BURLINGTON, Mass. — Amid violent flare-ups in the Middle East, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is trying to prove his own readiness to be commander in chief and force President Obama to answer for turmoil in places like Libya, where terrorists killed the U.S. ambassador on the anniversary of 9/11.

Romney advisers argue that the stepped-up foreign policy criticism dovetails with a key piece of his central argument: Obama is in over his head, and the country will be worse off if he gets a second term.

Yet, there’s a disconnect between what Romney and his team are talking about nationally and what he is running on in the states, where his TV advertising is largely focused on the economy and jobs — voters’ No. 1 issue — ahead of Wednesday’s presidential debate. All that’s leaving Romney open to criticism that his campaign is searching for a winning pitch just one month before the election.

“Our country seems to be at the mercy of events rather than shaping them. We’re not moving them in a direction that protects our people or our allies. And that’s dangerous,” Romney wrote in a column published Monday in The Wall Street Journal.

The Obama campaign reacted forcefully, calling Romney’s foreign policy stances “incoherent” and “reckless, erratic and irresponsible.”

Romney running mate Paul Ryan piled on, telling radio host Laura Ingraham that Obama’s administration hasn’t given the public the full story on the circumstances that led to the death of U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens in Benghazi, Libya.

“It’s really indicative of a broader failure of this administration’s foreign policy and the crisis that is taking place across the Middle East,” Ryan said.

Romney’s intense focus on foreign policy is intended to undercut what the Obama campaign has seen as the president’s ironclad international affairs credentials — and send a message to voters that they can trust the Republican on foreign policy despite limited experience. To that end, Romney’s advisers said he’s planning a major foreign policy speech, to be delivered sometime after Wednesday’s debate.

Obama campaign spokeswoman Jen Psaki was dismissive of the argument.

“There is no op-ed or no speech which we’ve heard he may or may not give at some point that is going to change the view of the American people that he has been reckless, erratic and irresponsible on foreign policy issues every time he has had an opportunity to speak to them,” Psaki told reporters in Henderson, Nev., where Obama is preparing for the debate.

y.

 

filed under:

Augusta and Waterville news

Get news and events from your towns in your inbox every Friday.


  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.