Romney To Blast Obama For Security Leaks

by
Reuters
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, looking to bolster his the national security credentials, plans to put the blame for leaks of classified information at the feet of President Barack Obama.

Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney speaks about the shooting in Colorado at an event in Bow, N.H. , Friday, July 20, 2012.Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, looking to bolster his the national security credentials, plans to put the blame for leaks of classified information at the feet of President Barack Obama.

In a speech to the Veterans of Foreign Wars convention on Tuesday, Romney was to call out Obama's White House for leaks to the media and assure veterans that a Romney administration would keep a tight lid on secret information.

"What kind of White House would reveal classified material for political gain?" Romney was to say, according to prepared remarks released by his campaign. "I'll tell you right now: Mine won't."

After a weekend truce following the deadly shooting rampage in Aurora, Colorado, Romney and Obama have returned to their intense campaign postures.

Romney departs this week on a trip that will take him to London, Israel and Poland in an attempt to round out a campaign that has so far focused almost exclusively on the U.S. economy.

In preparation for his trip, Romney will blast Obama over leaks, including those about the raid that killed al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and cyber-warfare that has reportedly been used against Iran.

Romney's speech excerpts made no mention of major foreign policy issues like the conflict in Syria or U.S. relations with Russia and China.

Democrats have long accused Romney of being a foreign policy "lightweight." In response, he appears to be making the security leaks one of his primary paths toward attacking Obama on foreign affairs.

"This conduct is contemptible," Romney said in his prepared remarks. "It betrays our national interest. It compromises our men and women in the field. And it demands a full and prompt investigation, with explanation and consequence."

Attorney General Eric Holder last month appointed two chief federal prosecutors to spearhead an investigation into suspected leaks of classified information amid allegations that the White House made the disclosures to boost Obama's election chances.

In his speech, Romney also was to criticize the "sequestration" trigger Obama and congressional Republicans agreed to last summer.

The deal puts in place an automatic $1 trillion budget cut - half of that in defense spending - that Romney says is an "arbitrary, across-the-board budget reduction that would saddle the military with a trillion dollars in cuts, severely shrink our force structure and impair our ability to meet and deter threats."

While the economy has provided an easy target for Republicans to take aim at Obama, the president has generally received good marks for his handling of foreign policy.

Obama made a speech to the VFW meeting on Monday and was generally well received as he called on Republican legislators to stop "playing politics" with the U.S. military budget.