Romney on Obama: Foreign policy sometimes 'at the mercy of events'
September 13th, 2012
01:55 PM ET
10 years ago

Romney on Obama: Foreign policy sometimes 'at the mercy of events'

Fairfax, Virginia (CNN) - Mitt Romney continued to portray President Obama as weak on foreign policy Thursday, though he did not repeat his harshest, direct criticisms from a day earlier during his first public event since four Americans were slain in Libya.

After expressing sympathy for the families of U.S. citizens killed in the Benghazi attacks, the GOP presidential candidate leveled an attack without mentioning the president's name.

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"As we watch the world today, sometimes it seems that we're at the mercy of events, instead of shaping events, and a strong America is essential to shape events," Romney told an audience gathered in a Fairfax, Virginia park.

At a press conference Wednesday, Romney accused Obama of sending "mixed messages" on U.S. policy and tied the president to a statement released a day earlier by the U.S. embassy in Egypt, saying it was "inconsistent with the principles of America."

At his Virginia rally, Romney did not repeat that blistering critique, instead transitioning into a broadside on military policy.

"This president has done something I find very hard to understand. Ever since FDR we've had the capacity to be engaged in two conflicts at once. And he's saying, 'no we're going to cut that back to only one conflict,'" Romney said, hitting Obama again on the congressionally-backed military cuts set to kick in this January.

Romney said as president he would "restore our military commitment."

"The world needs American leadership. The Middle East needs American leadership," he said. "And I intend to be a President that provides the leadership that America respects and will keep us admired throughout the world."

The former Massachusetts governor was momentarily thrown off message when he tried to hold a moment of silence in honor the Americans killed in Libya. A protester shouted: "Why are you politicizing Libya?" as Romney mentioned the deaths.

"What a tragedy to lose such a wonderful, wonderful ah, wonderful people, that have been so wonderful, and appreciate their service for the country," he said as the crowd began to chant "U-S-A" to drown out the protester. "I would offer a moment of silence but one gentleman doesn't want to be silent so we're going to keep on going."

Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • President Obama
soundoff (66 Responses)
  1. G

    A bunch of hate mongers produced an anti-muslim film to rile up hate in an effort to sway an election towards the GOP candidate inadvertently triggered the detonator of a ticking time bomb known as the Middle-East.

    September 13, 2012 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  2. Indy

    "The world needs American leadership. The Middle East needs American leadership," he said. "And I intend to be a President that provides the leadership that America respects and will keep us admired throughout the world."

    Is Romney too stupid to realize that the terrorists hope and pray that the US falls for the tactics terrorist use to engage them in war ? The terrorists want to instill terror on the US as well as punish Americans financially by sucking them inot war. Romney/Ryan would be a terrorists dream ticket because they could so easily be goated into war at the further destruction of the economy which is exactly what terrorists want.Romney is an amateur and Obama has figured it out

    September 13, 2012 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  3. Mark

    When I hear we are doing nothing, it just shows how ignorant people can be. We have sent two warships, marines and drones into Libya within 24 hours of the attack. What more can we do...invade another country, Libya.

    Also, I don't understand when yesterday Romney said we have to support American values and not apologize. Does that mean that he agrees of the content of that film. Yes under our law the filmmaker had the right to make it, but that does not mean we cannot say that the content is horribly insensitive and inflammatory..unless Mr. Romney believes that all Muslims are bad.

    September 13, 2012 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  4. Woman In California

    "He thought Palin was the better candidate."

    John McCain
    America should STILL follow that advice.

    September 13, 2012 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  5. sammieb51

    So let me get this straight – the famed and fabulous Reverend Terry Jones and his ILK put together an anti-Islam video that is totally inaccurate and if a certain faction denounces it as "garbage", they are anti-American and supporting the terrorists; if a certain faction praises it as "free speech" at work and therefore American (albeit it totally irresponsible "free speech" – right up there with yelling fire in a packed movie theater), they are the Good, God Fearing Americans (which we should all aspire to be). Personally, anything endorsed by this fruit-loop Reverend Terry Jones I would run from, but then I probably think too much. I like my men with brains and teeth!

    September 13, 2012 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  6. just sayin

    Joan in MS – For anyone questioning President Obama's leadership in the world, ask Bin Laden if he is better off now than he was four years ago ... ...

    why not ask ambassador stevens if he is better off than he was four years ago? had he served under a competent president he might be alive to answer you.

    September 13, 2012 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  7. sammieb51

    Hey, isn't (Mohammed) ALI Muslim? Does the right hate him now too?

    September 13, 2012 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  8. tor5

    More pointless drivel. The Romney presidential campaign will go down as one of the worst in modern times. In an effort to avoid taking a clear stand on any issue, they find themselves in mid September with nothing to say except incoherent critiques of the daily news. This is a model for how not to run a presidential campaign.

    September 13, 2012 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  9. Arun

    This man is a joke. He doesn't know anything about the economy, foreign policy, or how to lead. All he knows is how to outsource jobs and make money of off people loss!!!!

    September 13, 2012 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  10. Indy

    As someone previously pointed out the more Mitts meows the better Obama looks

    September 13, 2012 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  11. Howard

    The biased, partisan, main stream media has consistently promoted and sold Obama to the American public ... while trashing and demonizing his opponents. Along with the brain washed Obama zombies, they have catapulted Obama into the role of 'Fuhrer' ... and of 'Dear Leader'. The Obama Stooges love Obama more than they love America. Obama is destroying America. America is more important than Obama. Obama is expendable and replaceable ... America is not. Save America ... Elect Romney and Ryan in November !!!

    September 13, 2012 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  12. Core republican Values

    Romney is already a puppet for the terrorists, and he isn't even President.

    What a dope.

    September 13, 2012 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  13. Really?

    @sammieb51 – First- you didn't get it right. Terry Jones had nothing to do with the video. Second – the issue about the video is not whether it is accurate or garbage; the issue IS we allow free speech in this country and will defend everyone's right to free speech. If you want to bow to the mus lims and allow them to dictate what we can or can not do that's your choice but realize then that YOU are allowing terrorists to rule you . No, you don't think too much; you just don't understand some very vital truths. I like my men with brains, too; that's why I'm NOT voting for 0 and Biden.

    September 13, 2012 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  14. RealityBites

    Obama's foriegn policy has collapsed. It began with the Cairo speech. It began with the apologies to Iran. It began with regret for the Iraq war. It began with the so-called outreach, and it's completely collapsed. Obama has gotten nowhere on Iran while they have gotten a lot closer to the bomb.
    These are the fruits of Obama's policies of appeasement and apology.

    September 13, 2012 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  15. incredulous

    What a pathetic shell of a man. He needs to go live in whatever country he's stashed his money in.

    September 13, 2012 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  16. thetruthandnothingbutthetruth

    @ superD
    off ur meds or what? dude u sound crazy!

    September 13, 2012 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
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