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.
yep that old "weak defense" Obama is doing has just keeps pulling in our enemies left and right. Far more than the Bush administation has done. Romney doesn't seem to mind keeping our men and women in harm's way so if he wins we can forget about these wars ending any time soon. Yet NONE of his sons were ever in the US Armed Services.
Here goes Bush again.
Rommney has no Idea what to do!Where is he going to get that Money for war ships?Where is the money going to come from?This joker has no Idea what to do,but say"I am going to do everything different tham the President!
That's not a blueprint. It's a blue napkin. He might as well have scribbled it on the back of the Denny's menu at a Teatroll powow with the free rayons they provide...if he could manage to resist the urge to eat the crayons that is.
Robert Jeffress, pastor of the First Baptist Church of Dallas said no to you Mitt
I don’t know why still you are talking
So you may have apply for a job in next Obama administration
This Mitten's neocon dog and pony show in which he auditions the speech he learned from his neocon foreign policy "experts" (reported a few days ago). The neocons want Mittens because he has no foreign experience and will be beholden to the neocons. They want a war with Iran regardless of the cost, and Mittens will give it to them within a year.
The problem with religious people is they do NOT practice what they preach, and often customize their religion to fit their personal desires.
When the other nations hear Romney say that he wants to dominate the world, they say "dominate who? dominate what? dominate where? dominate when? dominate how?". In fact you dominate only when you are strong. Mr. Romney, you do not need to say that.
buy buy buy ships, star wars..heard it all before....defense contractors cant wait to shake us down again and Romney and the rest of the gop are their agents...do they get 10%?
Romney resembles Bush on foreign affairs. He may lead us to more conflicts. Obama is tough but more humble.
►"God did not create this country to be a nation of followers,"◄
God did not create this "world" (not country because that was "stolen") to be a LOT of things. But, look around you and you will see what God did not mean and it's all of the HATRED! Most of it, believe it or not, come from the far-RIGHT so-called "Evangelicals!!"
I bet he can see Russia from his front door too!!!!!!!
"restore America's worldwide dominance"? Worldwide meddling is mainly what has created the majority of America's terror problems and economic deficits. The problem isn't with defense spending, it's "offense" spending. The GOP loves war. How Christian is that? NOT!
the idiocy that emanates from Mitt Romney Disgusts me, Doesn't he realize that the U.S is broke and can't afford to keep expanding their empire. and increasing defense spending will only add to the debt and make things worse for american people.
SO how will Willard pay for new ships we dont need? Still no jobs plan from Mittens. FAIL
A lot of Mitt's popularity comes from his being able to keep quiet on important issues, and then be a Monday morning quarterback. Now that he is talking and making policy speeches, he will drop faster than a Trump in republican approval.
The US navy is already 5 times larger and with more advanced equipment than any other surface fleet in the world with 10 more carriers than any other navies. Do we really need to make it any stronger?
Grace is a personal invitation to Heaven and it is offered to all who will receive it. Those who are baptized and do not change their ways and obey The Greatest Commandment will not be chosen. (Matthew 22:14) For this reason there are many false preachers, because they will argue or provide reasons why they are not capable of loving God as written in Matthew 23:28. A false preacher is jealous of the power Jesus Christ has before he came to Earth and after he came to offer an invitation to those who follow TGC. Thus they are not chosen and will not be in Heaven. Grace is not above The Greatest Commandment; Grace is the primary reason for a Christian to follow TGC.
His advisers, "recycled" from the Bush Adm. 15 of them. You just lost 20 million votes. Don't let these people ruin our country anymore. Vote.
Our navy is already larger than any other nation's by several fold. For example, we have 12 operational aircraft carriers which is more than the next 10 navies combined.
So... What's to be gained by building a 13th or a 14th carrier?
15 of the 21 named are disgraced Neo-cons, some are the exact people directly responsible for fabricating the lies that were used to get us into the Iraq War. Mitt... get it together- if you're going to be the rational GOP candidate... get rational 10 years of wasted sacrifice by our troops, and Trillion$ wasted... Enough.
And, Pastor Jeffress, fundamentalist reliigions aren't examples of cultism?
@ Debra when did Bush's policies stop? Obama sure as hell didn't change anything.
Mitt, what is the difference between you and George W. Bush?
Romney will be another Bush who would have no idea what to do about the military or foreign affairs he's all talk trying to fool the system into electing him president. He was not a good Massachusetts govenor (I live there) passed the health care reform bill for massachusetts.