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Romney to hit Obama over leaks and defense cuts

at 12:36 PM ET, 07/24/2012

RENO, Nev. — Mitt Romney, who will travel abroad late Tuesday for a six day trip, is set to criticize President Obama’s record on foreign policy and call him out over leaks and defense cuts.


Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney hosts a small-business roundtable during a campaign stop at Endural LLC, Monday, July 23, 2012, in Costa Mesa, Calif. (Jason Redmond - Associated Press)

In a speech at the Veterans of Foreign Wars on Tuesday, where Obama appeared Monday, Romney will call the leaking of information “a national security crisis.” Details about defense department raids — including the attack that led to the death of Osama bin Laden — appeared in the press.

“Exactly who in the White House betrayed these secrets? Did a superior authorize it? These are things that Americans are entitled to know — and they are entitled to know right now. If the President believes — as he said last week — that the buck stops with him, then he owes all Americans a full and prompt accounting of the facts,” he will say according to excerpts. “And let me be clear: These events make the decision we face in November all the more important. What kind of White House would reveal classified material for political gain? I’ll tell you right now: Mine won’t.”

The Obama administration has said it will punish anyone linked to the leaks and the Justice Department has appointed two U.S. attorneys to investigate.

Romney will also go after Obama over the across the board cuts to the Defense Department set to go into effect in January if Congress cannot reach an agreement on deficit reduction.

“Don’t bother trying to find a serious military rationale behind any of this, unless that rationale is wishful thinking. Strategy is not driving President Obama’s massive defense cuts. In fact, his own Secretary of Defense warned that these reductions would be ‘devastating.’ And he is right,” Romney is set to say. “That devastation starts at home. These cuts would only weaken an already stretched VA system and our solemn commitment that every veteran receives care second to none. I will not allow that to happen.”

Romney will meet with foreign leaders in Israel, Poland and Britain, and his speech Tuesday will touch on China and Iran — it's unclear whether Romney will detail any new policy.

As a former one-term governor, Romney has little foreign policy experience, and polls show that Obama leads on the issue.

On the stump, Romney has often criticized Obama for lacking a coherent and strong foreign policy vision with America as a global leader, and has accused Obama of apologizing for America.

“I am an unapologetic believer in the greatness of this country. I am not ashamed of American power. I take pride that throughout history our power has brought justice where there was tyranny, peace where there was conflict, and hope where there was affliction and despair,” Romney will say. “I do not view America as just one more point on the strategic map, one more power to be balanced. I believe our country is the greatest force for good the world has ever known, and that our influence is needed as much now as ever. And I am guided by one overwhelming conviction and passion: This century must be an American Century.”

 
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