Senator John McCain has dismissed criticism from the Obama campaign that Mitt Romney’s foreign-policy plans lack specifics. Invoking the most celebrated figure in Republican circles, McCain said Romney has the 'same instincts' as Ronald Reagan.
'I think Romney stacks up very well because he has the same instincts on America’s role in the world as Ronald Reagan did, who came to the presidency after being governor of California,' McCain said on NBC’s Today show. 'So Mitt understands the need for American leadership; he understands that this president is leading from behind.'
Giving a speech at the Virginia Military Institute in Virginia this week Romney accused President Obama of a lack of leadership on the global stage, adding that although the Iraq war has ended and Osama Bin Laden has been killed, the world is worse off in the Middle East than when Obamatook office.
Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright gave the Democratic response, saying that Romney’s ideas amounted to nothing more than 'chest-thumping' and that he offered no new ideas on how he would handle the ongoing turmoil in the Middle East.
'I’m a professor, and if one of my students turned it in they’d get a C, because he gave absolutely no specifics,' Albright said of Romney’s speech.
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Defending Romney, McCain said on Tuesday there were clear differences between how the president handled the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and how he would’ve addressed unrest in Israel and Syria.
'Iraq: We should have left a residual force there and now al Qaeda is back returning and the resurgence is there. In Afghanistan, Mitt Romney would have listened to the advice of our military leaders, but instead Obama decided on his own to withdraw early and often and we are now in a very serious situation there.
'As far as Israel and the Palestinians are concerned, there's been no progress whatsoever because Obama called for preconditions and a settlement freeze by the Israelis. In Syria, the president until recently wouldn’t even speak up for the people who are fighting and dying under Bashar al Assad.'
According to The Hill, theObama campaign believes that foreign policy is a particular strong point in their favor this election, buoyed up by the death of Osama bin Laden and the well received drawdown of US forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The final two presidential debates are set to feature substantial discussions on foreign policy.
'The president says that wars in the Middle East are receding, that the tide of war is receding — well, what’s receding in the Middle East is American leadership,' McCain said. 'America’s role in the world has been one of retreat and disarray.'