June 1st, 2009
09:07 AM ET
13 years ago

Romney: President putting country in jeopardy

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/02/26/art.getty.mitt.romney.jpg caption="Romney will deliver a speech focused on missile defense on Monday.'"]WASHINGTON (CNN) - Mitt Romney, eyeing a run at the presidency in 2012, is taking another step in fleshing out his foreign policy portfolio with a Monday speech to the conservative Heritage Foundation on the topic of defense spending.

According to excerpts of the speech provided to CNN, Romney will call the Obama administration's plan to trim more than $1 billion from missile defense programs a "grave miscalculation" that will put America at risk, especially given North Korea's nuclear provocations.

Romney says that Obama should push for "comprehensive, regime-crippling sanctions" against North Korea and "immediately reverse his recent decisions and strongly support completing our ballistic missile defense system."

In the speech, entitled "The Care of Freedom," Romney will also call on the administration to increase the modernization budget by $50 billion per year and to lock in total defense budgets at no less than four percent of GDP. But the military budget has been endangered, Romney argues, by the administration's domestic spending programs.

"Over the last few months, it has passed measures that will add almost $4 trillion to the national debt in the short term and then over $3 trillion over the next ten years," Romney will say. "None of that money was spent on increasing the defense modernization budget - a failure that history will never understand or excuse."

The former Massachusetts governor is urging pro-defense members of Congress to hold firm against further cuts. He plans to say that "depleting the defense budget to fund new social programs, particularly in the face of global turmoil, would put America and Americans at risk."

"At the most fundamental level, our military might depends on the long term strength of our economy," he will say, according to the excerpts. "The President's planned budgets and multi-trillion dollar deficits, financed by a level of borrowing never before attempted by any nation, puts our whole economy in jeopardy."

Romney, who ran the investment firm Bain Capital before entering politics, often touted his business and managerial experience as a presidential candidate. But as a former governor, he had limited experience with national security matters - a deficit that his rival John McCain was eager to highlight during the primaries.

Since the 2008 election, Romney has re-emerged as a vocal critic of President Obama's security agenda, and has made a series of public statements aimed at raising his profile in the foreign policy arena.

In April, he blasted Obama in The Weekly Standard for not objecting when Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega criticized the United States at the summit of the Americas in Trinidad and Tobago. "President Obama shrank from defending liberty here in the Americas," Romney wrote.

Last month, when Obama and former Vice President Dick Cheney presented dueling speeches on the use of enhanced interrogation techniques against suspected terrorists, Romney defended Cheney and said that Obama's speech "was more tortured than the enhanced interrogation techniques he decries."

Romney has said he will not hesitate to praise the president when he agrees with him. At an April fundraiser for Senate Republicans, for instance, Romney applauded Obama for taking the right steps in Iraq and Afghanistan. But despite those kind words, Romney has so far been more critical than supportive of the administration's foreign policy agenda.

Filed under: Mitt Romney
soundoff (189 Responses)
  1. Emma

    The only person who puts us in jeopardy is Romney running his mouth.

    June 1, 2009 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  2. Osama Bin Laden

    Rommey just shut-up. You lost bad the last time. you will be laughed out of the polls the second go around.

    June 1, 2009 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  3. Mississippi Mike

    He's right, Obama is weakening our national security. So far Obama has allowed Iran to continue it's nuclear weapon building, watched North Korea test 6 short range missiles and detonate one or more atomic bombs, and has let Russia do whatever it wants without so much as a comment. Also, he is slashing funding for the FBI, CIA, DHS in general, missile defense, future weapons systems, and a host of other preventative security measures. Also, he's released classified intelligence documents, thumbed his nose at our closest military allies, and openly befriended radical muslims. What other conclusion could you make other than he has intentionally undermined our national security?

    June 1, 2009 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  4. Irma in North Carolina

    Mitt you might as well get in the tank with Dick, Rush, Coulter, Ingram and Sarah cause you guys will never get anywhere with all your bashing. Did you not learn that from the last election.

    June 1, 2009 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  5. iupg

    Odd, I don't recall him complaining when Dubya was throwing the country into jeopardy with an illegal war.

    June 1, 2009 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  6. Gregory H. Brooklyn, New York

    The Word: "Any kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and a house divided against itself will fall". As long as we continue to constantly fight against our new President, America will continue to implode from within. Sadly, we have become a nation running scared.

    June 1, 2009 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  7. Glarn Skleeblemann

    Mitt Romney: Renaissance Man. Handsome Business & Finance Expert, Good Looking Foreign Policy Leader, Attractive Critic of All Things Liberal And/Or Socialistic, Charismatic Defender of All Things Conservative And/Or Patriotic,Photogenic Exemplar of Religious and Cultural Tolerance, Humble and Appealing Master of the Universe. Wow, what a guy!
    He should be president simply on the chance that if he is just one tenth as good as he thinks he is, we're looking at the greatest presidents in history! Forget about his politics! Just imagine that fantastic smile looking back at you from, say, a 10 gabillion dollar note, while youre standing in line at McDonalds 30 years from now. Romney/Palin 2012!

    June 1, 2009 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  8. Sit On it Romney

    So, plastic, water-in-his veins man is running for president–AGAIN. Who cares what he has to say, he's a hateful man who's accustomed to buying what he wants. Thank goodness, he can't buy the presidency.

    Get over your self Rom, we're just not that into you.

    June 1, 2009 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  9. Todd

    I read somewhere that we have more nuclear weapons than all the other countries combined. We have many hurting families that need a bit of assistance. What is he talking about specifically when he says "modernization"? I'm pretty sure that the nukes are ready, in place, aiming at all the appropriate places.

    June 1, 2009 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  10. pat c

    always a presidential want-a be and never a president. romney is a blow hard and has no idea how to run our country. if he had been anywhere near ready then he would have won the republican nominee. why can't he understand the people did not want him then and we certainly don't care what he says or want him now.

    June 1, 2009 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  11. philo

    Please just shut up Romney ! The republican party will never be a viable party again if they keep putting out these old archaic figureheads who do nothing but spew out diatribe intended to induce fear into the public.

    Its time for us young republicans to take over and reshape the party in a centrist fashion. We must purge our party of the religous right whom have done nothing but destroy our party and made us irrelevant. There is nothing conservative about us consantly trying to pass legislation which intends to invade the very personal space and choices of individuals, i.e., our anti-abortion and gay rights stance. The religous right of our party screams conservatism but politicaly advocates for far reaching goverment action to ensure that we all conform to there own personal values.

    When will these old tired republicans step down and give us young centrist republicans our time to reshape this party in a way that is relevent not only to us but to the general electorate a large. Spending our time attacking Obama will get us no where. Maybe if we actually try to work with him we can solve some major problems. Then we will all get the credit, which will bring the moderates back into play after obama's second term.

    June 1, 2009 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  12. Adele

    Fear politics is over, Romney, in case you have not noticed.

    June 1, 2009 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  13. Anonymous

    I hate Mitt Romney. He represents everything I hate about politicians.

    June 1, 2009 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  14. The Unshrub

    So it would be okay if the US barrowed more money to help spend on defense? Romney doesn't know what he is talking about, all he knows is to criticize Obama every time he opens up his mouth because that is the only thing the republican base understands. They have no plan except to oppose Obama and then hope he fails to they can pick up the pieces.

    June 1, 2009 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
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