Mitt Romney will wrap himself in the symbolism of the Cold War Monday, starting a visit to Poland studded with reminders of that era—a visit with Lech Walesa, memories of Ronald Reagan and a vow to get tough and stay tough with Russia.
Romney will use the faces and symbols to advertise himself as no nonsense conservative, a better friend to allies and a tougher voice against foes or rivals than President Barack Obama. Building on the theme, he arrives in Poland from Israel, where he pledged to stand with Israel in the face of threats from Iran. “The security of Israel is in the vital national security interest of the United States,” Romney said Sunday in Jerusalem.
The Republican presidential candidate arrives Monday in Gdansk, a name closely identified with the struggle against oppression.
He’ll visit Solidarity Square at the edge of the Gdansk shipyards where Walesa and the pro-freedom Solidarity movement first took hold, a movement that ultimately contributed to the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War. Later, he’ll meet with Walesa, who eventually became the president of a free Poland. Throughout, the shadow of Reagan will loom large as another voice against Soviet oppression. A bronze statue of Reagan was unveiled this month in Gdansk’s Ronald Reagan Park. Romney also will meet with Prime Minister Donald Tusk.
Tuesday, Romney will be in Warsaw, where he’ll deliver a speech discussing “The U.S.-Poland Relationship and the Values of Liberty.”
The trip is designed to remind everyone of "U.S. support of Poland as a captive nation during the Cold War," as well as Reagan’s support of the Solidarity movement, according to Romney foreign policy adviser Ian Brzezinski.