Romney plans 'stark contrast' with Obama in foreign policy speech

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney will deliver a foreign policy speech Monday at the Virginia Military Institute in Lexington, Va., his campaign announced Thursday.

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The speech will offer a “stark contrast” between Romney's “vision for a strong foreign policy and the failed record of President Obama,” Romney's campaign said in an advisory. 

The Republican candidate is expected to play up questions surrounding last month's death of the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three other Americans as he seeks to build off his successful first debate against Obama to chip away at the president's lead on national security.

“Where President Obama has shown weakness, a Romney Administration will demonstrate strength and resolve,” the written advisory says. “Where President Obama has shown equivocation, a Romney Administration will demonstrate clarity and never hesitate to speak out for American values.”

Romney will also attack the president for signing into law a spending bill that calls for deep cuts to military spending if Congress can't find alternative savings — even though Romney's own running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), voted for them.

In an op-ed published Monday in The Wall Street Journal, Romney blasted the president over a comment during a "60 Minutes" interview in which the president described lingering issues with the democratization of the Middle East as "bumps in the road."

“These developments are not, as President Obama says, mere ‘bumps in the road,' ” Romney wrote. “They are major issues that put our security at risk.”

Romney went on to say that the president had allowed American foreign policy leadership to "atrophy."

“Our economy is stuck in a ‘recovery’ that barely deserves the name. Our national debt has risen to record levels," Romney wrote. "Our military, tested by a decade of war, is facing devastating cuts thanks to the budgetary games played by the White House. Finally, our values have been misapplied — and misunderstood — by a president who thinks that weakness will win favor with our adversaries.”

Last week, White House press secretary Jay Carney said Republican attacks on the president's phrasing were "profoundly offensive" and amounted to a "desperate attempt to grasp at words and phrases."

"The president was referring to the transformations in the region to this process that has only began less than two years ago, as we saw in Tunisia, and continues to this day with remarkable transformations occurring in countries around the region," Carney said. 

"And obviously in these countries there are huge challenges, huge obstacles to the kinds of change that the people in these countries are demanding, to the kinds of governments that are democratic in nature and responsive to the interests of average citizens in these countries."

Romney, in recent days on the campaign trail, has honed an attack linking the president to looming sequestration cuts.

During a stop last week in Pennsylvania, Romney said it was "difficult to lead the world when you have a president who wants to cut a trillion — that's a thousand billion — dollars from the military."

Here's the full advisory from the Romney campaign:

On Monday, Mitt Romney will deliver a foreign policy speech at Virginia Military Institute in Lexington, Virginia. He will offer a stark contrast between his vision for a strong foreign policy and the failed record of President Obama. 

Where President Obama has shown weakness, a Romney Administration will demonstrate strength and resolve. Where President Obama has shown equivocation, a Romney Administration will demonstrate clarity and never hesitate to speak out for American values. Where President Obama insists upon devastating defense cuts, a Romney Administration will prioritize national defense and never leave our troops and military families without the resources they need to keep our nation safe. The following event is open to the press.