Romney: US Leadership in the World Has Diminished Under Obama

By Patrick Goodenough | August 29, 2012 | 8:26 PM EDT

Mitt Romney meets with former Polish president and anti-communist trade unionist Lech Walesa in Gdansk on July 30, 2012. (Photo: Lech Walesa Institute)

( – America’s leadership in the world has diminished under President Obama, who in his dealings with other countries “has given trust where it is not earned, insult where it is not deserved, and apology where it is not due,” Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney charged Wednesday.

In a message expected to be repeated later in the day in speeches at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Romney told an American Legion conference in Indiana that Obama had moved away from a U.S. foreign policy fundamental – “to work closely with our allies so that we can deter aggression before it breaks out into open conflict.”

“We used to nurture our alliances and stand up for our common values,” he said. “But when it comes to friends and allies like Poland, the Czech Republic, and Israel – and with nations that oppose us like Iran and Cuba – President Obama has moved in the opposite direction.

“Our foreign policy should take a page from the U.S. Marine Corps: No better friend, no worse enemy,” Romney added, citing the motto of the 1st Marine Division.

The former Massachusetts governor recalled his visit over the summer to Britain, Israel and Poland, and quoted former Polish president and anti-communist trade unionist Lech Walesa as having asked him, “Where is American leadership? The world needs America to lead!”

“I came back home with an even deeper appreciation of the importance of strong ties with our allies – and with an even firmer conviction that there is a role that only America can play in the world,” Romney continued.

“The United Nations is a place where nations can talk, but leadership – leadership that preserves peace and promotes freedom – must come from the United States of America.”

Obama has made deeper engagement with the U.N. – along with “in full and on time” U.S. funding for the world body – a foreign policy priority, characterizing it as an indispensable institution, albeit a flawed one.

Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who was due to address the party convention on Wednesday evening, told CBS’s This Morning that “the United States’ voice has been muted” under Obama.

“When the United States’ voice is muted, the world is a more dangerous place.”

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Patrick Goodenough
Patrick Goodenough
Spencer Journalism Fellow