Romney Criticizes Obama Middle East Policy

Posted October 8th, 2012 at 3:35 pm (UTC-5)
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Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney says he would be strong on foreign policy, and he accuses President Barack Obama of being a weak leader, especially with regard to the Middle East.

In his first major foreign policy speech of the campaign Monday, Mr. Romney said that under President Obama, the United States is at the mercy of events rather than using what the challenger called its great power to shape events.

He accused the president of failing to lead in Syria, called the U.S. withdrawal of forces from Iraq “abrupt,” and said the United States and Israel are growing apart, which has emboldened Iran.

Mr. Romney also said there will be no flexibility with Russia on missile defense in Europe.

The Obama campaign swiftly responded to the Romney speech, saying there is a good reason the president leads Mr. Romney in the polls on national security. It cited the end to the war in Iraq and the killing of al-Qaida chief Osama bin Laden.

Former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, a prominent Democrat, said some of Mr. Romney's facts are “dead wrong.” She said his speech sounds good to those who are not focused on foreign policy, but was free of substance and full of what she called Cold War nostalgia.

With the election one month away, the latest polls show the two candidates virtually tied. Mr. Romney caught up after last week's first presidential debate, which focused on domestic policy. Analysts say Mr. Romney was better prepared and that the president gave an uncharacteristically lethargic performance.