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. Coherent1

    What's Romney's opinion on the oil spill; he's been rather silent on that. Where's Cheney on the oil spill; he's freakin disappeared accept for his latest date with the ER. Where have you guys been?

    July 6, 2010 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  2. jim

    we already have the capability to destroy the world many many MANY times over. if we reduce that capability to "just" many many times over, how does that make us less safe? the republicans go on and on about fiscal responsibility, and yet, they seem eager to throw money away on redundant weaponry.

    July 6, 2010 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  3. John Keida

    One lesson to be learned from 9/11 (two air planes crashing into two New York skyscrapers), the BP oil spill, Katrina, and the Sub-prime mortgage fiasco is that our world-wide economic system is fragile. The fragility may be an unintended result of a global economy that has exchanged insulation for expediency. My point is that only one strategically-placed nuclear detonation, say, for example in London, may effectively destroy the global economy for a generation. Urban areas would be avoided in favor of rural areas. Fear would eliminate consumer spending except for essentials. (Mitt should know something about fear since it is a valuable tool in the Republican Party campaign handbook,) Mitt's reasoning is reminiscent of Metternich's reorganization of Europe in the post-Napoleonic era using a carefully crafted system of power balancing. It didn't work then, and, it won't work now. I cannot think of one good reason for the existence of a nuclear weapon; and, if there is one, I would argue that the risks would outweigh the rewards.

    July 6, 2010 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  4. th3rdpwr

    Oh for crying out loud! We haven't been on the verge of nuclear armageddon since the '70's. The russians aren't waiting to invade the U.S., there are no real secrets left, and having thousands of nuclear weapons isn't going to prevent so idiot extremist leader in Iran or N. Korea from "pushing the button". So why not fall on the side of hope and idealism whenever possible?

    July 6, 2010 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  5. Darth Vadik, CA

    Russia is a joke (with a lot of weapons), yeah Putin I'm talking to you, nice job wasting Russia's money on spies, hahahahaha, you could have hired two hackers out of MIT to do a better job, but crazy right wing MORONS are all the same around the world.

    There is this need inside them to be sneaky, ACT like a bully to show they are tough, kind of like animals do, cause a lot of stir as a show of force, whereas a real tiger will sneak in behind you and kill you before you even kno what happened, no DISPLAY of power needed.

    Why don't you right wingers grow the F up and stop believing that a show of power must be displayed like a gorilla stirring up leaves, kind of like Putin, until he gets caught and exposed for the joke that he is, a pathetic little man wearing shoes too big for him...

    July 6, 2010 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  6. Steve

    I have a few ancestors that lived in Russia. Their bottom line is you can't trust them as far as you can throw them. They still embrace Stalin who murdered millions of people. Russians are liars and will take advantage of anybody that's gullible to listen to them. Mitt romney is absolutely 100% correct. By reading some of these comments here the majority of the people obviously have been sold by the Russian propanda.

    July 6, 2010 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  7. Gary

    Peace Good!!!! Weakness Bad!!!! President Obama needs to learn that we can foster peace without giving up our weapons...President Obama is starting to look like a weak president.

    July 6, 2010 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  8. slappy white

    Romney's a weasel.

    Reminds me of the Duck Phillips character on 'Mad Men.'

    July 6, 2010 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  9. Ryan

    I understand that people think that having nuclear weapons as a deterrent is a good thing, but it isn't. If you ask me, it just makes other countries think that we like to flex our muscles. (aka Be Arrogant) Nuclear weapons should never be used by any country ever again. There is no use for them. I say we get rid of them all.

    July 6, 2010 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  10. Al-NY,NY

    GI Joe said it perfectly....
    ----------------
    Idiot – all it takes is 2 nukes for Iran and 1 for N. Korea. We don't need thousands of nukes to take out 2 countries – should the need arise.
    ----------------

    Nothing Obama does will satisfy the hypocrits, liars and fear mongers. They just keep marginalizing themselves but....good. The dumber they look, the better for the country

    July 6, 2010 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  11. MDM

    Some of the folks on here are pure idiots – contention isn't about reduction in arms – it's the FACT THAT WE HAVE TO ASK RUSSIA"S PERMISSION FOR DEVOPMENT AND IMPLEMENTATION OF ANY NEW STRATEGIC WEAPONS!!!!!!!

    No wonder we are where we are.... kool-aid must impair the ability to read and comprehend.

    July 6, 2010 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  12. Ancient Texan

    You gullible Liberals actually believe that Russia is a friend of ours and is to be believed? Worse yet, you seem to think that Barack Obama is a friend of America. Good luck with that.

    July 6, 2010 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  13. Randolph Carter, I'm no expert, but...

    phoenix86 July 6th, 2010 12:31 pm ET
    "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."

    Uh, Phoenix, we still have enough nukes to kill all life on earth several times over. And you're still a moron. Have a nice day!

    July 6, 2010 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  14. John from Canada

    Dear Mr. Romney;

    I believe that both the US and Russia have more then enough nukes to destory the world over a few times even with the reduction signed for in the spring.

