"ROMNEY: Well, if we want somebody who has a lot of experience in foreign policy, we can simply go to the State Department and pluck out one of the tens of thousands of people who work there. They, of course, have been doing foreign policy all their careers. But that's not how we choose a president. A president is not a foreign policy expert. A president is a leader who understands how to make difficult decisions and does so in a way that brings together the best voices, that considers the upsides and downsides and predicts the credibility and the strength that America has always projected in circumstances like this. One of our great foreign policy presidents was Ronald Reagan, who even though he had not spent years in the Senate, understood a vision of what we had to do to overcome the greatest threat of the last half of the last century, and was able to bring together the various experts and the various viewpoints and sort them through and take action that led America to be successful in that great -- that great challenge that we faced then. So the kind of experience you want is someone who knows how to make difficult decisions, to bring together the right people that consider the various options that you have, and then to act with strength and resolve."
At the time of the Romney appearance I and others commented that the Reagan analogy was a faulty one. By 1976 Reagan has spent nearly two decades writing and speaking about communism, the greatest challenge of our time at that point in history.
Meanwhile, Romney has already started his summary/positive ad cycle in NH with a rather standard forward looking spot. (The message in a way in the flip side of McCain's argument. Romney says forget about the past and instead look ahead.) Will he have to double back now to go after McCain? UPDATE: The McCain team makes the point on Romney vs. Reagan in this memo.