President Barack Obama recently released an ad in Virginia attacking Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s foreign policy and global tour.
The ad calls Romney “reckless” and “amateurish” for his tour, as well as stating his reaction to Libya “showed a lack of presidential character” and was “the worst possible reaction.” The ad ends with the statement, “If this is how he handles the world now, just think what Mitt Romney might do as president.”
Eastern Michigan University students and faculty expressed their reactions to Romney’s speech regarding the Sept. 11, 2012 embassy attack in Libya.
EMU political science professor Nitya Singh said, “I think Romney should have waited a little while before coming out and attacking President Obama for what was happening. When you are talking about foreign policy, as a country we must project one image because the moment the world sees divisiveness, they might try to take advantage of it.”
Romney’s statement on the Libya incident criticized Obama for not calling the assaults terrorist attacks, and criticized the embassy for releasing a statement perceived to be an apology for American principals, including freedom of speech.
In a statement, Romney said, “I spoke out when the key fact that I referred to was known, which was that the embassy of the United States issued what appeared to be an apology for American principals. That was a mistake. I believe when a mistake is made of that significance you speak out.”
EMU student Anthony Wozniac said he feels Romney would have a stronger hold on foreign policy than Obama and the U.S. is being bullied in terms of Iran and the nuclear threat.
“They think they can attack us and we won’t retaliate in the way we used to, and I think we need a president who calls out a terrorist attack when it actually happens,” Wozniac said.
Romney’s six-day international tour took place in July when he visited England, Poland and Israel. The tour was supposed to help Romney gain global support through U.S. allies.
“I don’t think [the tour] was any help to him at all,” Singh said. “I understand as a presidential candidate you need to go abroad and show that you are able to talk to your friends, and get them to support you, but Romney really didn’t make any friends.”
EMU student Stephanie Rinehart said, “[Romney] doesn’t seem to grasp the full meaning of his statements before he makes them, and it causes trouble for him. I think he needs to think more before he speaks.”
At the beginning of the tour, Romney openly speculated whether England was ready to host the Olympic Games, infuriating the British media.
While in Poland, Romney spoke about how the U.S. needs to learn from Poland’s history and strengthen our country the way Poland did.
Wozniac argued, “[Romney] went and assured the world who our allies are, and who our enemies are. Obama said in a statement a couple weeks ago during a summit that [Egypt is] not really an ally and not really an enemy and that is a terrible statement to make.”
“In 2008 Obama said, and I’m going to paraphrase here, ‘If you don’t have a record to run on, you have to scare the voters into running away from the other candidate,’” Wozniac said. “This is the type of campaign I believe Obama is running.”
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