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. KMAN

    Sorry Mitt ... no one is listening to your empty suit talking.

    June 1, 2009 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  2. chris24

    What a dope.

    Just what we need, to spend billions more
    on "defense".

    Maybe he can get Bush-Cheney to campaign with him.

    He's just more of the same.

    Let's talk about the important stuff, like gay marraige.....

    June 1, 2009 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  3. Kelby In Houston, TX

    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.

    $1 billison dollars from missle defense? Are serious? (yes) Isn't the Missle defense hundreds of billions of dollars? (yes) You are complaining about a billion?!? (yes) 😉 Hasn't overall spending on defense increased under Obama? (yes) If you were ignorant of all that was going on, one would believe Mittens and be very afraid for our country but his only purpose in his complaints it to generate fear and scare people into voting for him in the future.

    June 1, 2009 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  4. Sharon from MA

    You screwed over Massachusetts...you just used this state for your own ambitions...Get Lost...we don't need you screwing the country over!!!

    June 1, 2009 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  5. Unhappy

    Oh, God help us! Romney trying to pretend he is a tough guy. What a pathetic old white guy, living on fear.

    June 1, 2009 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  6. Melissa

    Just more Republican Whining because they lost.

    June 1, 2009 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  7. Ray

    Hold on, "Mitt Romney, eyeing a run at the presidency in 2012..." Hell, he's been running since President Obama took office. He's also made clear the platform he's running on, billions for the military so we can continue our global pursuit of oil and profits for the wealthy, nothing for this country's infrastructure or the middle class.

    June 1, 2009 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  8. mike

    Obama made a terrible mistake on friday by caving in like he did,now the republicans want sotomayor to apologize for what she said 8yrs ago,if obama in robert gibbs wouldhave kept their big mouths shut the republicans wont be talking about sotomayor apologizing because the gop was scared to death before the whitehouse took them off the hook.Sotomayor would have gotten 35 republicans to vote for her,but now because of gibbs in obama stupid decision to apologize sotomayor would be lucky to get even half of the republican vote,what obama did on friday was dumb in stupid,if he thought by doing what he did was going to make the situation better hes crazy,what was obama thinking,now its getting worst because the gop has turned it all around,now they goph is talking about fillibusting again,mr president when u have your enimies down never help them up ,very bad decision now u made it worst,i cant beleive obama did that,the gop was scared to death on friday but now thanx to obamas big mouth they are back in the ball game

    June 1, 2009 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  9. Rees

    I believe Romney to have unquestionable integrity. He is very responsible and trustworthy. He speaks the truth regarding his take on economic and foreign policy, and I believe mainstream America agrees with him–despite what his critics say.

    June 1, 2009 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  10. bob in LA

    Mr Romney obviously has never looked into history. More weapons has never stopped war, nor has it ever kept us safer.
    A plan to kill people is never the answer. Trying to reach peace through talking is always the answer.
    Of course if those running for the Republican presidency in 2012 agree with him- a reinactment of "High Noon" might be a much cheaper way fo deciding thier canddate.

    June 1, 2009 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  11. Obama 2.0

    Easy for armchair President wanna be's. But Romnney does not know what it is to be the President and will never know.

    June 1, 2009 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  12. kgeukes

    No Mr. Romney....Mr. Bush put us into this mess with his duty to fight his daddy's war. For someone who came from such good stock, why are you becoming a Rethuglican? Listening to Mush Limpnoid are we??

    June 1, 2009 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  13. Jeff in Virginia

    No Mitt, it is YOU who is making our country less safe with idiotic out-of-touch statements such as this.

    June 1, 2009 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  14. Steve

    Sounds like Romney's a defense industry lobbyist. A bit of fear mongering and runaway defense spending. I dont think this country has ever seen a cut in defense spending.

    June 1, 2009 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  15. Aaron

    While Mr. Romney openly criticizes the Obama administration for its domestic spending programs, Mr. Romney must admit in that same breath that the Obamas spending programs are a result of the previous administrations self serving policies and decisions which endangered every citizen of this nation financially. Mr. Romney must first admit that it was his party to who took a projected surplus and created a deficit, bungled the crisis management of a major city, and guided this country into a war of choice in Iraq.

    For Mr. Romney to criticize the Obama administration for trying to resolve a mess of problems left to it by the Bush administration and the Republican controlled congress is ridiculous and continues to sound like the Key Stone Cop would do a better and more honest job of running this country other than the Republican party.

    June 1, 2009 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  16. B Lewis in Austin

    He lost in the primaries -right? So why do his views matter?

    June 1, 2009 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  17. jack

    Romney is a Communist

    June 1, 2009 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  18. Southwestern Guy

    I hope Mitt Romney keeps running his mouth like this. It will prove to the nation was many people already know: he is NOT presidential timber!!! But, GOP, go ahead & nominate him in 2012, & he'll lose by a larger margin to Presidential Obama than Sen. John McCain did!

    June 1, 2009 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  19. Eleanor

    Has ventriloquist Cheney got his hand up dummy Romney's back, moving his mouth?

    June 1, 2009 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  20. Brian, Pensacola

    This is interesting... in the face of our military being sorely underprotected with past budgets.. Our current POTUS wants to modernize the military but with financial responsiblity.. Mitt simply says increase the budget.. one question for MItt and his supporters..Why would we continue to throw money towards outdated defense systems and programs if we can find feasible and less expensive ways of increase our methods of protection.. I guess they have missed all the reports of the excess spending and misuse that their repub buddies have doled out over the 2001 to 2008 years!

    June 1, 2009 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  21. kishen c.rao

    Bush already did put....ok..,

    June 1, 2009 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  22. Zach K


    Romney is a Jeopardy in himself because he answers yet he does not know the question entirely.

    Mitt. Move on to 2012. Failure still reaks from your 2008 3rd Place Finish. 🙂

    June 1, 2009 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  23. herome

    Mitt Romney is putting this nation in danger

    June 1, 2009 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  24. Real Change

    How come when the President was a Republican this sort of critiizism was considered to be "emboldening our enemies."

    June 1, 2009 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
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