Mitt Romney at Citadel
- Reverse Navy & Missile Defense Cuts
Octorber 10, 2011.
In U.S. politics, Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney pledged
Friday to strengthen the U.S. military to deal with threats from abroad
if he is elected president next year. The former Massachusetts governor
and current Republican front-runner gave a sweeping foreign policy
address at the Citadel, a military college in South Carolina.
presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney speaks
to Citadel cadets and supporters during a campaign speech inside Mark
Clark Hall on the Citadel campus in Charleston, South Carolina, Octorber
Mitt Romney, while sharply criticizing President Barack Obama, told
cadets at the Citadel that when America is strong, the world is safer,
and that the United States should embrace its foreign policy challenges
and not crawl back into an isolationist shell.
“I will not surrender America’s role in the world," he said. "This is
very simple. If you do not want America to be the strongest nation on
Earth, I am not your president. You have that president today.”
Romney’s speech came on the 10th anniversary of the U.S.-led war in
Afghanistan and he said if elected next year he would order a full
review of the transition to the Afghan military handling the war but
gave few other details.
He said he would also work to restore U.S. defense capabilities by
reversing cuts to the U.S. Navy and missile defense systems.
The former Massachusetts governor listed his top foreign policy concerns
as Islamic fundamentalism, the struggle for freedom in the Middle East,
the threat of failed nation states and what he called anti-American
regimes in Iran, North Korea, Venezuela and Cuba.
“American foreign policy must be prosecuted with clarity and resolve,"
said Romney. "Our friends and allies have no doubts about where we
stand. And neither should our rivals. If the world knows we are
resolute, our allies will be comforted and those who wish us harm will
be far less tempted to test that resolve.”
Romney's critique was quickly dismissed at the White House by
presidential spokesman Jay Carney.
"His record on foreign policy and national security policy speaks for
itself. We are stronger. We are safer. We have taken the fight to our
principal enemy with a level of aggression and success that is
unprecedented," said Carney.
Romney and the other Republican contenders generally focus on the
domestic economy and a critique of President Obama in their campaign
speeches, and foreign policy has received significantly less attention.
But one of Romney’s main rivals, Texas Governor Rick Perry, recently
suggested the U.S. may need to send troops into neighboring Mexico to
deal with violent drug cartels.
way that we were able to stop the drug cartels in Colombia was with a
coordinated effort," said Perry. "It may require our military in Mexico
working in concert with them to kill these drug cartels and to keep them
off of our border and to destroy their networks.”
Quinnipiac pollster Peter Brown says American voters are far more
focused on economic issues for the 2012 election than foreign policy
“Mr. Obama’s numbers went up somewhat after Osama bin Laden was killed
and then they went back down again," he said. "I think that is a
reflection of the fact that to voters, issues one through 129 are the
economy. Everything else pales.”
Foreign policy issues could come up at the next Republican candidate’s
debate, which will be held Tuesday in the early primary state of New