Former top Army general slams Romney's national security credentials

Joined by former House Democrat an Army veteran Rep. Pat Murphy, the one-time commander of U.S. forces in Europe broadsided Romney's emerging national security strategy as a collection of "tired and hackneyed phrases from the Cold War." 

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"He rattles the saber and calls for action, but he never says what he would do," Murphy added. 

After his failed 2004 bid for the Democratic presidential nomination, Clark has been one of the party's attack dogs on issues of national security and foreign policy.

And Clark pulled no punches when discussing Romney's spotty record on both issues. 

Romney's recent speech to the Veterans of Foreign Wars was essentially the GOP presidential front-runner "throwing out a bunch of general [statements] that have no basis in reality," Clark told reporters during a conference call held by the Truman Project on Thursday. 

"Maybe [that] works in the primary season, maybe it fires up the base, but it doesn’t work now," the former general chided. 

To that end, Clark said Romney brings no real experience in national security and foreign policy to the table, compared to then-Sen. Barack Obama's experience in these issues while a member of the Senate Foreign Relations and Homeland Security committees. 

"When Governor Romney turns his campaign toward foreign policy, he picks an especially difficult area for him," Clark said. 

During the speech at the VFW, the former Massachusetts governor hammered President Obama on recent leaks of classified information regarding U.S. counterterrorism operations. 

Romney took potshots at the White House for playing politics with the looming $500 billion in defense cuts over the next decade, arguing the administration was using the cuts to force Republican concessions on tax policy. 

The GOP front-runner also said that Obama's dealings with Iran and Syria, as well as the planned withdrawal from Afghanistan, has weakened the United States in that part of the world. 

But aside from the attacks, Romney has yet to put forth any solutions or suggestions of his own regarding these key national security and foreign policy issues. 

That lack of experience shows Romney is  "not ready for the very delicate diplomatic dance" needed to forge and maintain critical ties to a number of foreign allies, Mark Jacobson, a senior fellow at the Truman Project, said during Thursday's call. 

"If he doesn't tell us what he would do to keep America safe," Clark said, then voters will assume come November that "he does not know how to keep America safe or strong."