In his interview with Bob Schieffer yesterday, Mitt Romney did let slip one genuine conviction amidst a sea of vintage Romneybabble, defined as attack and evade, attack and evade. See if you can spot his sincerity.
ROMNEY: I think the President's wrong in saying that under no circumstances will he consider ground troops. No one wants to put their own ground troops there. But if you're going to defeat something, you don't tell the enemy exactly what you plan on doing or what you won't do. You say we're going to defeat you regardless of the consequence.
SCHIEFFER: So what you're saying, Governor, is that if it comes to it that we may have to send American fighting forces, not just advisors, but American fighting forces on the ground back into Iraq and, perhaps, even into Syria?
ROMNEY: Well, no one wants that. But when the President says we're going to destroy ISIS, then you have to recognize that that is a statement which means something.... I hope that we're able to see ISIS destroyed with troops from Iraq and with troops from other neighboring nations. But if that does not work, I certainly hope it does work, but if it doesn't work, we have to be open to whatever it takes to destroy ISIS....
SCHIEFFER: So sending American ground troops back into Iraq is still on the table?
ROMNEY: Well, no one wants to call it on the table, I don't think. I just don't think you take things off the table.
Did Romney just endorse the idea of American ground troops in Iraq, possibly Syria? Yes he did. And no he didn't. That's the vintage Mitt Romney. Ground troops shouldn't be on the table, but then again they shouldn't be off the table--and in all that mush is the "plausible deniability" that Romney ever endorsed any such thing; although by being not off the table, they're sort of on. So, Romney now possesses irrefutable proof of his decisive, pro-troops position, for the primaries. In the general election he'll cite, if need be, his documented opposition.
But I asked about his genuine conviction. And there it is, straightaway, in the first passage: "You say we're going to defeat you regardless of the consequence." Regardless of the consequence. Truer neoconservative colors never flew.