Interviews

How effective was Romney's foreign policy speech?

Fox News national security analyst K.T. McFarland weighs in

 

This is a rush transcript from "Your World," October 8, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

ERIC BOLLING, GUEST HOST: So, this caught our attention in the governor's speech today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: In Egypt, I'll use our influence, including clear conditions on our aid, to urge the new government to represent all Egyptians, to build democratic institutions and to maintain its peace treaty with Israel.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BOLLING: To Fox News national security analyst K.T. McFarland.

K.T., what did you think of the speech? You liked the speech?

K.T. MCFARLAND, FORMER DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: I have been waiting over 20 years for this speech. He was channeling Ronald Reagan.

He was making a speech that talked about not just with pretty words but with policies to back it up, where he understands that America can use its economic power to influence events, to help shape world events, to use our economic power in the sense of foreign aid. If we we're going to give it, we want to get something back for it.

But at the same time, he talked about American military. He talked about, for example, putting aircraft carrier groups in the Eastern Med and the Gulf, using economic warfare against Iran, using sanctions, tightening those sanctions.

He realizes, like Reagan did, that that notion of peace through strength isn't just a throwaway line. It means have a strong military so that you never have to use it because no one picks a fight with you.

BOLLING: Peace through strength.

MCFARLAND: Yes.

BOLLING: K.T. let me throw to another piece of sound.

Guy, can you cue up the Egypt, how he talks about cutting off aid to Egypt if we need to? Listen. Oh, that was in the intro. I'm sorry.

(LAUGHTER)

MCFARLAND: Yes.

BOLLING: We also have one where he talked about potentially how we should deal with Libya as well.

MCFARLAND: Right.

(CROSSTALK)

BOLLING: Are you satisfied with what you heard?

MCFARLAND: Yes, because I think what he has talked about doing is understanding that events have happened. He wasn't angry and he didn't say Obama, you did this wrong, you did that wrong, you did this wrong. He said these are the events and now we're going to use them, we're going to shape them, we're going to our institutions of democracy building and our economic power to do it.

BOLLING: Take a listen to it.

MCFARLAND: OK.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROMNEY: The blame for the murder of our people in Libya, and the attacks on our embassies in so many other countries, lies solely with those who carried them out -- no one else. But it is our responsibility and the responsibility of the president to use America's greatest power to shape history, not to lead from behind, leaving our destiny at the mercy of events.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BOLLING: Thoughts?

MCFARLAND: There are two examples when countries fall and revolutions happen. One is a Jimmy Carter example with the fall of the Shah of Iran.

We helped bring down the Shah of Iran and then afterwards, Jimmy Carter said let events take their own course. Well, we know what happened with Iran. It's been an enemy of ours for 30 years.

On the other hand, Reagan after the fall of Iron Curtain used American power to help them shape their institutions of democracy, free press, independent judicial review. Look what we have now. We have some of our strongest allies are those European countries, Eastern European countries. So, I think Reagan is talking -- I mean, Romney -- Romney, Reagan, R., two syllables -- I think he's really channeling Reagan.

BOLLING: K.T., take a listen to the Obama -- is it the campaign – I'm not sure it's the campaign or a super PAC that put it out, but it's an ad talking about Romney's foreign policy experience. Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NARRATOR: Reckless. Amateurish. That's what news media and fellow Republicans called Mitt Romney's gaffe-filled July tour of England, Israel, and Poland.

When our U.S. diplomats were attacked in Libya, The New York Times said Romney's knee-jerk response showed an extraordinary lack of presidential character.

And even Republican experts said Romney's remarks were the worst possible reaction to what happened.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BOLLING: They call him amateurish, K.T.

MCFARLAND: Well, everybody calls everybody amateurish when they want to put them down.

Did Romney make a few mistakes when he went to Europe? Sure, but that's sort of what happens first time out of the box. I think that the policies, though, and the substance are what really makes the difference. It's not just pretty speeches with nothing to back them up.

On the other hand, it's not just using the American military to sort of push our way around the world. And so I found this speech actually really phenomenal. And I commend him for doing it.

BOLLING: All right, now, one other thing I asked the producers to put together was -- we found this over the weekend. This was the Israeli air force knocking down a drone.

MCFARLAND: Yes.

BOLLING: And I believe they -- I don't think they've announced where the drone came from, but watch this. You can see it right here. K.T., see it?

MCFARLAND: Yes.

BOLLING: It takes it out of the air.

What is the message? The message isn't, we have a lot of firepower. What's the message on the timing of releasing that video right there?

MCFARLAND: It's a couple of things.

One is the Iranians we think did take the drone, the American drone that was downed over Afghanistan and reconfigured it. They didn't probably fire it, but they may have loaned it or given it to the Hezbollah, southern Lebanon. They probably fired it.

It was a rest to see if it worked, did the Israeli defense system work. And the Israeli defense system work.

BOLLING: Now, any – you're the Israelis, you are watching what's going on here politically. Was there anything political about releasing that video?

MCFARLAND: We read from the timing that Israel going to release it right before an election? No, I don't think so.

I think it was the point that Israel has the ability to shoot down drones that come in its way. It has the ability to defend itself and it just showed you it could do it.

BOLLING: I'll leave it there.

K.T. McFarland, thank so much.

MCFARLAND: Thank you.

Content and Programming Copyright 2012 Fox News Network, Inc. Copyright CQ-2012 Roll Call, Inc. All materials herein are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of CQ-Roll Call. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content.