Romney to deliver major foreign policy address next week
October 4th, 2012
07:54 AM ET
10 years ago

Romney to deliver major foreign policy address next week

(CNN) – Mitt Romney will deliver a major speech on foreign policy Monday in Virginia, an aide to the Republican presidential nominee said on Wednesday, as new bloodshed emerged in Syria and fresh questions surfaced about President Barack Obama's administration's handling of the consulate attack in Libya.

The speech, which a source said would take place at the Virginia Military Institute in Lexington, comes after weeks in which foreign policy has taken a new role on the campaign trail. Romney has criticized Obama for his dealings with Iran and China, though he has remained largely silent on the lead-up and aftermath of the attack in Libya.

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In an op-ed article last week in the Wall Street Journal, Romney assailed Obama for his handling of events in the Middle East. The piece, which recycled much of what Romney has said on the stump and in interviews, asserted Obama has been weak in promoting American interests as various events unfold in the Middle East, including in Libya, Egypt, Syria and Iran.

Romney has latched onto a comment Obama made during an interview in September calling incidents of unrest in the region "bumps in the road," saying it reflected a dangerous nonchalance toward serious issues of national security.

"These developments are not, as President Obama says, mere 'bumps in the road,'" Romney wrote in the op-ed. "They are major issues that put our security at risk."

Romney wrote Obama had placed the United States "at the mercy of events rather than shaping them."

"We're not moving them in a direction that protects our people or our allies. And that's dangerous," Romney continues. "If the Middle East descends into chaos, if Iran moves toward nuclear breakout, or if Israel's security is compromised, America could be pulled into the maelstrom."

In his article, and in speeches, Romney has not specifically addressed questions about security at the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya, ahead of the September 11 attack, which resulted in the deaths of four Americans, including the ambassador to Libya.

Immediately following the incident, which coincided with a separate protest at the American embassy in Cairo, Romney accused Obama's administration of sending "mixed signals" on American values. He was roundly criticized, including by some Republicans, for crudely injecting politics into a dangerous international situation.

Since his initial statements, new developments have called into question the administration's handling of security the Benghazi consulate, both before and after the attack.

CNN's Rachel Streitfeld, Peter Hamby and Kevin Liptak contributed to this report.

Filed under: 2012 • Foreign Policy • Mitt Romney • Virginia
soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. Linda Mash

    Another captive audience for Romney? ?? Virginia Military...Mitt spent 2 1/2 years recruiting for the Mormon Church in France draft dodging while young men and women were dying in Vietnam. Then goes to a military institute to lay out his plan for America. Duh... That will fly like Ryan's speech to the AARP did.

    October 4, 2012 08:25 am at 8:25 am |
  2. ST

    I said it earlier that past behaviour always predicts future ones. This is Romney who put his own family member (dog Seamus) on top of their car roof-rack and traveled all longway through to Canada. The man who cut his classmate hair without having and sympathy at all. These stories came along and I wonder why our President didn't take them seriously. The President thought he was debating the civilised person, unfortunately he was wrong. Romney was quite arrogant during the debate. He decided to do whatever he wanted and the moderator with his negligence let him act accordingly.
    Jumping onto foreign affairs speech now is totally ridiculous. He tried it at the first place( when our ambassador was killed in Libya) and he was hammered vigorously by the media.
    It is so sad to civilised citizens to watch this happening. This is not the way we were brought up and this not the way we should go forward.

    October 4, 2012 08:38 am at 8:38 am |
  3. curious

    Republicans start wars, and that is exactly what Romney will do if elected.

    October 4, 2012 08:53 am at 8:53 am |
  4. Questioningarticles

    CNN needs to improve their coverage of the debates. The little polls about Joe the Plumber, etc have no place and are distracting. Also, the poll taken during the debate reflected a different result. The difference was only two or three points in Obama's favor.

    October 4, 2012 08:55 am at 8:55 am |
  5. tee1227

    Here we go again the Republicans want to go to war !

    October 4, 2012 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
  6. Wake up People!

    A speech coming from a draft dodger with 5 draft dodging sons who is just itching to put us in another war. They ought to run him out of the room. But no the only thing that matters to many, is Willard is the right complexion to be POTUS, whether he is a liar or not.

    I still support my President.

    October 4, 2012 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  7. Anonymous

    Best quote of the night was David Gergen: "Romney was hungry." No doubt Gergen also explained that when a man is as hungry as Mitt Romney is to get his "just" desserts, he's willing to say anything, do anything. After awhile, one has to shrug their shoulders. Apparently the media has already determined this election is a lost cause ... Romney CAN buy the White House, with their blessing.

    October 4, 2012 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  8. Joan

    That's great because he has so much foreign policy to talk about. He can start with his trip to London where he insulted the Olympic committee and angered the Conservative PM, the mayor of London and all of the newspapers. Maybe he will outline how he will help broker a peace settlement between Israel and Palestine after he has insulted the Palestines so often. Maybe he will talk about America's biggest threat which he stated was Russia. Isn't the cold war over? Maybe he will outline which wars he wants to start, perhaps in Iran and Syria. He should talk about his criticism of Pres. Obama's handling of the violence in Libya before the violence had even begun. That was pretty strange. Is he psychic now? He oould talk about Darryl Issa's hearings into how the State Department handled the security in Libya even though the investigations are still under way. Kind of premature don't you think? Maybe when Issa gets politicians back in town they can actually do some real work like passing the farm bill or jobs bill. Wishful thinking. Maybe he will quote the overseas polls that overwhelmingly hope that Pres. Obama will be re-elected. Yes, sir. He's go lots to talk about.

    October 4, 2012 09:24 am at 9:24 am |