There’s a pattern here, and I think it’s deliberate. First, the Romney Campaign says something outrageous (Anglo-Saxon comment, questioning the preparedness of security at the Olympics, etc.) then they counter their initial statement with an do-over.
Romney foreign policy advisor Dan Senor briefed the press on Sunday morning, saying, “if Israel has to take action on its own, in order to stop Iran from developing the capability, the governor would respect that decision.”
The headline that hit news outlets across the globe by the Associated Press was: “Adviser: Romney would back strike against Iran,” implying, perhaps, that the U.S. could contribute forces to such a strike.
Reuters ran with: “Romney backs Israel if needs to strike Iran: aide says.” Bloomberg’s headline: “Romney Says He’d Back Unilateral Israeli Strike on Iran.”
Three hours later we get this:
“Gov. Romney believes we should employ any and all measures to dissuade the Iranian regime from its nuclear course, and it is his fervent hope that diplomatic and economic measures will do so,” Senor said in the new statement. “In the final analysis, of course, no option should be excluded. Gov. Romney recognizes Israel’s right to defend itself, and that it is right for America to stand with it.”
None of these do-overs strike me as gaffes. What Romney (and his campaign) says first is his official position.