he's Mormon by now anyway?

Imagine if every time Joseph Lieberman said something, the media used the phrase "The Jew" to refer to him. Pick a gay congressperson - should they always be referred to as "The Gay Congressperson"? I would assert that people are more than their religion, sexual orientation, family status, age, etc.

Sometimes these characteristics are relevant to the topic, and I have no problem bringing it up at these times; However, Romney is being treated unfairly here. Not that his religion is anything to be ashamed of, but the focus on his religion draws attention away from discussion of more important issues.

I would also like to point out - it seems that Harry Reid, who is also a Mormon, has escaped this trend.

Bolton, he of the porno mustache who wants us to go to war with Iran and North Korea at the same time. He who was so right about everything Iraq.

Now that's an authority...

As for "dog tied to roof of car Mitt", who cares as there's no way the country would elect a Mormon president. I've got nothing agains't Mormons, just stating reality.

Ya know, we should go nuclear without aforethought next time.

ya know? as a vietvet myself I am always the one to question such engagements as this one, how ever this time around?
I have no problem stopping this dictator cold.


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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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