Other conservatives have voiced worries about Mr. Romney’s announced choice to run any presidential transition team that would be in charge of all key political appointments: liberal Republican and former World Bank President Robert B. Zoellick, a target of conservatives since his days as a protege to James A. Baker, former secretary of state and secretary of the Treasury.
Romney campaign spokesman Alex Wong declined to comment on the record about the liberal-conservative shift.
Obama mum on ‘flexibility’ query
President Obamaset off a firestorm of controversy earlier this year after he was overheard telling Russia’s president that he and his negotiators will be ready to more easily negotiate an agreement on missile defenses after the November election.
Rep. Michael R. Turner, chairman of the House Armed Services strategic forces subcommittee, wrote the president May 23 asking for an explanation, and so far has received no response, a Turner aide said.
Mr. Obama told Dmitry Medvedev that “after my election, I have more flexibility” on missile defenses. The comment, picked up by news cameras and microphones, triggered concerns among Republicans that the president is planning to step up his disarmament-oriented policy agenda if re-elected.
Mr. Turner stated in his letter that, after initially contacting the White House about the troubling comments, he was told the president was referring to the difficulty of negotiating an agreement with Russia on missile defense during an election year.
“The inference is that the American people may not like the deal your administration is planning to negotiate,” Mr. Turner said. “If that is the case, why make it at all?”
“What is it that you and your administration are concerned the American people would object to in such a deal with Russia?” he asked. “Would it be limitations unilateral or bilateral, with Russia on the speed, range or geographical deployment of U.S. missile defense interceptors?”
Mr. Turner also said he is concerned with the president’s apparent belief that missile defenses hinder U.S. nuclear-arms cuts, including plans to cut nuclear forces up to 80 percent under a Pentagon Nuclear Posture Review implementation study, that was carried out in secret with no briefings to Congress.
“Many in Congress, me included, are deeply troubled that you may be willing to further trade or give away U.S. missile defenses to get closer to your goal of a world without nuclear weapons,” Mr. Turner wrote.
Many of the concerns could be put to rest if Mr. Obama would direct his administration to share draft missile-defense agreements that have been shared with the Russians, he said.
The failure to provide copies of the drafts “does nothing to resolve concerns about just what your administration is prepared to offer to Russia regarding missile defenses after your ‘last election,’” he said.
A National Security Council spokesman could not be reached for comment on the president’s failure to respond to Mr. Turner’s letter.
China missile buildupView Entire Story
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
Bill Gertz is a national security columnist for The Washington Times and senior editor at The Washington Free Beacon (www.freebeacon.com). He has been with The Times since 1985.
He is the author of six books, four of them national best-sellers. His latest book, “The Failure Factory,” on government bureaucracy and national security, was published in September 2008.
By Mark Mix
Home day care providers would be forced into unions
Independent voices from the TWT Communities
What does the middle-class conservative think about everything? Find out here.
Video reviews of today's hottest trends in Minecraft (servers and mods) along with a look at the latest video games with your host MCairsoft14 (alias Jerad Zad).
The cold hard truth about politics in America today and the state of this once great nation.
Uncensored exploration of issues concerning current events, civil liberties, American political advocacy, and the political and social issues facing military veterans.
World's Ugliest Dog Contest
Spelling Bee finale
Marines train Afghan soldiers
Rolling Thunder 2013
Benghazi: The anatomy of a scandal