Fox News reporter Carl Cameron helped Mitt Romney dishonestly attack President Obama's foreign policy by parroting the Romney campaign's discredited charge that Obama has been “leading from behind.”
In a May New Yorker article examining President Obama's foreign policy record, Ryan Lizza quoted an unnamed Obama adviser who described the U.S. role during the successful campaign to oust former Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi as “leading from behind.” Right-wing media figures have long claimed that quotation illustrated weakness in Obama's foreign policy. Previewing Romney's foreign policy speech, Cameron furthered the myth:
But Lizza has explained that conservatives are misrepresenting the phrase “leading from behind.”
In September, he said that the phrase was not intended to show weakness, but that it actually referred to the Obama administration's successful effort to lead “a coalition in the U.N. to get military authorization to topple Gadhafi.” He continued, explaining:
So the quote actually is the opposite of what you are saying. It actually refers to the strategy that Obama used in the U.N. to get all of the nations to support the U.S.' use of force resolution, because after the Bush years it was really hard for the U.S. to go to the U.N. and get support for the use of force because Bush was really, really unpopular.