    July 6, 2010 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  15. T

    Romney........knows nothing.............he only cares about the $$$$$$$$$
    why is he talking like that? ........let others countries know that how much some dis repect the President and our Nation........keep the good work up Rom. FOOL

    July 6, 2010 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  16. Duck Fallas

    Captain Hairdoo is afraid of Iran, who couldn't defeat Iraq in a war given 8 years, and North Korea, a population of impoverished, starving drones. Typical right wing coward with no faith in their country.

    Jesus loves nukes.

    July 6, 2010 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  17. Peggy - TX

    So Mr. Romney is upset because “America must effectively get Russia's permission for any missile defense expansion" and this is a bad thing because ….

    (1) Once we make the agreement with Russian it will be impossible to ever break that agreement, even if the situation drastically changes to where having enough fire power to desetragrate the world 5 time over is simply not enough and then one in that really bad situation we would not date braking such an agreement with Russia even if it was in our national security interest to do so.

    (2) We want do not want to inform the Russians if and when we develop more missile of mass destruction because we want to do so in secrete and then point them at Russia.

    (3) We want keep such information secrete from Russia so that they continue to believe that it is in their national security interest to send over even more spies to try and figure out what we are doing because we need to create more jobs in the CIA to deal with them.

    (4) Romney foresees a need to increase our number and size of missiles and he personally has a reason, but wants to keep the reason a secrete from the public – for our own good.

    (5) Nonsensical but very macho sounding one liners are a big hit in Republican political stumps.

    Sarcasm intended!!!

    July 6, 2010 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  18. once upon a horse

    and so the Republicans claim THIS is the guy that can beat Obama in 2012. Well if he does then it's time to head for the hills because this country is (BLEEPED)

    July 6, 2010 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  19. Peggy - TX

    So Mr. Romney is upset because “America must effectively get Russia's permission for any missile defense expansion" and this is a bad thing because ….

    (1) Once we make the agreement with Russian it will be impossible to ever break that agreement, even if the situation drastically changes to where having enough fire power to desetragrate the world 5 time over is simply not enough and then once in that really bad situation we would not dare braking such an agreement with Russia even if it was in our national security interest to do so.

    (2) We want do not want to inform the Russians if and when we develop more missile of mass destruction because we want to do so in secrete and then point them at Russia.

    (3) We want keep such information secrete from Russia so that they continue to believe that it is in their national security interest to send over even more spies to try and figure out what we are doing because we need to create more jobs in the CIA to deal with them.

    (4) Romney foresees a need to increase our number and size of missiles and he personally has a reason, but wants to keep the reason a secrete from the public – for our own good.

    (5) Nonsensical but very macho sounding one liners are a big hit in Republican political stumps.

    Sarcasm intended!!!

    July 6, 2010 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  20. JayR

    Poor Romney, as he stands now, he sees the possibility of beating Obama in 2016 drifting away and he's panicking.

    Problem with Republicans and Romney is that whenever they see a poll that says Obama's number are down they're heartened and cheering then the next poll say Obama's numbers are going up and they are then sad – Let me save you guy the up-and-down emotions – Obama's poll numbers is like a rubber band it's anchored around 50+ % and it stretches up and down but it always snaps back to 50+ %, so when the 2016 campaign begins it will more to somewhere around 55%.
    That's how electioneering works.

    July 6, 2010 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  21. Carlos

    The GOP the party of fear.... Please ....

    Yup Iraq has chemical weapons and are poised to attack the United States in the morning.
    Survey Says .... Wrong ..... no weapons found, NOT ONE!

    Great article in Foreign Affairs last month on Iran's possible entry into the Nuclear weapons club. In sum these weapons are only good if you use them. They are expensive to build and maintain and they are only as good as the delivery system. They also will drive everyone in the gulf closer to the US for protection. Very few countries can afford to put a program together and very few have the resources to do it. Iran is bankrupting itself trying to build a program. Also all fissionable material can be tracked to the source of origin. Thats right
    ...All material...
    Light one off, we will know in 24 hours where the weapon came from.

    Summation: If you use a Nuclear weapon there will be retaliation, no if's and or's abouts about it. Fly time from an Ohio class boat in the Indian Ocean, maybe 10 minutes from launch to impact. We can destroy you and your power base 100 times over in the case of Iran and Korea.

    Mitt buddy.... get over it these weapons are dinosaurs that really serve only 1 purpose ...deterrent!!!
    These are not an offensive weapon systems Mitt needs to do better research and he need to stop talking at senior citizens homes,
    whats this SNL.

    July 6, 2010 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  22. carolyn

    Mitt has probably never heard of the Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty or Ronald Reagan.

    July 6, 2010 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  23. A Guy

    "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."

    Um, yeah, that would be due to the fact that he has absolutely NO foreign policy portfolio of any kind. Nothing, Nada, Zero, Zilch, less than some.

    July 6, 2010 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  24. La Piovra

    I calculate two good thermonukes could turn Korea to an island, and four could let the sea into much of Iran. So who does Romney think we should be making total war on with all this stuff... Brazil?

    July 6, 2010 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  25. kate

    Mitt..we don't need another rich guy for President. You would only protect the very wealthy. Just another GW Bush..I don't want you talking to foreign leaders!!!

    July 6, 2010 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
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