“Gov. Romney seems to have a tendency to shoot first and aim later,” President Obama said in a CBS interview last night, criticizing Romney’s reaction to the embassy attack in Cairo. Romney criticized the Obama administration’s ‘apology’ in response to the attacks on the embassy and subsequent failure to condemn the attacks right away.
Obama’s remarks, however, echo frequent criticisms made by President Jimmy Carter of Ronald Reagan, then his opponent for the presidency.
Carter criticized Reagan’s views on foreign policy during his speech at the Democratic National Convention in 1980, slamming Reagan for living in a “fantasy world” and noting his inability to understand the “complex global changes” in foreign policy.
“It’s a make believe world. A world of good guys and bad guys, where some politicians shoot first and ask questions later,” Carter said, “No hard choices. No sacrifice. No tough decisions. It sounds too good to be true – and it is. The path of fantasy leads to irresponsibility. The path of reality leads to hope and peace.”
After Reagan’s nomination in July 1980, Carter criticized Republicans calling it “a party with a narrow vision, a party that is afraid of the future, a party whose leaders are inclined to shoot from the hip, a party that has never been willing to put its investment in human beings who are below them in economic and social status.”
As Philip Klein noted on Twitter, the Carter campaign ran fearful “man on the street” ads during the campaign, fretting that Reagan would be a president who would “shoot from the hip.”
Update: An anonymous YouTube user posts a video today comparing both Obama and Carter, as the Weekly Standard's Daniel Halper notices today. Watch below.