WILSON, Wyo. – Former Vice President Dick Cheney told Republican fundraisers Thursday night that Mitt Romney is the “only” man who can make the right decisions in unexpected foreign policy crises. The presumptive 2012 Republican presidential nominee called Cheney a “great American leader” — and didn’t mention former President George W. Bush in a 20-minute speech to a country club reception.
Cheney said serving under four presidents taught him that a surprising international crisis is inevitable.
“When I think about the kind of individual I want in the Oval Office in that moment of crisis, who has to make those key decisions, some of them life-and-death decisions, some of them decisions as commander-in-chief, who has the responsibility for sending some of our young men and women into harm’s way, that man is Mitt Romney,” Cheney said to applause.
It was a strong endorsement from a man who has come to represent the neoconservative foreign policy wing of the Republican Party. Until Thursday, Romney had avoided appearing with Cheney or with Bush.
While Romney avoided mentioning the former president in remarks that were open to the press, he invoked Bush in a question-and-answer session with donors at a private dinner at Cheney’s home. In remarks overheard by reporters standing outside the clubhouse, Romney contrasted what he called “President George W. Bush’s freedom agenda” with President Barack Obama.