Romney’s Foreign Policy Speech (VIDEO, full text): Confidence, Clarity, Resolve

Mitt Romney delivers a foreign policy speech at Virginia Military Institute in Lexington, VA., today, Oct 8, 2012. (Photo – Charles Dharapak/AP)

In a sweeping critique of Obama’s lead-from-behind foreign policy, Governor Mitt Romney today delivered a powerful, robust foreign policy speech at the Virginia Military Institute. Speaking of the recent explosion of violence and upheaval in the Middle East, Romney said it is “time to change course in the Middle East.”

Punctuating his national security positions before his next presidential debate on October 16th with Obama (foreign policy will be the topic), Romney said, “That course should be organized around these bedrock principles: America must have confidence in our cause, clarity in our purpose and resolve in our might. No friend of America will question our commitment to support them… no enemy that attacks America will question our resolve to defeat them… and no one anywhere, friend or foe, will doubt America’s capability to back up our words.”

Foreign policy expert and columnist, K.T. McFarland, today on television program ‘The Five’ (FOX News) enthusiastically exclaimed, ”I’ve been waiting 20 years for this speech! He [Romney] was channeling Reagan!” She also went on to say Romney’s “speech was actually really phenomenal and I commend him for doing it!” (MccFarland served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs under President Ronald Reagan from 1982 to 1985 and speech writer for Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger.)

‘The Mantel of Leadership’:


Transcript:

I particularly appreciate the introduction from my good friend and tireless campaign companion, Gov. Bob McDonnell. He is showing what conservative leadership can do to build a stronger economy. Thank you also Congressman Goodlatte for joining us today. And particular thanks to Gen. Peay. I appreciate your invitation to be with you today at the Virginia Military Institute. It is a great privilege to be here at an Institution that has done so much for our nation, both in war and in peace.

For more than 170 years, VMI has done more than educate students. It has guided their transformation into citizens, and warriors, and leaders. VMI graduates have served with honor in our nation’s defense, just as many are doing today in Afghanistan and other lands. Since the September 11th attacks, many of VMI’s sons and daughters have defended America, and I mourn with you the 15 brave souls who have been lost. I join you in praying for the many VMI graduates and all Americans who are now serving in harm’s way. May God bless all who serve, and all who have served.

Of all the VMI graduates, none is more distinguished than George Marshall—the Chief of Staff of the Army who became Secretary of State and Secretary of Defense, who helped to vanquish fascism and then planned Europe’s rescue from despair. His commitment to peace was born of his direct knowledge of the awful costs and consequences of war.

General Marshall once said, “The only way human beings can win a war is to prevent it.” Those words were true in his time—and they still echo in ours.

Last month, our nation was attacked again. A U.S. Ambassador and three of our fellow Americans are dead — murdered in Benghazi, Libya. Among the dead were three veterans. All of them were fine men, on a mission of peace and friendship to a nation that dearly longs for both. President Obama has said that Ambassador Chris Stevens and his colleagues represented the best of America. And he is right. We all mourn their loss.

The attacks against us in Libya were not an isolated incident. They were accompanied by anti-American riots in nearly two dozen other countries, mostly in the Middle East, but also in Africa and Asia. Our embassies have been attacked. Our flag has been burned. Many of our citizens have been threatened and driven from their overseas homes by vicious mobs, shouting “Death to America.” These mobs hoisted the black banner of Islamic extremism over American embassies on the anniversary of the September 11th attacks.

As the dust settles, as the murdered are buried, Americans are asking how this happened, how the threats we face have grown so much worse, and what this calls on America to do. These are the right questions. And I have come here today to offer a larger perspective on these tragic recent events—and to share with you, and all Americans, my vision for a freer, more prosperous, and more peaceful world.

