Romney to highlight defense cuts, paint Obama as weak on foreign policy

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The remarks hint at Republican allegations that Obama apologized for U.S. foreign policies during his trips to Berlin and Cairo in 2008 and 2009. The Obama campaign says the president sought to convey that the United States has not always lived up to its potential but seeks to stand on the side of freedom and liberty.

“If we do not have the strength or vision to lead, then other powers will take our place, pulling history in a very different direction,” Romney will say. “A just and peaceful world depends on a strong and confident America."

On Monday in his address to the VFW convention, Obama said the blame for the looming sequester lies with congressional Republicans who refuse to raise taxes on the rich to pay for defense spending.

The president accused Republicans of trying to “wriggle” out of the budget-cutting deal, which calls for a $500 billion cut to the military over 10 years that is slated to begin in January if the two parties can't find another way to cut the deficit.

“Instead of making tough choices to reduce the deficit, they’d rather protect tax cuts for some of the wealthiest Americans, even if it risks big cuts in our military," Obama said of Republican lawmakers.

But House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) in a closed-door meeting with GOP colleagues on Tuesday urged them to hammer home the issue in the run-up to November's election, seeing an advantage. Republicans are pressing the White House to better detail the cuts and have called on defense executives to testify on the job losses sequestration would bring.