Romney on Obama: Foreign policy sometimes 'at the mercy of events'
September 13th, 2012
01:55 PM ET
2 years ago

Romney on Obama: Foreign policy sometimes 'at the mercy of events'

Fairfax, Virginia (CNN) - Mitt Romney continued to portray President Obama as weak on foreign policy Thursday, though he did not repeat his harshest, direct criticisms from a day earlier during his first public event since four Americans were slain in Libya.

After expressing sympathy for the families of U.S. citizens killed in the Benghazi attacks, the GOP presidential candidate leveled an attack without mentioning the president's name.

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"As we watch the world today, sometimes it seems that we're at the mercy of events, instead of shaping events, and a strong America is essential to shape events," Romney told an audience gathered in a Fairfax, Virginia park.

At a press conference Wednesday, Romney accused Obama of sending "mixed messages" on U.S. policy and tied the president to a statement released a day earlier by the U.S. embassy in Egypt, saying it was "inconsistent with the principles of America."

At his Virginia rally, Romney did not repeat that blistering critique, instead transitioning into a broadside on military policy.

"This president has done something I find very hard to understand. Ever since FDR we've had the capacity to be engaged in two conflicts at once. And he's saying, 'no we're going to cut that back to only one conflict,'" Romney said, hitting Obama again on the congressionally-backed military cuts set to kick in this January.

Romney said as president he would "restore our military commitment."

"The world needs American leadership. The Middle East needs American leadership," he said. "And I intend to be a President that provides the leadership that America respects and will keep us admired throughout the world."

The former Massachusetts governor was momentarily thrown off message when he tried to hold a moment of silence in honor the Americans killed in Libya. A protester shouted: "Why are you politicizing Libya?" as Romney mentioned the deaths.

"What a tragedy to lose such a wonderful, wonderful ah, wonderful people, that have been so wonderful, and appreciate their service for the country," he said as the crowd began to chant "U-S-A" to drown out the protester. "I would offer a moment of silence but one gentleman doesn't want to be silent so we're going to keep on going."


Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • President Obama
soundoff (66 Responses)
  1. truth hurts

    nail obama to the wall on this one romney. four people are dead because of their incompetence. how many more have to die because of these incompetents?!

    September 13, 2012 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  2. 2HHEELS2

    Mitt should just stay out of foreign affairs. Between he and his running mate Ryan they both made themselves look like neither are ready for the power they are trying to attain.

    September 13, 2012 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  3. Sniffit

    "strong America is essential to shape events,"

    Translation: "We need to be able tell everyone else around the world what to do at gunpoint."

    ""inconsistent with the principles of America."

    Translation: "The right to free speech means I get to say whatever I want free from criticism or the concept of it being socially acceptable and the right thign to do to apologize when I offend someone. Criticism of the substance of what someone said is the same thing as criticizing their right to say it."

    ""The world needs American leadership. The Middle East needs American leadership,""

    Translation: "They're all barbarians and it is our burden to force them to think and behave as we want them to."

    ""I would offer a moment of silence but one gentleman doesn't want to be silent so we're going to keep on going.""

    Translation: "It's ok for me to pretend that criticizing the content of someone's speech is the same as criticizing the Constitution and then follow up by criticizing someone else for having the audaciy to speak at all."

    September 13, 2012 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  4. Sniffit

    "strong America is essential to shape events,"

    Translation: "We need to be able tell everyone else around the world what to do at gunpoint."

    September 13, 2012 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  5. Sniffit

    ""inconsistent with the principles of America."

    Translation: "The right to free speech means I get to say whatever I want free from criticism or the concept of it being socially acceptable and the right thign to do to apologize when I offend someone. Criticism of the substance of what someone said is the same thing as criticizing their right to say it."

    September 13, 2012 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  6. Sniffit

    ""The world needs American leadership. The Middle East needs American leadership,""

    Translation: "Those people are all barbarians and it is our enlightened 'Burden' to force them to think and behave as we want them to."

    September 13, 2012 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  7. chris scott

    Lord mitt Romney better keep his mouth shut, or we will be in another war, the american people do not want.

    September 13, 2012 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  8. skokie

    This president has done something I find very hard to understand. Ever since FDR we've had the capacity to be engaged in two conflicts at once. And he's saying, 'no we're going to cut that back to only one conflict,'" Romney said, hitting Obama again on the congressionally-backed military cuts set to kick in this January. –
    ----------
    Stupid doesn't he realise that we are already in two conflict how much more shoud we add to it.

    September 13, 2012 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  9. Sniffit

    "I would offer a moment of silence but one gentleman doesn't want to be silent so we're going to keep on going."

    Translation: "Excuse me while I pretend that criticizing the content of someone's speech is the same as criticizing the Constitutional right to free speech, but then follow up by criticizing someone for having the audacity to speak at all."

