By Jeremy Herb
Mitt Romney will attack President Obama over a recent series of intelligence leaks, accusing the leakers of trying to help the White House politically and charging Obama with trying to push the issue off until after the election.
“It is not enough to say the matter is being looked into, and leave it at that,” Romney will say at a speech at the Veterans of Foreign Wars convention Tuesday, according to excerpts released by the campaign.
Republicans have blasted the White House and Justice Department over the national security leaks, including reports on a U.S. cyberattack on Iran and a double agent in Yemen infiltrating al Qaeda.
Republicans in Congress have called for a special counsel to investigate the leaks, accusing Attorney General Eric Holder of being unable to run an independent investigation, but Romney’s comments are the first time he has weighed in specifically on the controversy.
The Obama campaign pushed back on Romney's remarks, calling them "cheap attacks."
"With all of the complex global challenges facing our nation today, Governor Romney’s much-hyped foreign policy speech once again is all bluster, offering no specific plans for our relations with any region of the world," said Adam Fetcher, a spokesman for the Obama campaign. "He’s about to embark on a foreign trip where his aides have promised no policy, just photo-ops and fundraising. By resorting to cheap attacks that lack credibility rather than answering the most basic questions about his foreign policy agenda, Governor Romney has simply not passed the commander-in-Cchief test."
The presumptive GOP nominee said that Americans are “entitled to know” who was leaking the information, seizing on a remark from Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) Monday in which she said that some of the leaks came from the White House.
Feinstein's remarks are at odds with statements last month from Obama, who denied that the White House was responsible. At the time, Obama said, "The notion that my White House would purposely release classified national security information is offensive. It's wrong."
Romney, meanwhile, will say, “If the president believes — as he said last week — that the buck stops with him, then he owes all Americans a full and prompt accounting of the facts. And let me be clear: These events make the decision we face in November all the more important. What kind of White House would reveal classified material for political gain? I’ll tell you right now: Mine won’t.”
The speech is expected to lay out Romney's foreign-policy vision before he leaves on a four-day trip to London, Israel and Poland.
Romney will address the veterans group in Reno, Nev., later Tuesday. Obama addressed them on Monday.
This article was updated at 11:49 a.m.