July 6th, 2010
12:01 PM ET
4 years ago

Romney hammers Obama's 'worst foreign policy mistake'

Romney is getting tough on President Obama's foreign policy moves.
Romney is getting tough on President Obama's foreign policy moves.

(CNN) – Calling the arms reduction treaty with Russia signed earlier this year President Barack Obama's "worst foreign policy mistake yet," former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is urging senators not to ratify the agreement.

In a strongly-worded op-ed in the Washington Post Tuesday, the onetime and potential future Republican White House candidate says the agreement – signed last April – dangerously impedes the United State's ability to protect itself form potential nuclear proliferating states such as Iran and North Korea.

"By all indications, the Obama administration has been badly out-negotiated," Romney writes. "Perhaps the president's eagerness for global disarmament led his team to accede to Russia's demands, or perhaps it led to a document that was less than carefully drafted."

"Whatever the reason for the treaty's failings, it must not be ratified: The security of the United States is at stake," he adds.

The new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty - known by its acronym, START– builds on a previous agreement that expired last December. It cuts the number of nuclear weapons held by the United States and Russia by about a third.

"It significantly reduces missiles and launchers," Obama said in April of the new treaty, which lasts for 10 years. "It puts in place a strong and effective verification regime. And it maintains the flexibility that we need to protect and advance our national security, and to guarantee our unwavering commitment to the security of our allies."

It remains unclear when the Senate will vote on ratification, but more than 30 national security figures from multiple administrations and both parties expressed their support of the treaty late last month.

But the treaty's detractors, including Romney, say the proposal forces the United States to seek Russian approval with respect to its own nuclear defense decisions.

"America must effectively get Russia's permission for any missile defense expansion," writes the former Massachusetts governor. "Moscow's vehemence over our modest plans in Eastern Europe demonstrate that such permission would be extremely unlikely.

Romney's foray into a hot-button international issue is another sign the former presidential candidate is gearing up to challenge Obama in 2012 and seeking to expand his foreign policy portfolio. While the Massachusetts Republican and former businessman has been a constant critic of Obama's economic policies over the past two years, his commentary on international issues has been noticeably less pronounced.


Filed under: Mitt Romney • Popular Posts • President Obama
soundoff (174 Responses)
  1. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    The sooner we can get all the loose nuclear material secured, the safer we will be. Romney didn't address this issue at all. I believe that this was part of the treaty. What foreign policy experience does Romney have? What alternative does Romney bring? IF you only critize and never offer something different, then you might as well shut up.

    July 6, 2010 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  2. Sniffit

    Oh, I see....because he's so battle-tested and experienced in terms of military matters and has been privy to all kinds of top secret national security briefings. Should we refer to him as the Stormin' Mormon now?

    July 6, 2010 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  3. Dr.George James

    Romney has an intrensic hate for Obama and makes stupid statements like this.I am sure,he will never be the President of United States.Now ...get lost..

    July 6, 2010 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  4. Ken in NC

    I would love to see a good "B" Movie about Mitt Rmoney with SC Senate candidate Alvin Greene playing the role of Mitt Romney. He would be a natural to play Romney.

    July 6, 2010 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  5. phoenix86

    It was a great deal...for Russia. They got everything they wanted and were even given the green light to complete their missle deal with Iran.

    Our Appeasement President.

    July 6, 2010 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  6. Hilarious

    More wisdom from Mitt-for-brains.

    This guy is so typical of the Republican mindset. No ideas, no plan, no cooperation....just criticism. What on earth does Mitt Romney know about foreign policy?

    The citizens of Mass. spoke when they rejected him in 1994. The Republican party spoke when they rejected him in 2008. Yet he still feels that America has any interest in what drivel spews from his head.

    Mitt is a Mormon, but the second M is silent.

    July 6, 2010 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  7. a health economist

    I love how the Republican's slam the arms treaty with Russia when this is almost exactly what Ronald Regan was pushing for in the 1980's. I'm an independent voter and I really hate it when people vote party lines. But man, the Republicans just are not providing me with anything to be able to vote for someone with an R beyond their name and not feel ashamed of myself afterwards.

    And Bubba Hotep, that is a fantastic idea. Bruce would make a great Romney.

    July 6, 2010 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  8. Lobo

    Once again we see evidence that republicans, and in this case in particular, Romney being stuck in the past and unable to deal with the future. To make the claim that a reduction in nuclear weapons from the thousands we have and well still have is a threat to our security is absured. Evidently he longs for the days of the cold war and would like to see a return to those times when Russia was our enemy. Just as Republicans cling to a provenly failed economic model of deregulation and trickle down economics, they also are stuck in a view of the world that is decades out of date. While our country needs to move forward, they pine for a time past which will never return again, and thus are unable to deal with the future. These are exactly the backward thinking type of individuals that should never be put in a position of power as we have recent examples of what that looks like as we live out the legacy of the Bush administration.

    July 6, 2010 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  9. StrategicBob

    Romney is a moron. He has no actual knowledge of or experience in international security or national security or things military. All he sees here is an opportunity to run his mouth in the hope that those with even less knowledge than he has can be scared into toeing the GOP line. This so-called arms reduction treaty will still leave us with more than enough nuclear weaspons to, in the unlikely event that we needed to, sterilize both Iran and North Korea, with plenty f weapons left over. We had so much over kill in both numbers or warheads and explosive power that it was ludicrous. Ronald Reagan made a number of mistakes as President, the biggest one allowing himself to be duped by the Laffer Curve and what Bush 41 so accurately called "voodoo economics," but his recognition of the insanity of reliance on nuclear weapons was not one of those mistakes. Rather, it was his biggest contribution to the US, to peace and to the future of humanity.