    September 13, 2012 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  10. Tony

    The world needs strong American leadership. But leadership is missing from the Romney campaign. Mitt, if you can't lead a campaign, you will not be the leader of the free world.

    September 13, 2012 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  11. John Stevens

    I was at the rally this afternoon and Mitt Romney was called out by an attende for his politicization of the tragedy in Libya. Romney was also asked to apologize to the family of slain ambassador Christopher Stevens before the heckler was removed by the secret service.

    September 13, 2012 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  12. Joan in MS

    This man needs to keep his mouth shut on foreign policy, which he knows nothing about, and go back to his tax cuts for the rich mantra, which he obviously knows a lot about.

    September 13, 2012 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  13. Woman In California

    Romney said as president he would "restore our military commitment."

    -------
    Would this be accomplished by enlisting at least one of your good for nothing sons? Otherwise, you can't have mine. Not now not ever.

    September 13, 2012 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  14. Dave

    Just more bluster from the Romney. Instead of his usual childish whining, maybe he can actually tell us what he would do. And don't spare the details. Any time you're ready...

    September 13, 2012 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  15. RealityBites

    All this is a result of Obama's weakness, his apologies and gandious speeches, all trying of reaching out on the part of a naive president with no experience, an arrogant amateur who thought he knew what's best, dispite all the intellegence suggesting otherwise.

    And now, as a result, the United States is still not loved or respected. In fact, quite the opposite, as past intellegence suggested. And that's why we're seeing an esculation of this stuff in the Middle East. The repercussions of a child like president protected by his state run media lackys crying FORWARD!

    September 13, 2012 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  16. Sniffit

    "Ever since FDR we've had the capacity to be engaged in two conflicts at once. And he's saying, 'no we're going to cut that back to only one conflict,'"'

    Translation: "What the heck is the opint of having a gun if you're not going to go around shooting it?"

    September 13, 2012 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  17. mdturn1

    Mitt Romney and his advisors, never cease to amaze. This is the result of taking a successful “BUSINESSMAN” and then injecting him on a political stage in a world class arena. UTTER COMPLETE chaos. Mitt Romney is not of presidential timber; has been said time after time, after time AND CLEARLY DEMONSTRATED. It is obvious desperation is setting in, and they are completely out of touch, running out of patience, running out of ideas, running out of facts, and RUNNING OUT OF TIME. This man is absolutely PATHETIC

    September 13, 2012 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  18. thetruthandnothingbutthetruth

    time for Omitt to move away from foreign policy! Just ask Bin Laden! you see Mitt, he thought President Obama was weak too!

    September 13, 2012 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  19. John

    Yeah Mitt is a real genius. We already spend as much on our military as the next 17 countries combined (including Russia and China). Yet Mitt thinks we should spend more on the military and cut taxes for the wealthy. Shades of Ronald Reagan who rebled the total national debt. How would we pay for this? Cuts to food stamps, aid to dependent children, earned income credit for the working poor, cuts in pell grants, cuts in federal support to state secondary education, etc. Oh what a humanitarin.

    September 13, 2012 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  20. scmom

    By Robme issuing his stupid remarks he is getting the desired effects he was trying to get. Now people are saying that the President is at fault for killing these people. For the life of me I can't understand why you would want to honor and practice your religion and no one should stop you. But if someone else is offended by someone disrespecting their religion you see nothing wrong with that. We need God in all honesty and sincereity and if Robme and Lyin Ryan get into office God is our only hope. And by the way Robme you are not the President yet, please try to show some respect during this national tragedy.

    September 13, 2012 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  21. vic , nashville ,tn

    Romney please only talk about economy and Jobs , you are hurting the party

    September 13, 2012 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  22. Tabeth

    Hey,
    Bin laden is dead, USA drones have been thundering in pakistan and AFganistan...what more do you need
    To be arrogant is not part of the american dream...Mitt seems to inherit the spirit of bush

    September 13, 2012 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  23. Maxx

    Romney just keeps making stuff up hoping no one will notice. Well, a good chunk of the U.S. won't notice but the majority will.

    September 13, 2012 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  24. Joan in MS

    "RealityBites" apparently lives in the same alternative universe as his leaders, Romney & Ryan. The Middle East has always been, and will always be, a great big MESS.

    But when you get all depressed about your miserable presidential candidate, just remember: Bin Laden is Dead, and GM is alive! (Now, that should make you feel better and safer.)

    September 13, 2012 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  25. Credibility

    RealityBites,
    Please give a specific example of where President Obama used the words apology or sorry while dealing with our foreign policy.

    Without any proof, you are sadly just repeating Romney's lies.

    September 13, 2012 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
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