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Mitt Romney faces a dilemma: How does he make President Obama look like a big fat weenie on foreign policy without sounding like George W. Bush? The solution is to hire people who believe in the neoconservatism of the Bush years but have them repeat the slogan of a much more popular Republican president, Ronald Reagan. And so you have The Washington Post's Jason Horowitz asking Alex Wong, Romney's foreign policy director, eight times whether Romney is or isn't a neoconservative, and Wong responding eight times with some version of the line "peace through strength." A sampling of Horowitz's frustrating, interview:

Does he have a problem with the term neoconservative?

“Governor Romney has indicated that he has a philosophy,” said Wong, “peace through strength.”

So he does have a problem with the term neoconservative.

“Governor Romney,” said Wong, “has throughout this campaign talked about American values and interests and called for American leadership abroad.”

Does he embrace the concepts of neoconservatism, just not the title?

“I think I have given you a lot here,” said Wong. “I have described Governor Romney’s philosophy and the way he’s discussed it and how he makes his decisions.”

Wong is the youngest member of Romney's national security team, and National Journal described "his credentials as a foreign-policy expert" as "thin at best." Wong was a summer intern to the U.S. mission to the United Nations in 2005 and from 2007 to 2009 worked at the State Department as a "rule of law" adviser on Iraq. He was described by Romney adivser Mitchell Reiss as a "gatekeeper" in dealing with the press. Gate kept. 

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.

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