Delivering his first major foreign policy address of his 2012 campaign, Romney said he would try to work in concert with multilateral institutions such as the United Nations. But too often, he said, they become “forums for the tantrums of tyrants.” Romney said his administration would act alone whenever necessary to protect national security interests.
“This century must be an American century,” Romney said. “In an American century, America leads the free world and the free world leads the entire world.
“God did not create this country to be a nation of followers. America is not destined to be one of several equally balanced global powers. America must lead the world, or someone else will. Without American leadership, without clarity of American purpose and resolve, the world becomes a far more dangerous place, and liberty and prosperity would surely be among the first casualties.”
Speaking against the backdrop of about 200 uniformed cadets here at the Citadel, a South Carolina military college that has sent more than 1,400 alumni to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Romney assailed President Obama’s foreign policies. In his 23-minute speech, Romney said Obama’s agenda is undermining the nation’s economy, defense and “the enduring strength of our values.”
“This is America’s moment,” Romney said. “We should embrace the challenge, not shrink from it, not crawl into an isolationist shell, not wave the white flag of surrender, nor give in to those who assert that America’s time has passed. That’s utter nonsense.
“An eloquently justified surrender of world leadership is still surrender. I will not surrender America’s role in the world. This is very simple: If you do not want America to be the strongest nation on Earth, I’m not your president. You have that president today.”
Romney said he would “apply the full spectrum of hard and soft power to influence events before they erupt into conflict,” adding that the nation must maintain military supremacy.
“It is far too easy for a president to jump from crisis to crisis, dealing with one hot spot after another,” Romney said. “But to do so is to be shaped by events rather than to shape events. To avoid this paralyzing seduction of action rather than progress, a president must have a broad vision of the world coupled with clarity of purpose.”