In crisis abroad, Romney relies on a select few

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By KASIE HUNT, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — When Republican Mitt Romney needs advice on international affairs, he turns to a small, ideologically varied group of longtime foreign policy hands and a handful of longtime loyal staffers.

And after hearing them out, Romney has typically taken a hard line, seizing on incidents abroad to criticize Democratic President Barack Obama. He's occasionally sidestepped calls for caution from some members of this select group. This week, he criticized Obama as a weak leader as unrest in Egypt was unfolding.

The group he talks to includes two former secretaries of state, two former ambassadors, one former senator and one who is still serving. Among them are former Missouri Sen. Jim Talent, Sen. John McCain, and former Secretaries of State Condoleezza Rice and James Baker.

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