In Foreign Policy Speech, Romney Says He Would’ve Continued Iraq War

The Daily Banter Headline Grab. From Politico:

LEXINGTON, Va. — Using his harshest language yet, Mitt Romney charged Monday that President Barack Obama has made America less safe during his time in office, citing the recent attacks on the U.S. Consulate in Libya as a case in point.

In a tough foreign policy speech at the Virginia Military Institute here, Romney linked the attacks in Benghazi — including the killing of U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens — to a broader critique of Obama’s foreign policy as naïve and weak.

“When we look at the Middle East today — Iran closer than ever to nuclear weapons capability, with the conflict in Syria threatening to destabilize the region, with violent extremists on the march and with an American ambassador and three others dead likely at the hands of Al Qaeda affiliates — it is clear that the risk of conflict in the region is higher now than when the president took office,” Romney told 500 cadets and local supporters in a 23-minute speech. “America’s security and the cause of freedom cannot afford four more years like the last four years.”

He mentioned the killing of Osama bin Laden – Obama’s biggest overseas triumph – but Romney credited “military and intelligence professionals.”

The former Massachusetts governor also criticized Obama for ending the war in Iraq, one of the president’s proudest accomplishments.

“America’s ability to influence events for the better in Iraq has been undermined by the abrupt withdrawal of our entire troop presence,” he said. “The president tried — he tried, but he also failed — to secure a responsible and gradual draw-down that would have better secured our gains.”

Romney also outlined what he’d do as president in a host of hot spots, trying to fill in a foreign policy vision that has been criticized as opaque.

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