    As I said, Romney is a moron.

    July 6, 2010 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  10. Russ

    Come on Mitt "Sarah Palin" Rommney. What an idiot. Even if we reduce weapons by the amount of this new treaty, the U. S. could wipe Korea off the map without making a dent in our supply. Besides ite would create jobs making new ones if we need them. Either way for a "Mormon" to promote world destruction capabilities is somewhat of an oxymoron. Or is that an oxymormon!

    July 6, 2010 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  11. ANNE - SEATTLE

    And the reason you didn't become the president was???????????????

    July 6, 2010 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  12. I Love Obama

    That's because you republicans are all about hate, fear and retaliation, peace and compassion are not part of your language

    July 6, 2010 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  13. hobart

    Is there no limit to the lies and hypocrisy that comes out of this guy's mouth?

    Past Presidents of BOTH parties have negotiated and ratified basically the same treaty. This from a guy who now criticizes his very own health care plan for Massachusetts being somehow wrong and too socialist for the country as a whole.

    You, Mr. Romney are a bald faced liar, and we the American people are not as stupid as you'd like us to be.

    Why do Republicans hate America?

    July 6, 2010 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  14. Lawrence

    As we continue the search for weapons of mass destruction, a mis-guided search that led us to one of the most immoral foreign policy decisions in history, a decision that Mitt supported, Mitt now reacts to a decision that might bring is closer to peace, and that type of national security. Let's be honest. Mitt will never support any Obama initiative. Mitt doesn't even support some of his own positions while Governor of Massachusetts. He reflects the standard Republican position. War and weapons put money in the hands of their buddies, while everyone else pays with their lives and with their dollars.

    July 6, 2010 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  15. barbara

    Mark Levine (the Great One) wa giving a run down on all of the military cuts this administration is preparing to make. Say goodbye to alot of our naval war vessels, our fighter aircraft and our nuclear subs. When he finished with the rundown I was left asking, who will be left to protect our nation and with what arms will they use? Obama continues to put this nation at risk militarily and economoically. We had all better hope that we can stop the insanity this Novemeber and again in 2012.

    July 6, 2010 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  16. Joe

    Either Romney is the biggest idiot on the planet or he plays the American people as the biggest idiots! We still have enough nukes to destroy our enemies several times over with this reduction!

    Typical Republican, pandering to the base and being as divisive as possible!

    July 6, 2010 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  17. harold

    I agree with V-P Bidens statement.. the democrats will do much better than all the dreamers predict...You do choose between two people or three....you can choose the republican and get small government whatever that is they have never adchieved before I guess but will try again.. Small government to win two Wars and recover from their great Recession?...Mr. Romney still lives in the cold War and likes it that way.. He should buy another rambler auto...

    July 6, 2010 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  18. nena

    The desperate negative Republicans will continue to mouth off, will they ever have anything of value to contribute to our country. This man's only desire is to cause more harm. All we ask is to see all poiticians work for their money and stop complaining. Mr. Romney, stop your complaining, work with the party that's in power in order to find solutions to our country's problems that were left by your party.

    July 6, 2010 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  19. Chris~Albany, NY

    Are you truly serious??? Both countries have enough nukes to blow up the world many many many times over. What's the problem with reducing the numbers a little bit?!?!?! Moron

    July 6, 2010 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  20. Republicans is smart in the head area

    Yes yes absolutely, it's not enough that we can blow the whole world up 75 times, we must be able to blow it up 95 times to be truly safe. Shut up ya Tool!

    July 6, 2010 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  21. Sam

    Sorry Mitt, get your head out of the cold war cloud. The goal is not to have the most nukes, the goal is to have enough nukes to take out everyone you hate. So we'll need 1 or 2 each for Iran and North Korea, and 4 or 5 each for Russia and China. So since we have such a surplus of nukes, why not sign some world peace treaties where you dump a few missiles and take some photos with Putin?

    July 6, 2010 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  22. coy4one

    So by cutting our nukes by 1/3, we still can blow up the world hundreds of times. This makes us less safe? It is obvious that the Republicans, should they agreed with Romney would rather restart a cold war than look at ways for the world to live in peace. I think that it is about time for the world to look as ways to live together and battle more important issues like enviromental safety and health issues. Does not matter how many bombs in the world if we choke off every living being with polution. And since we are selling off NASA bit by bit, expansion to other planets will be delayed, or out all together, so I guess we will need all these bombs to protect us all when all out natural resources are gone. What a gift to our grandchildren and great-grandchildren. That's right Romney, keep focusing on things that make no difference in the larger picture!

    July 6, 2010 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  23. JP

    The administration thinks Russia going to come out clean with their actual counts, also the Russian spies loitering around everywhere is no big deal either.

    July 6, 2010 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  24. jeff jackson, alabama

    Doesn't matter what the dems think. Doesn't matter
    what the reps think. Partisanship or lack of has nothing
    to do with the fact that you can not trust the Russians.
    They have spies in our universities and walking our
    streets and The White House trust them. The Russians
    have never been trust worthy. Quit bickering and
    calling your fellow Americans names. Your enemy is
    Russia not your neighbor. Numbskulls.

    July 6, 2010 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  25. What a gentle lot . . .

    . . . the disgusting Liberals are! And I should support them? Never in a million years! Slimeballs!

    July 6, 2010 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
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