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. Jim

    We need to show that we are reducing the number of nuclear warheads we have so that we can credibly urge Iran to stop their development. We might think its obvious that we should have all the weapons and everyone else should do what we say, but no one else thinks that. How can we go to Iran and tell them to stop doing what we do? Mr. Romney is just trying to score politcal points here, he doesn't have a better policy.

    July 6, 2010 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  2. J in Minnesota

    I think a lot of these responses are missing the point.....

    When the US was the clear super power of the world, we were able to dictate policy and negotiate from a powerful standpoint. What troubles me is that this president seems so willing to negotiate from a less asertive standpoint. When the US is now at the bargaining table, we are starting to lose our luster and are starting to get taken advantage of. This troubles me. It seems that our once reign as the one super power is over.

    July 6, 2010 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  3. Marty, FL

    Citizen Romney is 'No' President Reagan, not even close, considering Reagan advocated for nuclear disarmament in an approach similar to President Obama.

    It is in America's best interests for our national security to ratify the nuclear disarmament treaty with Russia & other allies.

    Thank God that Obama is our president and not Mitt.

    July 6, 2010 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  4. JK

    It is amazing that none of you actualy read the article before you post comments. Romney's concern is that the treaty requires Russian approval for a mssle defense syatem.
    No one beleives we don't have enough nuclear weapons.
    Do we really want to have to ask for permission to build a defensive system against potential terrorist states?

    July 6, 2010 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  5. New Age Independant

    Obama is a fool and his inexperience in foreign affairs shows. He should get an expert to help him. Oh wait, he did. Biden... ROFL we're screwed!

    July 6, 2010 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  6. seebofubar

    You Democrats are SO STUPID! But that's good, it gives me something to laugh at when I read these blogs.

    July 6, 2010 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  7. Larry L

    If a person selected 100 of the top targets in the World and each was nuked, civilization, as we know it, would cease to exist. An inventory of thousands of nukes is expensive, excessive, and only increases the probability of rouge states obtaining these weapons. This GOP pretty-boy is yet another of a long lineage of pro-war and pro-big business right-wingers. He and Sarah would make a great looking pair of morons.

    July 6, 2010 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  8. john

    It seems that almost all the readers, no doubt blind democrats, liberals, and progressives, missed the main and simple point. It is not about the reduction of nukes that raises concerns, as everyone has pointed out that we have more than enough. It is the fact that we have to ask for permission if we decide to go forward with missle defense, which no doubt would be refused. Missle defense, that would be how we would protect ourselves from rogue states with nukes rather than blowing the state off the planet, but now we would have to have the cooperations of the Russians and history has proven that is not likely. Therefore, all those with criticism of Romney's comments should read the article again with open eyes and not jump to conclusions.

    July 6, 2010 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  9. Dee

    FEAR is an acronym in the English language for "False Evidence Appearing Real" and Romney is an expert fear dealer.

    July 6, 2010 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  10. drednm

    romney is the idiot who bankrupted massachusetts...

    romney is the the idiot with the health care plan that was a model for obama's but wasn't like it at all.....

    romney is the idiot with no inside information about arms talks and still spouting off

    romney is the idiot who's afraid he's losing the battle for the front page to other idiots like palin, angle, mccain, steele.....

    July 6, 2010 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  11. IreneN

    Yeah, right, keep the base on their toes scared of their wits... I bet in Texas they still jump under the school desks hiding from Soviet (sic!) atomic bomb. Guess they hit their heads hard every time...

    July 6, 2010 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  12. Larry

    Romney, you're as stupid as you look in that picture.

    Are you still living in the '60's? Are you still afraid of those "pinko commies?"

    Is there any intelligence at all in the republican party?

    July 6, 2010 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  13. Crazy Harry

    What a doofus Romney is. So now we can blow up the world 100 times over instead of 150. I'm pretty sure, Russia sees us soooo much weaker. Oh wait, I forgot that we want to have enough bombs to blow up North Korea, Iran and Iraq too. Oh crap! with the 6 bombs to blow up those countries, that will limit us to blowing up with world only 98 times.

