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. Party Crasher

    Nice try Mitt, didn't buy it then, not buying it now.

    June 1, 2009 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  2. T KS

    What the bleep does Romney know about foreign policy. Another joke perpetrated by the Go(o)p.

    June 1, 2009 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  3. America Shrugged

    Some liberal media huh? Nothing but stories on Republicans and what they have to say and think about Obama and his agenda and policies.

    June 1, 2009 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  4. sensible Cape Coral FL

    The acid test of genuine criticism is the willingness or the ability (?) to come up with a better idea. hmmmmmm

    June 1, 2009 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  5. stevetall

    Why are we still listening to this religious zealot? Mitt, you lost the campaign for a reason: Your a wealthy douche bag who has little or no connection with the rest of America. You simply don't understand the real world. Time for you to retire fro politics and leave us all alone!

    June 1, 2009 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  6. kim

    Romney has underestimated just how irrelevent he has become. The Repubs simply need to sit down and shut up for a while and hope the public forgets some of the absurdity that this part represents.

    June 1, 2009 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  7. Repugs are Thugs

    Mitt Romney will never see the White House. Give it up dude. All that you stand for, the majority of the American people voted against. Not in this lifetime sweetie.

    June 1, 2009 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  8. barry

    Who is this guy? What is he talking about? Why is he campagning so early?

    June 1, 2009 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  9. Kaye -Jacksonville FL

    And who is listening to Mitt Romney these days, except that same old stale fraction of the electorate who still wears the moniker of "conservative Republican"?? Romney and the rest of his ilk can keep ranting against Obama, but let's remember that Obama WON the election along with a good many other Democrats...the voters have spoken and they're not speaking the same language as the Republicans...

    June 1, 2009 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  10. Aaron

    On the military spending cuts, you can’t have your cake and eat it too. While, defense spending is important to our defense, so is financial solvency. Mr. Romney while trying to make a case for more spending on missile defense is unfounded as we have the most robust and strategic missile defense program in existence already. As if North Korea could not be thwarted by a strikes from Japan as it’s the closes U.S. ally besides South Korea.

    And lastly Mr. Romney must state the actual numbers that are currently spent on our missile defense program, as if the Obama administration canceled a missile defense spending, yeah right, he may be different but he is certainly not stupid. Mr. Romney needs to get real.

    June 1, 2009 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  11. Alan in Marietta

    This guy's claim to fame was that he was a governor. He has absolutely no foreign policy experience, never served in the military or Congress. He can only discuss what someone has told him or something he has read.

    June 1, 2009 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  12. Charles

    Mr. Romney, the country has been in jeopardy BEFORE Obama took the office.

    June 1, 2009 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  13. Gator

    Strong Defense = Safety, Duhhhh

    June 1, 2009 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  14. MM

    Mitt Romney is unlikeable and smarmy. He can't be trusted.

    June 1, 2009 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  15. where were you Romney

    when wall street and its agents in washington were stealing left and right, bankrupting main street, for the last three decades?

    busy trying to grab a bigger piece of the loot for yourself and your own clients?



    June 1, 2009 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  16. Moderate Republican

    Obama, will listen to his generals on the ground before he listens to Romney!!! This talk of defense cuts, are ultimately a lie(TIME magazine breaks down the defense budget)....The defense budget spends about 3 billion more than the last Bush budget, yet cuts away at cold war defense spending.....Being that the cold war is over......We've already heard from Defense Secretary Gates this weekend not ruling out anything short of a strike on N. Korea's nuke systems if things persist......These unelected officals have no respect, nor can they read the future....I predict that we will see Obama tough on many fronts in defense, and diplomatic posture......
    Let us not forget, we can't stretch our military too thin, we have a huge footprint in the middle east!! Stop trying to comment on the Presidents' decisions or strategies, before they're made!!

    June 1, 2009 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  17. DBMilford

    Romney is clown. "Which way the wind blows Romney" as we know him here in Massachusetts. He's a fake tough guy though he's pretty tough when it comes to laying off workers.

    June 1, 2009 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  18. Allan

    Mitt Romney is not even an elected official and has no access to any of the classified workings of our national security apparatus. His opinion on this topic is no more relevant than that of the guy who drains my septic tank, though I find it very easy to confuse the two of them, as they are both adept at sucking scum.

    June 1, 2009 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  19. redleg

    Why should we listen to national security advice from a chickenhawk who thinks RVing through Iowa is the same as going on patrol in Fallujah?

    June 1, 2009 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  20. Linda - WI

    Reslugs made the US vunerable. Remember we were attacked with on their blind watch and because of their denial even when warned of planes hitting buildings at the time.

    June 1, 2009 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  21. Realistic

    The problem with Mitt is that he is still single focused on one political base. Until republicans learn that they must reach beyond their base, the republicans will only see the inside of the White House as a guest of a Democratic president. Mitt, Huckabee, Newt, Palin and the rest of the republicans must offer a clear plan to the American people if they want our trust and our vote. This is the mountain they have to climb and this will not be accomplished if they continue to refer to their old play book written by the fringe members of their party.
    The republicans still believe that they are the party of national security. The truth is that under a republican president the military has been weakened by two wars which has lasted over 6 years each. Our men and women are exhausted from fighting on two fronts and due to the irresponsible behavior of the Bush/Cheney administration, our military is stretched thin. So when Mitt or any other republican talk about national security, remind them that they are the party of irresponsibility when it comes to national security.

    June 1, 2009 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  22. Bruce

    Funny how this guy can sale his houses and most poor americans get kicked out of theres.

    June 1, 2009 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  23. Bill

    Why is it that conservatives come off like scared little boys? What are they so afraid of? North Korea isn't going to launch a missle attack on the USA. If they did, it would be national suicide, and even Kim Jung IL knows it. If Mitt Romney truly cared about freedom, he wouldn't be a Republican.

    June 1, 2009 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  24. Brian0901

    More scare tactics from the republicans. I guess when you don't have a solid platform to stand on it is easier to scare people into voting for you.

    June 1, 2009 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  25. Simmy

    Why didn't you help FP Bush, Mr. Romney? Why did you and others sit on your laurels and let Bush take this country down? This country will be best served if you keep your tidbits to yourself......We had a dose of you.....It was not very tasty.......President Obama has confidence in himself and his abilities to help build a better America.....You have confidence in your wealth......Big difference.....

    June 1, 2009 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
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