July 6th, 2010
12:01 PM ET
8 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. Terry

    You got it all wrong Hobart. Republicans don't hate America, Democrats do. Republicans hate individual Americans, while Democrats love indivdual Americans.

    July 6, 2010 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  2. BK

    HOW does this impede our ability to protect ourselves when it still leaves us with enough nuclear arms to destroy THE WHOLE WORLD and still allows us to use nuclear deterrent for chemical, biological, and nuclear threats.

    July 6, 2010 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  3. Living in America

    Er aren't you a couple of years late. Remember Reagon. What solution do yo have. I know it still hurts "OUCH" since the healthcare reform still passed when you got Senator Edward Kennedy seat. This shows you that you are not needed the way that you think that you are.

    July 6, 2010 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  4. Chad

    Did you people even read the story? He's not upset about the reduction. He's worried about the provisions that deal with the defense systems and needing permission to expand it. If we can "blow up the world 75 times over" as I think one of you posted, then why would anyone want to limit our ability to protect against such an attack?
    A treaty that helps reduce the arsenal, I'm all for. A treaty that limits our ability to defend ourselves is never a good thing.

    July 6, 2010 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  5. jenn, philadelphia

    Actually, getting rid of the missle defense shield and screwing over our Eastern European allies, all the while Russia was spying on us might have been the biggest foreign-policy mistake.

    July 6, 2010 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  6. normajean

    This has-been should know a mistake when he sees one, he's made enough of them. Knock off the slaps at the president. You're a loser.

    July 6, 2010 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  7. anthony

    Dear Mitt,

    You will NEVER be PRESIDENT.

    Intelligent Americans

    July 6, 2010 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  8. Danman

    Fewer nuclear weapons is a win for the whole world.

    July 6, 2010 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  9. Nick

    Even with less weapons, the US is still capable of destroying the world many times over.

    Romney's attack is baseless.

    July 6, 2010 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  10. Michael in Houston

    worst foriegn policy mistake??
    Hey pal....remember Bush? Iraq? That sir is the worst foriegn policy blunder of all time.
    So if your idea of the worst foriegn policy mistake is the Obama administration agreeing to reduce Americas ability to destroy the earth from 100 tuimes over to 99 times over then your less qualified to lead the US as President then I thought you were before.
    Better be careful Romney....you may end up as VP with Palin on the top of the ticket with stupid comments like that.

    July 6, 2010 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  11. DorisV

    Agree with "GI Joe". Romney is a moron. He didn't do much for MA. The gods help us if he ever becomes president.

    July 6, 2010 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  12. brian

    I can't figure out if the Republicans are really stupid or if they just think that the american people are really stupid.

    July 6, 2010 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  13. Alex in Wisconsin

    I hope he doesn't speak for the Republican party on this one. although the way things have been lately, this is probably the more moderate stance on the conservative side. President Obama is taking up President Regan's goal of a world without nuclear weapons, or at least fewer nuclear weapons. Not only is this agreement going to reduce the number of nukes in the world, it's also allowing us to keep enough nukes to still destroy the world. isn't that enough or do we really need to be able to destroy the world 20 times more than we already can?

    July 6, 2010 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  14. War what is good for!!!

    @Dave July 6th, 2010 12:18 pm ET
    No matter how much President Obama wants to pretend the world is safe, the facts do not change. Romney is right on this.***It's called scare tactics ****STFU!!!!

    July 6, 2010 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  15. Michael from Ventura

    Oh Mitt- Some Americans have short memories- but MOST of us remember where republican foriegn policy got us....

    July 6, 2010 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  16. Unit34AHunt

    I voted for Obama because I wanted him to set the US on the right track with respect to hiring Americans, developing an energy self-dependence plan that is anchored in solar, wind and nukes, and to promote science. Instead I got an idiot who wants to undermine US National security by opening the floodgates to illegals, disarming our strategic deterrent force, and divert NASA from its science mission to a political correctness enterprise. What a jerk!

    July 6, 2010 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  17. snow

    nobummer would give this country away if he thought he could get away with it. We need to impeach nobummer.

    July 6, 2010 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  18. jane

    I don't think Romney is exactly the politician I would listen to on foreign policy. There's a reason he didn't get to be a presidential candidate.

    July 6, 2010 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  19. Former Republican, now an Independent

    Mitt Romney is another "silver-spoon" child who always had money behind everything he has done. It is not hard to be a "successful businessman" when you have money behind you, even though George W. Bush almost screwed up in spite of all the Saudi money behind him.

    Romney's father was a lousy governor of our state and Mitt would be even worse as a president!

    July 6, 2010 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  20. vic of New Yotk

    Let's see if I understand this:

    Mr. "I didn't socialize health care in Massachussetts" – "180 degree Romney", now says the administration got rolled over by Russia.

    Funny, how the Russian conservatives thought just the opposite: that thier president got rolled over by the U.S.!

    I guess the main lesson here is that Conservatives will always be full of it whether they are in Russia or the USA.

    We laugh a criticize Moslim conservatives as off thier rocker – but aren't the Christian Conservatives equally off theirs?

    Hey Mitt, keep trucking though. If George Jr. could do it so can you.

    July 6, 2010 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  21. Four and The Door

    Apparently people are not used to seeing a politician with the capability and confidence to call the administration out on an important issue like this. Keep them honest, Gov. Romney! The last thing we need is to negotiate away our nation's ability to defend itself. It seems as though this administration and congress does not have much respect for the things that make a strong foundation for our country. I hope you are wrong, but at the very least it needs to be looked at closely.

    July 6, 2010 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  22. Read more carefully

    If you notice he did not say we wouldn't have enough missles, he said we would have to consult with Russia before enacting any missile DEFENSE. Do you really want a country that is potentially targeting us to dictate what we can do in defense?

    July 6, 2010 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  23. waheid

    Mitt Romney couldn't manage to get nominated by Republicans, much less get elected in the general election, but now he's so smart he understands all the nuances about foreign policy. Just a short time ago, he couldn't understand the nuances of the internal politics of the Republican party! (Although one must admit that understanding Republicans requires a degree in abnormal psychiatry.)

    July 6, 2010 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  24. redneckbluedog

    I didn't realize the former Governor of Massachussetts was such a foreign policy expert.....

    July 6, 2010 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  25. geecee

    phoenix86 – you never have a good word to say about our President do you? As far as you are concerned, he can never do anything right or good for this Country can he? Are you always so cynical about everyone and everything or are you just brainwashed by the right-wing media maniacs out there? People with your attitude is what is dividing this country badly. You are the unpatriotic ones, believe it or not!!

    July 6, 2010 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
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