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      Romney Says America Must Continue To Lead, Slams Obama's Policy

      Finally moving beyond the economy, Romney told the Veterans of Foreign Wars that there was no substitute for American leadership.
      By Amiel Ungar
      First Publish: 7/25/2012, 10:44 AM

      Mitt Romney
      Mitt Romney
      Reuters

      Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has kept the focus on the economy, even when speaking to audiences who ostensibly called for a different focus.

      In speaking to black and Hispanic groups, Romney mentions the toll that the troubled economy is taking on job opportunities for minority groups.

      Tuesday, speaking to the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the candidate claimed that the economic bungling was damaging American military strength and preparedness.

      However as Romney embarks on a trip that will take him to Great Britain, Israel and Poland he is trying to burnish his foreign policy credentials where he trails President Barack Obama in the public opinion polls.

      Anticipating that the assassination of Osama bin Laden will feature in the Obama campaign, Romney tried to undermine this achievement by claiming that the White House had leaked classified information to make Obama look good. He was using the findings of the liberal California Senator Dianne Feinstein, Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, who, while exonerating Obama personally, found the administration guilty of some of the security leaks that resulted in the compromising of American intelligence activity in Pakistan.

      "Whoever provided classified information to the media, seeking political advantage for the administration, must be exposed, dismissed, and punished.  The time for stonewalling is over. 

      "It is not enough to say the matter is being looked into, and leave it at that.  When the issue is the political use of highly sensitive national security information, it is unacceptable to say, 'We’ll report our findings after Election Day.;” 

      Prior to visiting Israel, Romney criticized the Obama policy of creating space between the United States and Israel “The people of Israel deserve better than what they have received from the leader of the free world.  And the chorus of accusations, threats, and insults at the United Nations should never again include the voice of the President of the United States”

      Romney strongly attacked the administration's "reset policy" with Russia. To advance the policy, the administration undercut Poland and the Czech Republic and went back on the agreement to station anti-missile systems on their territory. In return, the US received unstinting Russian backing for the brutal Syrian regime and contempt from Vladimir Putin.

      Romney also promised to rein in Chinese cheating on trade and currency manipulation.

      Responding to Obama's charges before the same audience, on the previous day, that his opposition to the withdrawal from Afghanistan was undermining American security, Romney shot back " President Obama would have you believe that anyone who disagrees with his decisions is arguing for endless war.  But the route to more war – and to potential attacks here at home – is a politically timed retreat."

      On the Middle East, in addition to supporting Israel, Romney tried to position himself as stronger on Iran. He opposed any exemptions from sanctions and would agree only to a total ban on Iranian uranium enrichment.

      While promising to assist Egypt, he appeared to set conditions for such assistance, such as the maintenance of peace with Israel and the promotion of peace throughout the region.

      To a very sympathetic audience Romney reverted to the peace through strength argument and a piece based on American leadership:

      "It is a mistake – and sometimes a tragic one – to think that firmness in American foreign policy can bring only tension or conflict.  The surest path to danger is always weakness and indecision.  In the end, it is resolve that moves events in our direction, and strength that keeps the peace.

      "I will not surrender America’s leadership in the world. We must have confidence in our cause, clarity in our purpose, and resolve in our might.

      "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."