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

Romney: President putting country in jeopardy

Romney will deliver a speech focused on missile defense on Monday.'

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. Had It

    Be afraid. Live in fear. Let us save you from evil democrats. Like Cheney did from his throne for 8 years.

    The talking points of the GOP sure give you right-wing-nuts a warm fuzzy feeling, don't they?

    June 1, 2009 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  2. Big Ed

    Yup. Like what you say really matters. You were whooped in the Republican primaries and have steadily become irrelevant ever since. If you had any constructive ideas, you would be smart to state them instead of hurling insults. Hold on a second: if you had such terrific ideas, you'd be President!

    June 1, 2009 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  3. Striker

    This guy is a Baffoon. Repugs = Talibans

    June 1, 2009 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  4. Lynn

    Almost everyday CNN tells us of another Republican personally attacking the policies of president Obama. What Romney and CNN fail to include that Secretary Gates and General Petraeus, the former heroes of the Republicans, are behind the president's moves.

    Now that Romney is making speeches and beginning a four year campaign for the republican nomination he has somehow "raising his profile in the foreign policy arena". What a joke!!

    June 1, 2009 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  5. Mathew

    Whats your popularity Ratings? Mr. Romney

    June 1, 2009 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  6. Cheryl

    Mr. Romney, as a former governor you are not privy to the discussions and information that go into such decisions and as such I can safely say "you don't know what you are talking about". We can no longer focus exclusively on the military to the detriment of everything else. Apparently weapons are the end all and be all of government for Romney.

    June 1, 2009 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  7. Brian G, Sugar Land, TX

    I would love it if sanctions worked. However, with China as North Korea's main trading partner, there is little chance of success in that tactic.

    One would hope that somehow North Korea would "stub its toe" in relations with China, thereby giving the Chinese a reason to withdraw support.

    For instance...a cloud of radioactive particles from a North Korean nuclear test floating over into Chinese territory.

    Or to put it another was "It's an Il wind blows no good".

    June 1, 2009 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  8. No To Obama

    Obama got what he wanted, more people out of work and dependent on the government. Thats what an anti-christ wants, people who have nothing and will support the plans of a dictatorship. Obama got what he wanted, more people in need.

    June 1, 2009 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  9. Jake

    I hope this guy secures the GOP nomination! That way we will absolutely get eight years of OBAMA! Thank you Mitt!

    June 1, 2009 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  10. paul

    Who cares what Mitt has to say. He represents a backward party that only knows one word, NO! He was a losser in than and a losser now.

    June 1, 2009 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  11. J

    Romney is a JOKE!

    June 1, 2009 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  12. jennifer

    Romney is too policital....I don't think he'll get very far if he runs for President....He almost NEVER has anything nice to say about the President...Typical Republican and the people can read right through him.....He's another one who has to stop....

    June 1, 2009 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  13. Romney forgot more than Obama knows

    At risk CNN, not jeopardy and there is a difference.

    Romney has actually run a few things and succeeded, all Obambi can do is run his mouth.

    While North Korea is working on making and launching nukes as a way of testing the political neophyte Obambi, he is then cutting our defense mechanisms so he and his cabinet can BUY into everything and then become CZAR's in chief of EVERYTHING.

    Romney is on record saying 6 months ago that GM should have been allowed to go into chapter 11, but 50 BILLION dollars later this annointed and selected "genius" is finally coming to the same conclusion EXCEPT he wants to run it as well.

    Romney/Rice 2012.

    June 1, 2009 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  14. LB in FL

    Excuse me sir, but you with your 25 houses and millions of dollars, who lost the 2008 primary to McCain, are again wasting more of your millions by trying for the WH yet again....and are attacking Pres. Obama about military spending? Again, excuse me sir, I thought your forte was the economy and healthcare. Please, just go sell another one of your houses or go pray to Brigham Young. HA!

    June 1, 2009 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  15. Dave

    Right Mitt... everything anyone else does is wrong, you are all good, they are all evil. We get it.

    Now, can you come up with an idea of your own that doesn't sound like recycled GOP nonsense?

    You just have to have more to you than you are showing. You just have to.

    June 1, 2009 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  16. FORMER republican, NEVER again!

    911 happened during bush and cheyney's watch, how did they keep us safe? Also the president is trying to fortify ground troops instead of giving money for useless defense contracts to make some companies rich, companies which you Mitt are probably a shareholder.

    June 1, 2009 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  17. DaveF

    This is ridiculous. I know the Republicans love to use scare tactics to get what they want from naive Americans. Missile defense has never been proven to work in any capacity. It is just a project for the defense companies to make a lot of money. When it is shown to not work it will be too late to get the money back. Too late for a lot of things, actually.

    June 1, 2009 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  18. Ken in NC

    That's right Mitt. Load up the guns and shove them in the face of the world to get what you want. Mitt, the world may need to go to war but one thing is for sure and that is that the world is tired of the USA and the Russia being the bullies on the block. It's time we face the world and be come a part of it instead of the front end of it.

    If we need to fight a war or if we are attacked we will defend our country Mitt. Get a grip Mitt.

    June 1, 2009 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  19. Ernesto

    I guess if Romney wants to run for president, he better get his lame rhetoric in while the nobody republican brigade is making noise. He is nothing more than a critic and pretty empty on ideas. At least this indicates he belongs to the right party.

    June 1, 2009 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  20. PNWjim

    Mitt, if you have many houses and are rich maybe this makes sense but if are a "one of the real americans " you are struggling to get by.
    Did none of you listen to the people on election day and the changes But you go and spread fear to your base.You are no different than chenney,rush, dr. laura,coulter,rove,ect.You maybe prettier .than bush but you are the same product .
    America just got around finally to electing a person of color; the question I have, is America [ and the christians] ready for a mormon president.

    June 1, 2009 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  21. Pluto

    Mitt? Who cares? All we need to know is this: "Romney defended Cheney." Birds of a feather flock together, and in this flock they are all cuckoos.

    June 1, 2009 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  22. Enlightened Voter

    Mitt, no matter how many times you slam the President who the people picked by the way, you still won't win in the next election so give it up and go back to selling used cars. (Sorry if I offended any used car salesmen)

    June 1, 2009 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  23. Carlos

    Hope the rest of us are still here four years from now and still have the right to vote. Romney is the one we should have elected to start with.

    June 1, 2009 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  24. Larry

    Get a life Romney ...

    You couldn't even run a state well ...

    And you certainly have no clue how to run a country

    Crawl back under your religious rock ...

    And stop your treasonous verbal attacts on the best Commander and Chief this country has seen in a lifetime

    June 1, 2009 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  25. Candy West Virginia

    So last week you slammed the President for spending too much now you are slamming him for spending too little. OH, but I get it it's ok if he spends too much on the military, just not on the people right mitt???

    June 1, 2009 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
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