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Best Friends Forever! Socialist Despot Hugo Chavez: I’d vote for Obama & Vice Versa

Yesterday, Venezuela’s dictatorial oppressor, Hugo Chavez, declared his best-friend-forever status with Barack Obama. (In July, Chavez, endorsed Barack Obama for another four years in the White House; yesterday made it a double ‘thumbs-up’ for Obama.):

With both presidents facing tight re-election fights, Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez gave a surprise endorsement to Barack Obama on Sunday – and said the U.S. leader no doubt felt the same. “I hope this doesn’t harm Obama, but if I was from the United States, I’d vote for Obama,” the socialist Chavez said of a man he first reached out to in 2009… Chavez is running for a new six-year term against opposition challenger Henrique Capriles, while Obama seeks re-election in November against Republican candidate Mitt Romney. Venezuela’s election is next weekend. “Obama is a good guy … I think that if Obama was from Barlovento or some Caracas neighborhood, he’d vote for Chavez,” the president told state TV, referring to a poor coastal town known for the African roots of its population.

Regarding Hugo’s campaign race next weekend between himself and Henrique Capriles… surprise! Hugo is projecting victories for himself and Obama; plus, he likes the way Obama talks about the El Comandante administration:

But Chavez was back in a conciliatory mood in a TV interview with friend and former vice president Jose Vicente Rangel.

“After our triumph and the supposed, probable triumph of President Obama, with the extreme right defeated here and there, I hope we could start a new period of normal relations with the United States,” he said.

Obama recently said something very rational and fair … that Venezuela is no threat to the interests of the United States,” he added.

Obama’s thinking that Venezuela isn’t a threat to the interests of America sounds like a bit of wishful thinking with a quart of whitewash thrown in – kind of like his earlier statements when he said “the private sector is doing just fine” and the economy can be fixed if people “buy thingamajigs“. Chavez is thick-as-thieves with Ahmadinejad; in recent years, he’s met with the Iranian President at least nine times in Iran and Ahmadinejad has courted Chavez on or around his home turf at least six times. Chavez prides himself for thinking he’s at the head of a world-wide anti-imperialist effort (inspired by and in cahoots with mentor Fidel Castro). Ahmadinejad has called Chavez “a great revolutionary that is resisting against imperialism by defending the rights of his people, Latin America and the peoples of the world.”

Jan 9, 2012 – Bosom buddy oppressors Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, right, and his Iranian counterpart Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, joke together at Miraflores presidential palace in Caracas, Venezuela. (PHOTO – Juan Barreto/AFP/Getty)

Chavez has said he’ll stand by Ahmadinejad “under any circumstances” – that pursuing ties with Iran is a “holy matter” for Venezuela.

Ahmadinejad, in turn, has thanked Chavez for his “brotherly stance” in backing Iran in the face of international sanctions.

Venezuela is making unmanned aerial vehicles, commonly known as drones, with the help of Iran, Chavez said June 13 [2012] on national television.

The two countries in 2007 also established in Caracas the Banco Internacional de Desarrollo, which together with its main Iranian shareholder, Bank Saderat, is accused by the U.S. of being a vehicle for the Ahmadinejad government’s funding of Middle Eastern terrorist group Hezbollah.

According to Bloomberg’s Charlie Devereux, a bigger concern for our national security is what Chavez and Ahmadinejad are cooking up – which could include possible plans to use Venezuela as a launch pad for attacks against America if diplomatic relations with Iran continue to sour.

Townhall’s Guy Benson:

And what about Obama’s “very rational and fair” assessment of Venezuela’s position on the world stage? The notion that Caracas poses no “serious” threat to US interest might come as news to some:

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Romney’s High Octane Energy Policy

Romney Energy

In his 2010 book “No Apology,” former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney maps out the issue of America’s energy policy, in a chapter titled “Running Low.” In his writings, Romney recaps the current situation regarding our nation’s dependence on foreign oil and the dangers it poses to our national security, economic stability and our overall liberty as free people. Romney asserts the following as the premier risks involved in being reliant on non-US energy supplies:

