Charleston, South Carolina (CNN) – Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney unveiled a foreign policy blueprint Friday he said will restore America's worldwide dominance, drawing contrasts to President Barack Obama. But critics chastised him for laying out policies closely aligned with the Bush administration.
Speaking Friday at The Military College of South Carolina, known as The Citadel, the former Massachusetts governor called for "an American century," declaring the nation's economy and defense "have been weakened" under Obama's leadership.
"God did not create this country to be a nation of followers," said Romney. "Without American leadership, without clarity of American purpose and resolve, the world becomes a far more dangerous place, and liberty and prosperity would surely be among the first casualties."
Young cadets in the audience applauded when Romney took a swipe at the commander-in-chief saying, "I will never, ever apologize for America."
Reading from a teleprompter, the two-time presidential candidate accused Obama of engaging in reactionary foreign policy, which he said would be avoided in a Romney administration because he understands emerging threats.
"It's far too easy for a president to jump from crisis to crisis, dealing with one hot spot after another," said Romney, noting that he would "avoid this paralyzing seduction of action rather than progress" by having a "broad vision of the world coupled with clarity of purpose."
Romney presented eight foreign policy-related actions he would implement in his first 100 days as president. He said part of rebuilding the economy would require reversing "Obama's massive defense cuts," and will begin with investing in expanding the United States warship fleet.
On Thursday, Romney announced his foreign policy advisers (include link to yesterday's story), many of whom are drawn from the Bush's administration including former Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff, Jim Wilkinson, Meghan O'Sullivan and Dan Senor.
While Romney has previously called for America to withdraw from Afghanistan, Democrats were quick to criticize his new national security team as the group responsible for U.S. involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan in the first place. The Democratic National Committee wasted no time pointing out the similarities.
A senior Romney aide, who would not speak on the record about the matter, acknowledged policy similarities to the last Republican administration but said Romney's approach would be much more focused and business-like.
"I don't know if it's a departure in policy, I think it's a different approach," the aide said, adding that one area that distinguishes Romney's blueprint from the two previous administrations is his diplomatic commitment to Latin America with a number of initiatives that include supporting Democratic allies and establishing a "robust public-diplomacy and trade promotion campaign."
Speaking on the 10-year anniversary of United States military engagement in Afghanistan, the former governor said an early administration priority would be to review the need for a continued U.S. presence in Afghanistan, with an emphasis of consulting generals on the ground.
"The force level necessary to secure our gains and complete our mission successfully is a decision I will make free from politics," he said.
Romney campaigned for two days in South Carolina, delivering two speeches in military settings in this pivotal early primary state that has a significant active military and veteran population. Over 1,400 alumni from The Citadel alone have served in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere in the last decade.
Romney will destroy GOP forever. Iraq lies and fraud cost GOP 2006 elections.
Romney will bleed and bankrupt America. Neo-con foreign policy will destroy both Europe and America.
It is not clear if American people have woken up, or are they prepared for 8 more years of rapid decline.
All these Republican clowns as soon as they open their mouth they dig their own tomb. Palin sees the Russians from her window every morning, Mitt is like Perry, Bush on steroids. Where these people come from? From Mars, Jupiter?
Why does anyone listen to anything these ignorant republicans say? Republicans should be embarrassed to admit
they are republicans. It is a racist, bigoted party that celebrates ignorance. It is now and always has been.
The moron in chief is day dreaming
Great another war monger ...but this one is in a cult I feel much safer
Romney would be a repeat of George W. Bush. He would polarize most every nation in the world against the U.S. and at the end of his term Wall Street and the wealthy will have prospered, and the middle class will have once again paid the bill.
When was the last time a Romney took up arms to defend the US?
What a judgemental thing to say. Are any of us so comfortable in our Christianity to say another denomination isn't "Christian enough?" It reminds me of the recent attacks agains Herman Cain saying he isn't black enough because he doesn't fit a liberal mold and because "his dad didn't march in the civil rights movement". Well I have news for ya'll: Mormons are Christians, and Herman Cain is black (and Yes I am being judgemental in saying this too–but I'll take Herman and Mitt at their word!)
Oh, lets translate this:
"...broad vision of the world (in a quite primitive fashion, not able to distinguish between action and reaction or changed situations or being smart) coupled with clarity of purpose (to gain profits when and where ever possible for our rich friends even if it cost death and destruction for some of our fellow Americans and many “other” people and while doing that, deficits do not matter) ."
Romney want's to fight in Iran, look it up. I believe we are in BIB, BIG, BIG trouble if Romney gets elected or any GOP. Obama was doing very well until Dec 2010. We claim that other countries are evil and we are Christians, but look at what they are trying to do to the President.
Romney is wasting his time running for president. He really should be selling used cars.
Osama Bin Laden Dead,
Drone killed that American Born terrorist...
Pakistan got cut on Money...
Iraq troop withdrawal....
so I am voting for Direct Dem, ticket, and Obama2012.....Period, let heavens break loose, i don't deviate to this...
We cannot afford the large increases in military spending Romney wants.
Romney speaking at The Citadel promised that, if elected, he'd pour more money into the military and defense. Right there, we find that Romney has no business being president. He's either completely out of his depth and clueless with regards to how the military is many times too big and must be cut back, or he was playing to his military audience. Either reason is stupendously wrong and bad.
We can't afford a lot of things. One of them is Romney.
Those weak defenses are who got Bin Laden. What have all the billions Bush poured into the military done for security?
Problem you have is that you don't talk about the is foreign aid, in which we need here instead of over there. Your policy for that would be wrong, it would be like the Obama way, spend, spend spend.