Romney calls for 'American century' in foreign policy address
July 24th, 2012
03:53 PM ET
2 years ago

Romney calls for 'American century' in foreign policy address

Reno, Nevada (CNN) – Mitt Romney foretold an "American Century" based on military and economic strength Tuesday in a major foreign policy address ahead of his trip to Europe and Israel.

In his remarks, Romney took sharp aim at President Barack Obama, saying policies enacted over the last three years had weakened America's military and reduced America's global stature.

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"The president's policies have made it harder to recover from the deepest recession in 70 years, exposed the military to cuts that no one can justify, and compromised our national security secrets. And in dealings with other nations he has given trust where it is not earned, insult where it was not deserved and apology where it is not due," Romney said to applause at a convention of the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

In his remarks, Romney blasted Obama and his administration for leaking classified intelligence details, and placed blame for upcoming cuts to the military squarely on the White House.

Romney said as president he would usher the United States into an "American Century," one he said would be impossible under policies enacted by Obama.

"This president has diminished American leadership, and we are reaping the consequences," Romney said. "The world is dangerous, destructive, chaotic."

While he was delivering remarks the Romney campaign released a foreign policy white paper, detailing how he would approach military power, including a commitment to add 100,000 active duty troops.

The white paper also addresses policy on individual countries – such as Iran, Syria, Israel, China, Egypt, Russia and North Korea – as well as the hot-button Middle East region, Afghanistan and Pakistan, and Latin America.

Romney compared America to "a watchman in the night," saying leaders must protect the "freedom that defines and ennobles us, and our friends."

"In an American Century, we have the strongest economy and the strongest military in the world," Romney said. "In an American Century, we secure peace through our strength. And if by absolute necessity we must employ it, we must wield our strength with resolve. In an American Century, we lead the free world and the free world leads the entire world."

Romney, who will travel to London, Israel and Poland beginning Wednesday, said in his speech he "wouldn't venture into another country to question American foreign policy." He did, however, question Obama's policy in Reno, saying the president had a penchant for "lecturing Israel's leaders."

"The people of Israel deserve better than what they have received from the leader of the free world," Romney said. "And the chorus of accusations, threats, and insults at the United Nations should never again include the voice of the president of the United States."

Romney heads to Israel at the end of the week to meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Israeli President Shimon Peres and Salam Fayyad, the prime minister of the Palestinian National Authority.

In his meetings, Romney will almost certainly be asked for his stance on Iran, which Israel and other Western nations believe is trying to build a nuclear weapon. Tehran insists its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes.

On Tuesday, Romney said a "clear line has to be drawn" on Iran's nuclear ambitions: "There must be a full suspension of any enrichment whatsoever, period," Romney said.

Obama, he said, was ineffective in stalling Iranians from progressing on developing a nuclear weapon.

"For all the talks and conferences, all of the extensions and assurances, can anyone say we are farther from this danger now than four years ago?" Romney asked.

Romney said he would remain committed to withdrawing troops in Afghanistan by the end on 2014, a plan also backed by Obama. Romney, however, said Obama's decision was based in politics rather than strategy.

"President Obama would have you believe that anyone who disagrees with his decisions is arguing for endless war. But the route to more war – and to potential attacks here at home – is a politically timed retreat," Romney said.

He continued by laying out his own plan.

"As president, my goal in Afghanistan will be to complete a successful transition to Afghan security forces by the end of 2014," Romney said. "I will evaluate conditions on the ground and solicit the best advice of our military commanders. And I will affirm that my duty is not to my political prospects, but to the security of the nation."

Responding to Romney's assault on Obama's record, Vice President Joe Biden said in a statement that Romney only offered "empty rhetoric and bluster."

“Today, Governor Romney had an opportunity to fulfill a long-standing promise by laying out his foreign policy vision and agenda. He had a chance to say how he would lead as Commander-in-Chief. Instead, all we heard from Governor Romney was empty rhetoric and bluster," Biden said. "He reflexively criticizes the President’s policies without offering any alternatives. When he does venture a position, it’s a safe bet that he previously took exactly the opposite position and will probably change his mind again and land in the wrong place – far out of the mainstream. Or he mischaracterizes our record to create a non-existent contrast."


READ MORE: Romney walks political tightrope on foreign policy

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Filed under: Foreign Policy • Mitt Romney
soundoff (44 Responses)
  1. CanadaONE

    Can you keep Ronmey in the USA ?- around the world he is a hated capatalist – which may spark an attack against North America our help the terrorist organizations recruit

    thanks
    love
    Canada

    July 24, 2012 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  2. Truthbearer1

    If Mitt Romney gets elected, he would be like Big Brother and create a 1984 dystopia for the world with his 1950's cold war foreign policy. Get with the times Romney and stop living in the past.

    July 24, 2012 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  3. GL

    While he was delivering remarks the Romney campaign released a foreign policy white paper, detailing how he would approach military power, including a commitment to add 100,000 active duty troops.

    And how the heck is going to paid for this?

    July 24, 2012 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  4. 1twinsfan

    Mitt's military statements are scary. It's an entirely different world now than 1980. He has such a cold war mentality, I don't see how anyone could vote for him. Does he even know what a drone is?

    July 24, 2012 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  5. Walt

    Really rich! Alexithymic Mitt looking to the 21st Century when he's still living in the 1950's.