    How could Obama make such a terrible mistake???

    Well, I guess Fox News has the story for the day and Limbaugh, Beck and Hannity have something to fill the empty space between their ears this week and into the next week.

    July 6, 2010 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  14. SC

    What makes Romney qualify to speck on foreign policy issues? First of all, he had never dealt with any foreign policy issue himself. Where is the credibility in what you said, Romney?

    July 6, 2010 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  15. norma

    WWRD – What Would Reagan Do?

    He would do the same thing Pres. Obama did! He worked hard for nuclear disarmament. So, now all you Beck lovin', Reagan worshipping conservatives can be quiet.

    BTW, Reagan raised taxes, expanded government and increased the national debt.

    July 6, 2010 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  16. SCOTO

    Living proof that you dont have to be very smart to make a lot of money

    July 6, 2010 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  17. Kris L

    China has lots of nukes pointed at us, yet that won't stop us from supporting Taiwain. Russia has lots of nukes pointed at us and our allies, but that won't stop us from adding countries to NATO. North Korea's best missile may be good enough to reach Alaska and nothing else. Iran would rather use any it has on Israel. Hmm, I think we are good with reducing our numbers.

    July 6, 2010 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  18. tcaros

    Mitt Romney is a pea brain!

    July 6, 2010 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  19. NJ Jim

    And...Mitt Romney's foreign policy and military credentials are what???? How many ways do we have to have in order to blow the world to bits...Amazing...if he weren't serious! God save us from the republicans!

    July 6, 2010 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  20. Mitch

    I guess Mitt was getting lonely since no media has covered him in months...and so he says something this brainless and wonders.

    July 6, 2010 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  21. Rob Johnson

    Conservative rail against Obama for spending too much money on government programs, but insist that having enough nuclear weapons to blow up the world 100 times over is money well spent.

    Would somebody remind these "small government" conservatives that the military is, in fact, part of the government?

    July 6, 2010 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  22. Jake

    Typical Americans.....the fact of the matter is that there are people out there that believes the fear tactics of people like Romney and GOP. Remeber what got BUSH a second term. Lets put fear on peoples mind and the little Americans will vote us in. Also, I wonder how and why Americans blame Obama for 8 years of mis-management. You voted Obama in (not really a fan of his) to clean up 8 years of mess and you expect him to have got it done in less than 2 years. the way of politics in America makes me wonder. Has anyone sat back and say hey I am in serious debt and have some money or someone can borrow me some money to get out of the mess. Most of you will take it and buy yourself some time to get your house in order. That is what the stimulus was for but none of you understood it. I am a Republican that supported the Stimulus and the healthcare. Has someone ever thought that if nothing was done what would have happened. The Stimulus was BUSH's idea in the forst place and a lot of house republicans including McCain voted for it. Now it is Obama's problems? WoW.....Please send Mitt and his fear buddies including the house minority leader to go back in the hole. They were there when BUSH messed things up and we moderate republicans were crying out and no one listened. Obama is trying to clean up our republican mess and we are not giving him a good broom to do so. The real fear is that republicans are the ones affraid of being a meaningless party. Why not make the other guys look bad when we have nothing good to offer other than fear.

    July 6, 2010 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  23. garc

    Keep on trying, you GOP whiny losers. Keep on trying to distract the public from your huge internal party problems. Seems like it's only working on the dumbest of the dumb, though.

    July 6, 2010 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  24. Larry Bradenton, FL

    Oh yes, the wr mongering Christian Republicans! Two bombs Mitt. That is all it took to end the second world war. Only two. How many will it take to stop you!

    July 6, 2010 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  25. KM

    Thanks Romney for pointing out something I never took into account regarding not having enough nukes. If there was ever a nuclear war, instead of me being blind, cripple and crazy I will only be blind and cripple.

    July 6, 2010 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
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