  • “From a foreign policy perspective, our addiction to foreign oil necessitates a massive military presence in the Middle East, and it has contributed to involving us, like it or not, in ancient and seemingly intractable conflicts.”
  • Romney goes on to cite other perils of relying on Mid East oil, such as profits from oil being used to fund terrorism, development of destructive weaponry, selling advanced technology to unsuitable parties, such as Iran and ultimately leading to war, as in the 1992 Iraq War.
  • Non-Mid East dependence is also a risk in Romney’s view, pinpointing the efforts of Venezuela, as led by Hugo Chavez, to “supplant democracy throughout Latin America” via the wealth his oil exploitation provides. In Romney’s view, Chavez’ “verbal buffoonery” is eclipsed by his megalomania and menacing of freedom.
  • Domestically, Romney states the US “spends $200 billion per year importing oil from other nations.” Citing the high cost of producing energy at home, it’s good business policy for American companies to import, as you want to by the product as cheaply as possible. To remedy this situation, Romney would reverse the cost equation by spending money on producing domestic energy supplies.
  • Romney advocates the development of all our energy sources, nuclear, oil, natural gas and coal. “One of the great disappointments of the so-called stimulus package of 2009 was that we spent nearly a trillion dollars and have no new energy production facilities to show for it.”

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Hugo Chavez: The Promise Obama Kept

Before Obama turns on his teleprompter and clears his throat to speak before a State-of-the-Union joint session of Congress tomorrow evening, it’s worth highlighting the ONE campaign promise he DID keep this past year.

Peppered throughout his presidential campaign were pronouncements that he, the community organizer, would meet with tyrannical leaders of nations who are antagonistic toward the United States. As a new president, without preconditions, he would proudly sit eye-ball to eye-ball with them.

April 17, 2009: At the ‘Summit of the Americas’ on twin-island nation Trinidad and Tobago, an eager-as-a-puppy Obama met, chatted, and back-slapped Marxist Hugo Chavez. Chavez sweetened the meeting by gifting Obama with a copy of The Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent. Written by Eduardo Galeano, the book portrays U.S. and European economic and political interference in the region.

A promise fulfilled.

Let’s examine dates of note that have taken place since President Obama’s meeting with Chavez.

April 19, 2009: Obama referenced the Chavez meeting:

The whole notion was that if we showed courtesy or opened up dialogue with governments that had previously been hostile to us, that that somehow would be a sign of weakness,” Obama said, recalling his race for the White House and challenging his critics today. “The American people didn’t buy it,” Obama said. “And there’s a good reason the American people didn’t buy it — because it doesn’t make sense.”

 May 7, 2009: News broke that well-known Venezuelan nongovernmental organizations were warned that a bill was being drafted by loyal Chavez  lawmakers that would be used to financially cripple entities that criticized Chavez.

May 8, 2009: The next day, Chavez seized the assets of foreign and domestic oil contractors in his country to control more of Venezuela’s oil industry:

“They come with their soldiers from the National Guard, and they take what they want,” he [oil industry official] said, “and you, as the owner of your company, can do absolutely nothing.”

June 3, 2009: Referencing the U.S. government’s taking 60% ownership in a once-powerful symbol of American ingenuity – General Motors, Chavez was haranguing the ‘curse’ of capitalism and praising socialism. He joked on live television:

“Hey, Obama has just nationalized nothing more and nothing less than General Motors. Comrade Obama! Fidel [Castro], careful or we are going to end up to his right!”

July 10, 2009: The Irish Examiner reported: President Hugo Chavez’s government was imposing tough new regulations on Venezuela’s cable television while revoking the licenses of more than 200 radio stations.

July 29, 2009: Obama appointed Chavez-admirer Mark Lloyd ‘Chief Diversity Officer’ at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to a position specially formed for him.  Back in 2006, Lloyd authored Prologue to a Farce: Communication and Democracy in America – a book outlining how leftist activists can oust commercial broadcasters (conservative talk radio) off the airwaves and replace them with public broadcasters.

The National Conference for Media Reform (NCMR) unearthed a 2006 a tape of Mark Lloyd praising Chavez:

“In Venezuela, with Chavez, is really an incredible revolution – a democratic revolution. To begin to put in place things that are going to have an impact on the people of Venezuela.

“The property owners and the folks who then controlled the media in Venezuela rebelledworked, frankly, with folks here in the U.S. governmentworked to oust him. But he came back with another revolution, and then Chavez began to take very seriously the media in his country.”

August 4, 2009: The White House issued a call for informants to report on Americans who publicly opposed the President’s health care plan ASAP – even those speaking against it in casual conversation. (What a coincidence this happened six days AFTER Mark Lloyd was appointed FCC Commissioner!)

