A Powerful Ad Lays Out the Choice: Wars Overseas or Rebuilding at Home

Ahead of tonight's presidential debate on foreign policy, President Obama's campaign released a brilliant ad, pointing out Mitt Romney's bluster of a foreign policy and the choice that lays before us: empty our treasury in chest-thumping, dumb wars that ultimately make our country less safe vs. using our resources here at home to rebuild America:

This is a powerful ad. It's sobering, it's real, and it connects the cost of a cowboy foreign policy to the economic future of our country. During the last Republican administration, we abandoned our pursuit of the terrorists who attacked this country to go invade another country that posed no national security challenge for the United States. And that last Republican president, George W. Bush, insisted on cutting the taxes of the wealthy as our country was, to borrow a phrase from Mitt Romney, "borrowing from China" to pay the bills of war and tax giveaways. We exploded defense spending, divested in America's future, and got the catastrophe of 2008 to show for it.

Sound familiar? It should, because Mitt Romney's attitude on foreign policy and his plan for the economy are eery reflections of the Bush era, only worse. Mitt Romney insists that the prudent course in foreign policy is to continue to borrow from China to pay to get our young people killed in Iraq, and that the right course for the economy begins with a $5 trillion tax cut weighed heavily to the rich, with no greater specifics than killing big bird and Planned Parenthood to pay for it. Mitt Romney tells us, just as George Bush did, that we shouldn't set a date certain for withdrawal for Afghanistan so that the Afghans can begin taking responsibility, and on the home front, he promises to turn Medicare into a voucher program, shifting the costs to seniors instead of actually reducing costs. To this day, Mitt Romney is issuing vague threats of a war in Iran as he makes the case for increasing defense spending by $2 trillion, also paid for by borrowed money.

What we need right now is for the Republican party to end its wholesale obstruction of the American recovery. What we need is to end unproductive wars overseas and continue investing in our own country. We have big challenges. We need to accelerate our economic recovery, strengthen our infrastructure - whether it's roads, bridges, schools or broadband - strengthen our social safety net, and broaden the blessings of opportunity.

President Obama has guided this nation through the darkest economic hours in memory to 31 months of consistent job growth. President Obama has ended the war in Iraq, and he is ending the one in Afghanistan. President Obama has brought to justice Osama bin Laden and weakened terrorists not just through our military might but by America's strong support for people everywhere fighting for greater opportunities and basic freedoms.

Far too often, the media casts our choice in this election as between an embattled president and an unknown quantity. It isn't. If President Obama is 'embattled,' it is because he has battled an entire political party, a flood of cash, and bigoted attacks on his person, and he has held the line for working Americans in that battle. And Mitt Romney? He's no unknown. We know where his policies are headed. We have seen this movie before. We know how it ends. We're not interested in a repeat, Mr. Romney. We want to move forward.

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