From NBC News First Read
Romney will deliver a 30-minute address, titled "The Mantle of Leadership," later Monday at the Virginia Military Institute, his 10th address on the topic of foreign policy since summer 2011.
. . . It will include new details on how Romney would address current global hotspots and repeat regular stump speech staples – such as the importance of averting planned defense cuts, expanding and reinvesting in the U.S. military and working closely with allies abroad, especially Israel.
. . . Romney’s remarks also attempt to stake out a more activist public position than President Obama on supporting the rebels in Syria's civil war. Romney plans to say that he believes in working with partner nations to arm rebels fighting the government of Syrian President Bashir al-Assad.
He would equip the rebels – “who share our values” -- with heavy weapons to take out "tanks, helicopters and fighter jets," according to the remarks. The Obama administration has refrained from doing so out of concern that the weapons would end up in terrorist hands, according to The New York Times.
Transcript of Prepared Speech
In Syria, I will work with our partners to identify and organize those members of the opposition who share our values and ensure they obtain the arms they need to defeat Assad’s tanks, helicopters, and fighter jets. Iran is sending arms to Assad because they know his downfall would be a strategic defeat for them. We should be working no less vigorously with our international partners to support the many Syrians who would deliver that defeat to Iran—rather than sitting on the sidelines. It is essential that we develop influence with those forces in Syria that will one day lead a country that sits at the heart of the Middle East.
We're not going to be lectured by someone who has been an unmitigated disaster on foreign policy every time he's dipped his toe in the foreign policy waters. The only person who has offended Europe more is probably Chevy Chase.
~ Obama spokesperson Jen Psaki aboard Air Force One, anticipating problems with a speech Romney will give tomorrow at Virginia Military Academy
In every region of the world — and particularly in the Middle East — American influence has been weakened by President Obama’s failed foreign policy. American security and the cause of freedom cannot afford four more years like the last four years, and Mitt Romney will restore the bipartisan tradition of American leadership abroad that President Obama has not lived up to.
~ Romney spokeswoman Amanda Henneberg
Terrific, comprehensive speech by Gov. Romney at VMI. He knows America's role in the world should be as a leader not as a spectator.
— Donald Rumsfeld (@RumsfeldOffice) October 8, 2012
Excellent speech by @mittromney at VMI- a blueprint for restoring America’s strength in the world
— John McCain (@SenJohnMcCain) October 8, 2012
VMI cadets give @mittromney a standing ovation -- sustained applause.
— toddstarnes (@toddstarnes) October 8, 2012
Romney at VMI:"Hope is not a strategy."
— Shannon Bream (@ShannonBream) October 8, 2012
In VMI speech, Romney finally articulates his foreign policy: Everyone just do what he tells them to, and no one gets hurt. #RomneyStrength— Juan Carlos Holmes (@JuanCHolmes) October 8, 2012
I'm a professor. If one of my students turned it in, they'd get a C.
~ Sec. of State Madeleine Albright in conference call, via Politico
Of the various weird things Romney has said, his position on Russia is truly out of date. If you were living in the 20th century, his position might have made some sense. In the 21st century, terrorism/al Qaeda is our #1 geopolitical threat, not Russia.
I'm beginning to think that Gov. Romney simply doesn't have the facts, such all the things we've done vis-a-vis Russia. The Russians actually have been pretty helpful on Iran (although not so much on Syria). We can't look at Russia like we did in the Cold War. Romney has Cold War tone/nostalgia.
~ Sec. Madeleine Albright on Blue Virginia
There’s an awful lot of rhetoric and things, but when you get to the specifics you don’t get the sense that he knows exactly what tools to use and how to operate within an international setting. I know the people that are around Gov. Romney and a lot of them are kind of division of neocons and [some are] even more conservative and some realists. But the truth is, a lot of them are exactly the people that brought us the previous administration’s — Bush’s administration’s — eight years. And we’re still dealing with the consequences of that.
. . . [the speech was] “full of platitudes and free of substance. You know, ‘peace through strength, clarity, resolve.’ Those aren’t really foreign policies.”
. . . he doesn’t read his briefing papers.
I just find him very shallow in the ideas that he has.
~ Ex-Sec of State Madeleine Albright on Raw Story
Americans support increasing sanctions against Syria, but overwhelmingly oppose arming anti-government groups, much less actually sending troops. By the numbers: 60 percent support sanctions, 22 percent support arming rebels, and 13 percent support sending troops.
Americans also don’t seem to have much of an appetite for a more aggressive relationship with Iran. Only 12 percent said the U.S. should encourage Israel to attack, 53 percent want a neutral stance, and 29 percent want the U.S. to discourage Israel from attacking. A full 55 percent said the U.S.’s strategic position would be worse if Israel were to attack Iran.
~ New York Times Editor
Madeleine Albright saying Romney gets a "C" on his foreign policy speech feels like classic example of grade inflation— Michael Cohen (@speechboy71) October 8, 2012
Funny how conservatives don't want DC involved in U.S. healthcare but expect DC to control events in the Middle East.— Michael McGuire (@MichaelMcGuire_) October 8, 2012
I know about being tough. I'll show you tough. My friends will hold Iran down while I shave off its hair. -Mitt Romney— Christopher Moore (@TheAuthorGuy) October 8, 2012