From the White House website

There is a lot of disinformation about health insurance reform out there, spanning from control of personal finances to end of life care. These rumors often travel just below the surface via chain emails or through casual conversation. Since we can’t keep track of all of them here at the White House, we’re asking for your help. If you get an email or see something on the web about health insurance reform that seems fishy, send it to flag@whitehouse.gov.

August 14, 2009: The Miami Herald revealed that an unclassified report listed examples of Venezuelan government efforts to crack down on or seize control of media outlets to stifle criticism.

November 25, 2009: Reuters news agency reported the arrival of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Caracas as part of a South America tour. Ahmadinejad hailed Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez as a fellow anti-US ‘brother’:

Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez used a visit by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Wednesday to brand Israel as a murderous agent of Washington. Chavez and Ahmadinejad, on the last leg of a tour of three left-leaning South American nations, hugged, held hands, and praised each other as fellow revolutionaries.

The Venezuelan singled out a comment by Israeli President Shimon Peres, during a visit this month to South America, that his and Ahmadinejad’s days in power may be numbered.

“We know what the state of Israel stands for — a murderous arm of the Yankee empire,” Chavez told joint news conference. “What the president of Israel said, we take as a threat.”

Chavez broke relations with Israel this year. He won praise in the Muslim world after branding an Israeli military offensive in the Gaza Strip as genocide.

December 18, 2009:
Obama met with world leaders, including Chavez, and addressed the Global Warming Summit in Copenhagen (in the middle of a raging blizzard). After our president spoke, Chavez stepped to the podium. Referring to the ‘sulfur’ stench at the pulpit, Chavez mockingly referred to Obama as “Obama Nobel War Prize” and chastened him for his lack of commitment to climate change and lack of transparency.

Chavez: “If Obama, Nobel War Prize, said here -by the way, it smells of sulfur here. It smells of sulfur. It keeps smelling of sulfur in this world.” 

January 20, 2010: America-hating Chavez declared that the United States Navy, incognito and in the dark of night, launched a weapon of such colossal capacity that it triggered the massive, deadly earthquake in Haiti. Chavez also warned the world that it was only a drill for the United States THIS time, but the final target is destroying and taking over…Iran:

 

January 25, 2010: Six TV stations forced off air in Venezuela.

An opposition TV station in Venezuela along with five others were taken off the air early Sunday for violating rules issued by President Hugo Chavez’s government, a station spokeswoman said.

The new rules require stations to air Chavez’s speeches, among other mandates. Chavez critics view many of those speeches, which can last for hours, as government propaganda.< /blockquote>
We’re going to hear powerful language from the President tomorrow night. Populist language meant to disguise philosophies and failings. Language to deflect and delude. Language punctuated with big smiles, broad gestures, stern gazes, varying volumes, clipped sentences, and a jutting jaw.

In spite of the political theater on display, let’s never forget the many reasons Obama won’t mention the one promise he kept.

Romney’s Remarks to the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee Summit

AIPAC-banner

Governor Romney addressed the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) 2009 summit in San Diego this morning. Here is a link to their website to learn more of what they are about.

Short take on Romney’s speech from Chris Cillizza’s The Fix:

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R) condemned the Obama Administration’s approach toward Iran, a republic he described as “unalloyed evil” and controlled by “ruthless and fanatical” leaders in a speech to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee today in San Diego.

“Stop thinking that a charm offensive will talk the Iranians out of their pursuit of nuclear weapons,” said Romney. “It will not.” Later in the address, he punctuated that sentiment by noting: “Once an outstretched hand is met with a clenched fist, it becomes a symbol of weakness and impotence.”

Nice.

*Addendum by Jayde in reference to the following paragraph from Mitt’s AIPAC 2009 speech:

Earlier this month, senior staff members of the U.N. nuclear agency concluded in a confidential analysis that Iran has acquired “sufficient information to be able to design and produce a workable” atom bomb. We also learned of a previously secret, illegal uranium enrichment facility that the Iranians had been hiding near Qom. A nuclear Iran would be a tipping point in the proliferation of nuclear regimes. It is beyond the scope of this address to provide a detailed tactical and strategic approach to Iran, as I endeavored to do at the Herzylia conference two years ago. In that address, I detailed the six critical steps that would have to immediately be taken to dissuade Iran from nuclear folly. Not a single one of them has been taken by America.

