Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney at the Value Voters Summit on Saturday accused President Obama of subverting the U.S.’s international standing through poor economic management and promised to restore the nation to its rightful leadership position if elected.
Romney cited his track record as governor and in the private sector evidence of his ability to create jobs. He promised to “clamp down on China” for manipulating its currency and violating American intellectual property rights while promoting free trade and open markets.
“If you do not want America to be the strongest nation on Earth, I’m not your president. You have that president today.”
He also accused the president of being part of the “growing chorus that believes America’s day has past.” He rejected the notion of a world with a number of balanced powers, arguing the U.S. belongs at the head of the pack.
“This century must be an America century. In an American century, America has the strongest economy and the strongest military in the world,” Romney said.
The former Massachusetts Governor termed President Obama a failure, slamming his signature programs like the 2009 economic stimulus and the healthcare reform law.
Romney repeated his stump-speech pledge to grant all 50 states a waiver from the healthcare law.
“Obamacare is a wolf in wolf’s clothing. It’s expensive, it’s intrusive, and it’s unconstitutional,” Romney said, promising to repeal “every job-killing regulation” enacted under the Obama administration.
Romney also tackled the issue of his Mormon faith, which returned to the forefront at the Values Voter Summit on Friday.
Pastor Robert Jeffress, the head of theSouthern Baptist Convention, sparked some controversy when he called Mormonism a cult shortly after introducing Texas Gov. Rick Perry.
"Poisonous language doesn’t advance our cause," Romney said. "It’s never softened a single heart nor changed a single mind. The blessings of faith carry the responsibility of civil and respectful debate."
Romney ticked the boxes sure to appeal to the socially conservative crowd, a group he will need to win over in order to capture the Republican nomination. Many conservatives are skeptical of Romney because of his past support for abortion rights and the similarities between Obama's healthcare law and the one Romney passed as governor of Massachusetts.
Romney said he would invite faith back into the public discourse, voicing strong opposition to gay marriage and promising to take steps to end federal funding for Planned Parenthood and other groups he termed “abortion advocates.” He said he would appoint judges who would overturn Roe v. Wade and return the issue of abortion to the states to decide, which drew a standing ovation.
Romney also condemned China’s one-child policy and said if elected he would speak out against the practice of forced sterilizations and abortions.