Romney Offers Sweeping Critique of Obama Foreign Policy

By Reuters

Published October 08, 2012.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney offered a sweeping critique of President Barack Obama’s handling of threats in the Middle East on Monday in a foreign policy address in which he tried to present himself as a credible mainstream alternative.

Romney departed from his focus on the U.S. economy to talk about how he would handle foreign policy if elected Nov. 6. The speech allowed Romney to lay out his national security positions ahead of his Oct. 16 debate with Obama, which will include discussion of foreign policy.

His aim was to portray himself as having the presidential stature needed for the world stage, and he sought to convince Americans that he would project strong American leadership around the world but not rush blindly into armed conflict.

The address was intended to reframe Romney’s approach following harsh criticism he drew last month for inserting campaign politics into the killing of the U.S. ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens, and after a gaffe-filled trip to Britain, Israel and Poland in July.

In a speech to white-uniformed cadets at the Virginia Military Institute, Romney raised questions about Obama’s handling of Libya and accused him of failing to use U.S. diplomacy to shape events in Iran, Iraq, Israel, Syria, Russia, and elsewhere.

“The president is fond of saying that ‘The tide of war is receding,’” Romney said. “And I want to believe him as much as anyone. But when we look at the Middle East today…it is clear that the risk of conflict in the region is higher now than when the president took office,” he said.

Running just behind his Democratic rival in polls, Romney accused Obama of pursuing a strategy of “passivity” instead of partnership with U.S. allies in the region.

“I know the president hopes for a safer, freer, and a more prosperous Middle East allied with the United States. I share this hope. But hope is not a strategy,” he said.

The former Massachusetts governor also pledged to tighten sanctions on Iran to give up its nuclear ambitions and deploy warships in the region to apply pressure on Tehran.

He would also increase military assistance and coordination to Israel, which has threatened a pre-emptive strike against Iranian nuclear facilities.

Romney pledged that his administration would work to find elements of the Syrian opposition who share U.S. values and ensure they obtain weapons needed to defeat Syrian President Bashir al-Assad’s forces and end his crackdown. Syrian rebels have accused the United States and Western allies of sitting on the sidelines of the conflict.

“Iran is sending arms to Assad because they know his downfall would be a strategic defeat for them. We should be working no less vigorously with our international partners to support the many Syrians who would deliver that defeat to Iran -rather than sitting on the sidelines,” Romney said.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • Can you guess what the most boring job in the army is?
  • What the foolish rabbi of Chelm teaches us about Israel and the Palestinian unity deal:
  • Mazel tov to Idina Menzel on making Variety "Power of Women" cover! http://jd.fo/f3Mms
  • "How much should I expect him and/or ask him to participate? Is it enough to have one parent reciting the prayers and observing the holidays?" What do you think?
  • New York and Montreal have been at odds for far too long. Stop the bagel wars, sign our bagel peace treaty!
  • Really, can you blame them?
  • “How I Stopped Hating Women of the Wall and Started Talking to My Mother.” Will you see it?
  • Taglit-Birthright Israel is redefining who they consider "Jewish" after a 17% drop in registration from 2011-2013. Is the "propaganda tag" keeping young people away?
  • Happy birthday William Shakespeare! Turns out, the Bard knew quite a bit about Jews.
  • Would you get to know racists on a first-name basis if you thought it might help you prevent them from going on rampages, like the recent shooting in Kansas City?
  • "You wouldn’t send someone for a math test without teaching them math." Why is sex ed still so taboo among religious Jews?
  • Russia's playing the "Jew card"...again.
  • "Israel should deal with this discrimination against Americans on its own merits... not simply as a bargaining chip for easy entry to the U.S." Do you agree?
  • For Moroccan Jews, the end of Passover means Mimouna. Terbhou ou Tse'dou! (good luck) How do you celebrate?
  • Calling all Marx Brothers fans!
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.