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Romney Campaign Press Release - A Foreign Policy In Disarray

September 24, 2012

"On the eve of his United Nations address, President Obama's foreign policy is in disarray. Just last night, the President downgraded our relationship with Israel and compared the assassination of a U.S. Ambassador to 'bumps in the road.' As anti-American protests rage in the Middle East and Iran moves closer toward nuclear weapons capability, President Obama seems more focused on winning a second term than rebuilding America's strength and position in the world. As president, Mitt Romney will repair our relationships abroad and create a safer, more secure nation for all Americans." — Ryan Williams, Romney Campaign Spokesman

Today, The White House Reacted Angrily To Criticism Of President Obama's Characterization Of Middle-East Turmoil As "Bumps In The Road":

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney Called The Suggestion That The President Called The Attacks On U.S. Embassies "Bumps In The Road" "Desperate And Offensive." QUESTION: "His -- this complaint this morning about the line 'bump in the road' is not that it is minimizing the Arab Spring, but it's minimizing the death of -- and violent death of the U.S. ambassador, three others. And it's — what — when he said 'bump in the road,' did he mean not to draw a parallel or not to define that event in Benghazi?" MR. CARNEY: "I appreciate the question, Ann, because that assertion is both desperate and offensive. 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. ... And again, I think I would say what I said to Dan, which -- that there is a certain rather desperate attempt to grasp at words and phrases here to find political advantage, and in this case, that's profoundly offensive." (White House Press Briefing, 9/24/12)

President Obama, Last Night: "I Was Pretty Certain And Continue To Be Pretty Certain That There Are Going To Be Bumps In The Road..." KROFT: "Have the events that took place in the Middle East, the recent events in the Middle East given you any pause about your support for the governments that have come to power following the Arab Spring?" OBAMA: "Well, I'd said even at the time that this is going to be a rocky path. ... But I was pretty certain and continue to be pretty certain that there are going to be bumps in the road because-- you know, in a lot of these places-- the one organizing principle-- has been Islam. The one part of society that hasn't been controlled completely by the government." (CBS's "60 Minutes," 9/23/12)

The White House Didn't Directly Address Whether Or Not President Obama Downgraded Israel's Status As Our Closest Ally In The Middle East:

The White House Dodged On Whether President Obama Downgraded The United States' Closest Ally In The Middle East. QUESTION: "And just one quick question. Do you know -- I mean, why didn't the president say that Israel is the closest ally in the region? Why didn't..."  CARNEY: "The president has said this. This was a lengthy interview. The president has made clear again and again and again that Israel is our closest ally in the region, that we have a unique relationship with Israel, bonds with Israel that are unlike our bonds with any other nation. We have an unshakable commitment to Israel's security, and we have proven that commitment, this administration has, with unprecedented assistance to Israel's security." QUESTION: "So he misspoke in..." CARNEY: "The president, again, has made clear on numerous occasions that Israel is our closest ally in the region." (White House Press Briefing, 9/24/12)

But Just Last Night, President Obama Referred To Israel As Merely "One Of Our Closest Allies In The Region." OBAMA: "Now I feel an obligation, not pressure but obligation, to make sure that we're in close consultation with the Israelis-- on these issues. Because it affects them deeply. They're one of our closest allies in the region. And we've got an Iranian regime that has said horrible things that directly threaten Israel's existence." (CBS's "60 Minutes," 9/23/12)

And The White House Could Not Defend President Obama's Failure To Attend Bilateral Meetings:

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney Was Pressed On Why Obama Has Zero Bilateral Meetings At UN This Year After Holding 13 Meetings Last Year. QUESTION: Jay, I'm guessing the reason you're getting so many questions about the absence of bilats is that last year the president had 13 bilateral meetings with key foreign leaders during his U.N. visit and this year you can't tell us of any. So what is different about the -- last year and this year?" CARNEY: "Well, Mark, I would simply say that this president looks forward to speaking tomorrow, will lay out clearly what his views are on the recent unrest in the Muslim world, on the United States' role in the region, the U.S.' absolute commitment to holding accountable and bringing to justice those who killed Americans, his firm belief that while the video was offensive and disgusting and was the product of -- was the work of a handful of individuals and in no way represented the views of the United States government or the American people, violence in reaction to it is unjustified. ... The fact of the matter is the president does not wait for an annual meeting to have consultations with or meetings with foreign leaders, and they will continue." QUESTION: "But the U.N. meeting has always lent itself to a number of bilats, but not this year?" CARNEY: Well, I have no meetings to announce to you, Mark. I mean, the president's schedule includes the reception this evening, it includes his speech tomorrow. Beyond that I don't have details for you." (White House Press Briefing, 9/24/12)

Unlike His Predecessors, President Obama Is "Skipping The Face-To-Face Meetings With Counterparts Where Much Of The U.N. Work Gets Done..." "Just six weeks until the election, the realities and priorities of campaign politics hang prominently over Obama's final turn on the world stage before facing voters. Unlike his predecessors, he is skipping the face-to-face meetings with counterparts where much of the U.N. works gets done, leaving Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton to pick up more of those sessions herself. Obama's itinerary on Monday and Tuesday is compressed so that he can get back to campaigning in some of the most contested states such as Ohio and Virginia." (Ben Feller, "Obama, In Election Mode, Tightens His UN Diplomacy," The Associated Press, 9/22/12)

  • "Both Presidents George W. Bush In 2004 And Bill Clinton In 1996, Though, Held A Series Of Meetings With Foreign Leaders During U.N. Visits In Their Re-Election Years." "Both Presidents George W. Bush in 2004 and Bill Clinton in 1996, though, held a series of meetings with foreign leaders during U.N. visits in their re-election years. The Obama White House opted not to jam in a few and risk offending the allies who were left out, administration officials said." (Ben Feller, "Obama, In Election Mode, Tightens His UN Diplomacy," The Associated Press, 9/22/12)

Last Year At This Time, President Obama's "Schedule Was Packed With Personal Diplomacy" But "This Year, Not One Is Scheduled." "This time last year, with Mideast peace at the forefront, Obama's schedule was packed with personal diplomacy. He set up separate meetings with the leaders of Israel, the Palestinian Authority, Afghanistan, Brazil, Turkey, Japan, Britain, and France, among others. This year, not one is scheduled." (Ben Feller, "Obama, In Election Mode, Tightens His UN Diplomacy," The Associated Press, 9/22/12)

Mitt Romney, Romney Campaign Press Release - A Foreign Policy In Disarray Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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