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. Eric


    Stop with the scare tactics. We are not buying it anymore. If the GOP doesnt have guns, gays, and religion to talk about they shut up. Obama's foreign policies are being welcomed around the world and he is doing what should have been done BEFORE the war on Iraq was put into play. Stop. Stop. Stop. If it were up to the GOP the USA would do nothing but start wars. Go home Mitt, nobody is listening to you.....

    June 1, 2009 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  2. James M. Holmes

    Ugh! Can CNN stop printing the treasonis rantings of some far-right, has-been nut for just one day?

    Seems some Republicans WANT us to get hit again so they can spin it to their advantage... Party over country with some of these traitors!

    June 1, 2009 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  3. The Party of NO is only “pro-life” to save a zygote now, so it can then kill the “babies” 18 years later as soldiers in an elective religious war.

    As with most neo-cons, this one never let's the facts get in the way of a good chance to progress the republican agenda of seeing to it that "America fails".

    It was R. Gates that requested the decrease in the missile defense system, NOT President Obama. Robert Gates is a republican and was appointed to the position by the shrub.

    So, again mittens, you are entitled to your opinion but not "your" set of facts.

    June 1, 2009 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  4. Farnk, Las Vegas

    So Mitt thinks the road to 2012 is by saying what Cheney and Rush say? Mitt will follow Cheney and Rush right off the cliff. IDIOT.

    June 1, 2009 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  5. meek

    Obama has done nothing to make this country unsafe. Romney is a joke. Just another religous freak who prays on the weak-minded. He figures if there is a crowd of people who fear God, then he certainly can make them fear anything. Enough already of the Republican nonsense attempting to use the military to conjure up votes. I mean how tiresome is this!?

    June 1, 2009 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  6. Victory Gin

    Take off that helmet of hair and put yourself to bed, old man. The only thing you have any authority on is how to hire and fire illegal immigrants.
    You're creepy and you look as if you reek of pine sap and hairspray...

    June 1, 2009 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  7. Chad

    How come when every time this man speaks I feel like even he doesn't buy it! He strikes me as a fairly reasonable man, Mormon religion and all (I am athiest)! I am really getting sick of watching good men turn into bad ones to get elected, see: John McCain for example. These guys get their "stratagists" who tell them they won't get elected unless they buy into the whole GOP "game plan (use game plan VERY loosely)." There should be enough room in the GOP for someone who is Pro-Choice, pro gay marriage, but doesn't want the government to spend like crazy, wants strong defenses and the U.S. to lead by example. Sadly there is not room in this party nor do I think there ever will be. If I have to choose between spending too much and losing my soul I choose spending too much!

    June 1, 2009 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  8. Staunch Democrat

    GOP Translation of we will not hesitate to praise the president when we agree with him: We will give him "back-handed" compliments, such as thanks for keeping some of Bush's policies, although you should have never reversed them in the first place.

    Its very "easy" to be a critic, but why weren't you feeding McCain/Palin all these wonderful insightful ideas during the campaign?

    Suddenly the GOP has all the right ideas come January 21st, 2009 but didn't have a clue for the previous 8 years.

    June 1, 2009 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  9. Larry

    The Care Of Freedom ...

    What a joke

    The expression on his face says it all ...

    The lights are on but nobody's home ...

    Brainless religious freak ...

    June 1, 2009 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  10. JT from Tampa

    He who would be king

    June 1, 2009 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  11. Pete

    I'm curious as to how Mitt has overlooked the hit our budget took when we borrowed over two trillion dollars from China for our elective war in Iraq. I guess if all you have is a hammer, the whole world looks like a nail.

    June 1, 2009 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  12. Radical Centrist

    Sorry Mitt, while I believe you have real good economic skills (the most important skill set IMHO), the fact is the 'base' wont vote for you because the born agin'ers feel Mormons are a CULT.

    The 'Tent'...aint a tent.

    June 1, 2009 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  13. Lynda/Minnesota

    Domestic spending versus defense spending has been an age old argument with the republicans. Reagan used it ad nauseam during his two presidental runs and as president spent trillions on defense while running the economy to the ground.

    To coin a phrase which has been stated again and again on this very forum, be afraid, be very afraid. . .

    It works great with the base, eh Mitt?

    June 1, 2009 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  14. Fitz

    And we should care what Romney thinks why? We all know he doesn't support The Obama policy, this is just part of the ole loyal opposition routine.

    June 1, 2009 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  15. Dave in Nevada

    Just keep preaching this nonsense to the choir Mitt. It's one of those "party of NO" subjects that endears the Republican party to the 24% of voters still listening to what conservatives have to say.

    June 1, 2009 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  16. katiec

    The borrowing was never before attempted because our country has never before been in the financial crisis it is in. Even with the Great Depression there was substantial manufacuring in our country.
    He fails to mention what the republicans have done to oiur country,
    that the cost of the wars were not included in the deficit figures and
    the pentagon has had a free rein on their sometime questionable
    spending. If all their waste was cut perhaps they would not need
    additional funds?
    Am so tired of CNN posting and supporting everything the wannabes, has beens and blowhards. Will they ever equal out the parties, both on web and TV and report with integrity?

    June 1, 2009 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  17. Monrob

    Get lost in Utah, you disgust me.

    June 1, 2009 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  18. drman

    Why would anyone listen or care what this blather-mouth, or any of the Rethugs (Insanity, Fatbaugh, O'really, Newtey, or Stickgirl) has to say??
    They are not elected officials......They're Repug Blather Heads with no Ideas! They Sell Books!! Nobody with a brain should even be listening to these Losers.

    June 1, 2009 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  19. J.Crobuzon

    When Bush was president, Rush used to call this kind of talk "emboldening America's enemies." Seriously, since Reagan went senile halfway through his second term, no one has paid any attention to Daniel Ortega. He was a strawman that the GOP used to wave around as proof that Commies were everywhere. Nobody bothers to rebut South Park or The Simpsons either, dude. Don't have a cow.

    June 1, 2009 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  20. wwf

    You are who? You won what election? Are you in the house or senate?
    Does what you say really matter except to yourself? Not

    June 1, 2009 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  21. Avi Shlomo

    what qualifies you to make such a judgment? The electorates from your party voted for some one else and obviously citing that you can't lead and someone else can do better. put a sock in it ex-governor!! Get a job!!

    June 1, 2009 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  22. Jayden,FL

    Shut Up Romney!

    June 1, 2009 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  23. eric

    Mitt just like the other buffons who call themselves Americans!! If God was a Democrat these a–holes would stil cry and moan.What a bunch of knee jerks.Mitt you lost in your party,that should tell you something duh!! And you just like the other buffon have never served a day in the armed forces. What in the heck do you know other than these projects would prevent you and your fat cat freinds form robbing America of monster amounts of $$$$$$.

    June 1, 2009 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  24. Free from Rethuglican rule

    Fear and smear, cut taxes, fear and smear, gay marriage, fear and smear, take your guns, fear and smear, dril baby drill, fear and smear, etc, etc, etc....... There you go, the Rethuglican speeches from here to election day. Next story please!!!!!!!

    June 1, 2009 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  25. Jonathan

    I don't think Romney has the slightest idea what "regime-crippling" sanctions are. Does he not think that China and Russia will keep North Korea afloat? China will do everything possible to keep millions of starving Koreans from flooding over into their borders. All that more U.S. sanctions will do is cause a few more Koreans to die – Kim is going to get his.

    June 1, 2009 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
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