WHEN A TOP-TIER CANDIDATE ‘REFUSES’ TO TALK ABOUT LIBYA…. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R) spoke in Las Vegas over the weekend, delivering a speech billed as a foreign policy address to the Republican Jewish Coalition’s winter meeting. The focus was on the Middle East.

There was, however, one notable omission.

Yet Romney was silent on Libya, the newest and stickiest military and U.S. policy problem as the United States and its NATO allies enforce a no-fly zone to help rebels oust Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi.

After his speech, Romney refused to take questions from reporters about his position on Libya. Instead, he and his wife, Ann, fled down a hallway and escaped up an escalator at The Venetian, where the event was held.

Is it me, or does this seem very strange? A controversial U.S. offensive is underway in Libya, a leading Republican presidential candidate delivers a speech on foreign policy, and when pressed for a position, the candidate runs away?

When I talk about the GOP’s presidential field struggling with U.S. policy in Libya, this only helps bolster the point.

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Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.