Governor Romney’s 2007 Herzliyah Conference speech outlining six critical steps that could have been taken to prevent Iran from pursuing nuclear capabilities can be found here.

Mitt Romney remarks as prepared for the AIPAC 2009 national summit in San Diego:

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The Honduras Mess. Or, What Happens When You Side With a Despot Over a Democracy

Earlier this year a wannabe Hugo Chavez by the name of Manuel Zelaya attempted to illegally stage a vote which would start gears in motion to take away his term limits. The country’s legislature called it illegal. The courts called it illegal. The nation’s military refused to help him. What was Zelaya’s response? His thugs took over part of an Air Force Base and seized the ballots. People marched, condemnation was thrown widely around by all branches of government. Eventually, Zelaya was exiled for his treasonous behavior (he probably should have been put on trial, but his ousting as president was utterly legal).

The matter was handled relatively bloodlessly and the country moved forward smoothly with its temporary new president. So does our president congratulate the new government on ousting a pain in America’s butt and threat to his own country? No. He demands his return and even threatens sanctions if his will is not done. Madness? Yes. But it’s par for the course for Obama. Friends he pokes sticks at, enemies he embraces.

Now we flash forward to today. Zelaya is back in town in the Brazillian embassy (why Brazil is protecting him, I do not know) which means this will soon all come to a head, probably with a few unnecessary corpses in the street. We can only hope it doesn’t mean that another country in the Americas will fall to tyranny’s heel.

~~~Thomas

Bloggers Forum – Heritage Foundation – Congressman Connie Mack

I’m here at the Heritage foundation for our weekly bloggers forum with Robert Bluey. Numerous bloggers are present including congressman Connie Mack from Florida who recently endorsed Mitt Romney.

Today we’re talking about the impact of Hugo Chavez in the Americas. There’s a great and informative website with a DVD: Crisis in the Americas.

Congressman Mack considers our current policy a failure. Chavez is “systematically trying to change” Venezuela to continue to intimidate his countrymen.

“Unless the administration gets serious about putting Chavez in a confined box we are heading for some rough times in Latin America.”

“There is a clear difference in the Congress between those that think he is a threat and those that want to shield him from the bad things he is doing.”

“The relationship that he has with Castro and the destruction of Democracy is a serious threat”

“If Hugo Chavez continues his relations with President Abedinejad and Chavez beings to allow Abedinejad to get a bigger footprint on our hemisphere we could see the same situation with Fidel, Cuba an Russia.”

“I’m not looking for the administration or anyone else to call his worse names… we need a forceful discussion about this… whether its an embargo or something else. One of the things we haven’t done very well is to tell the people of Venezuela that we support them.”

On his endorsement of Mitt Romney:

Rudy, Hugo, McCain, and more…

MMM reader Neal points out two stories about Mitt’s opponents.

1) Guliani and Chavez. From CNN.com:

At first glance, former New York Mayor and 2008 presidential hopeful Rudy Giuliani wouldn’t seem to have much in common with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.

One is considered one of the heroes in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, a leader who walked to ground zero while the World Trade Center towers smoldered. The other is a vehement anti-American who has called President Bush a “madman” and “the devil” and flaunts his association with longtime U.S. adversary Fidel Castro of Cuba.

But there is a link between the two, according to the Texas Ethics Commission. Giuliani’s law firm, Bracewell and Giuliani, is making money by lobbying American lawmakers on behalf of Citgo Petroleum Corp. of Houston. Citgo is the American subsidiary of Petroleos de Venezuela — the state-owned Venezuelan oil company.

2) FoxNews reports from Susan Estrich:

While Giuliani is riding high in the polls, and attracting the critics, John McCain is in the even less enviable position of sagging in the polls, and being asked to explain it. McCain has the Swift Boaters, literally some of the same ones, coming after him too, but on that front at least, he’s fortified by his standing as a former POW, which is pretty firm cement for the hero label.