    July 24, 2012 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  6. Laverne

    Mitt Romney has no foreign policy experience or national security, except for attending boy scout with his boys years ago. He is a liar and I hope the American people judge the truth based on President Obama's real record of national security which has been great! Mitt Romney has a rotten soul, he looks evil and will do or say anything to try and win. "I hope he fails" Rush Limbaugh 2009!

    July 24, 2012 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  7. TC

    "detailing how he would approach military power, including a commitment to add 100,000 active duty troops. "

    TRANSLATION: More War and surely a war with IRAN.. so get ready America.. Why do you think Cheney was up on capital hill. More war means more money!!!!

    July 24, 2012 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  8. Sniffit

    "And yet Romney leads Obama by over 20% among veterans, something like 58% to 37%. You are in the minority."

    Citing Rasmussen polls is like holding up a sign that calls people "morans." The dude's methodology is compelte crap and has been shown to be such.

    July 24, 2012 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  9. annie

    Listenig to Obama in the background, bashing Romney. Accusing Romney of distorting his words, of leaving sentences out. Not true. Any article I have read or the actual video about the "you didn't build your business" had all the words. Obama asolutely said that, and if he was referring to the roads and bridges, he worded it poorly. This man is anti-business.

    And as far as Romney's tax returns – I personally do not want him to show any more than is legally required. All of you crying for "transparency". What a joke. This administration is the worst at "transparency". You only want something else to twist and distort.

    I don't remember any of you trying to destroy Clinton because he used political influence to avoid the draft. And we have a volunteer military now! It is fine if Romney's sons did not go into the military. If that is a crime, then there are an awful lot of men out there who committed a crime by not joining the military!

    And if Romney has money in other countries – OK. He can tell you all about it when you demand the same of all the Democratic politicians who also have money overseas.

    July 24, 2012 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  10. FORWARD into the Obama FISCAL ABYSS

    GL
    While he was delivering remarks the Romney campaign released a foreign policy white paper, detailing how he would approach military power, including a commitment to add 100,000 active duty troops.
    And how the heck is going to paid for this?
    ============================================================================================
    maybe the 47% that pay nothing can pay something to help defend their country? 1%, 2%? what is your freedom worth?

    July 24, 2012 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  11. Dave Jaipersaud

    If he is elected we will get an American century alright. A century full of really stupid, dumb, poor and sick Americans since he is running on a platform to slash education, slash investment in research and development, implement policies that help companies outsource American jobs, implement policies that take from the middle class and poor and give to the rich, gut Medicare, Medicaid Social Security for seniors and other useful social programs. With these policies how on earth will America be able to compete with the rest of the world. With those policies not even god would want to help us because he will say that he gave people free will and they voted for thrir own demise so let them bear the consequences of their actions.

    July 24, 2012 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  12. Mikey

    "Romney said he would remain committed to withdrawing troops in Afghanistan by the end on 2014, a plan also backed by Obama. Romney, however, said Obama's decision was based in politics rather than strategy."
    ******************************************************************************************
    So, let me get this straight. Romney would do exactly what Obama would do, but when the President does it, it is based on politics and when Romney does it, it is based on strategy. Really?

    I don't know which is dumber – making this crud up or believing it.

    July 24, 2012 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  13. GL

    FORWARD into the Obama FISCAL ABYSS

    GL
    While he was delivering remarks the Romney campaign released a foreign policy white paper, detailing how he would approach military power, including a commitment to add 100,000 active duty troops.
    And how the heck is going to paid for this?
    ============================================================================================
    maybe the 47% that pay nothing can pay something to help defend their country? 1%, 2%? what is your freedom worth
    -----------------------------------------------–

    You are a clown. The 47% that do not paid taxes are teenagers and Seniors. Get a life.

    July 24, 2012 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  14. FORWARD into the Obama FISCAL ABYSS

    Sniffit
    "And yet Romney leads Obama by over 20% among veterans, something like 58% to 37%. You are in the minority."
    Citing Rasmussen polls is like holding up a sign that calls people "morans." The dude's methodology is compelte crap and has been shown to be such.
    ================================================================================================\
    And yet your post cites NOTHING to prove his methodology is wrong or flawed. Of course, you have no proof of what you say, so you just try to deflect from the poll results by attacking the pollster without citing facts. Just more leftist smoke and mirror show... it really is getting old after 4 years.

    July 24, 2012 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  15. GL

    Why is Mitt still not leading in the polls?

    July 24, 2012 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  16. Pander Bear

    Jeebus, he's not even trying to hide that fact he's going to continue the PNAC way of destroying the world?! The man has progressed from stupid to dangerously stupid.

    July 24, 2012 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  17. Logic N LA

    Mitt found his audience! Old White Men who loved thier guns and love for WWII to happen again.
    No logical perosn who has read ofour standing in the world would say Obama's policies have hurt our standing in the world. Real people are beigninng ot trus tus agian after the Bush years. Our military has had more substanitive ictories under his reign as Commander and Chief and our slowness to recover can be treaced directly back to Congress- ask Standard and Poor after they lowered our credit rating who they held responsible.

    July 24, 2012 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  18. n

    I just have to say this to you Ann, and I don't mean to insult you or be mean spirited, but you know that you are an edit, right?

    July 24, 2012 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  19. kayla

    you should know whats best for america since you were a draf t dodger you idoit.

    July 24, 2012 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
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