Mitt "Flip-flop" Romney has rejected Bush's vision of a long-term "Korea-like" presence in Iraq.
"Our objective would not be a Korea-type setting with 25-50,000 troops on a near permanent basis remaining in bases in Iraq," the former Massachusetts governor told the Associated Press.
"I think we would hope to turn Iraq security over to their own military and their own security forces, and if presence in the region is important for us than we have other options that are nearby," Romney said.
In a wide-ranging, hourlong interview with AP reporters and editors, Romney said the Bush administration would be wise to publicly disclose some goals for success in Iraq to restore public confidence. Benchmarks that would tip off adversaries, however, should remain private.
"This is a time when it would be helpful for the American people and the people of Iraq to see that we are actually making progress if that's what's happening," Romney said.
Helpful measurements could include power-sharing with the Sunnis, division of oil revenues, the status of certain militias, as well as the numbers and training levels of Iraqi military and security forces, he said.
"If you don't publish any kind of milestone or benchmark," Romney said, you leave people thinking "you're only telling us the things that you wanted to tell us."
Romney is trying more and more to sound like Democrat, hoping his move to the center will pick up the Independents who are disgusted with the failed administration's bungling of Iraq and international affairs, as we noted earlier today.
Mitt Romney took another swipe at President Bush Wednesday while attempting to distance himself himself from the Bush legacy, a practice that seems quite popular lately.
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