Romney Takes on Issues of the Day
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney offered his critique of the Obama administration's foreign and domestic policy, offered his own proposals and expressed confidence that he will become the one to challege President Obama in the fall.
Romney, a former governor and business executive, said the first thing he would do differently in Afghanistan is "exercise leadership."
"Look, what's happening right now is an example of failed leadership. The president put out a specific time table...that is leading Mr. Karzai to take action that is self preservation in nature," Romney said as a way of explaining the Afghan president's reaction to the most recent tension there.
Romney said that any position he would take as president would be "dependent about what you hear from the conditions on the ground," as well as understanding the capability of the Afghan people to maintain their sovereignty.
On the issue of Iran, Romney faulted the president for waiting too long to implement "crippling sanctions," not speaking out on behalf of dissidents, and not making it clear that the US was prepared to take military action if necessary to keep Iran from developing a nuclear weapon.
Answering the president's charge that the Republican candidates are talking too casually about war with Iran, Romney said, "there is nothing casual about Iran having a nuclear weapon. There's nothing casual about Iran having fissile material they can give to Hamas or Hezbollah...The president needs to recognize this is a very serious threat to America and to the world."
On the domestic front, Romney hammered the president over high gas prices. As he has done in recent days on the campaign trail, Romney blamed an administration he says implemented a program that has caused gas prices to rise.
"The secretary of energy, the secretary of interior and EPA administrator...this gas hike trio has been doing the job over the last three and a half years, and gas prices are up. The right course is they ought to be fired because the president is apparently suffered election year conversion," Romney said, referencing the president's emphasis on developing domestic energy sources.
Before he can take on the president though, he has to get through a tough primary battle with opponents who seem intent on sticking it out.
The frontrunner for the Republican nomination, Romney has won over a million more votes than his nearest competitor, Rick Santorum.
Yet both Santorum and Newt Gingrich say they will continue to contest each state in hopes of at least depriving Romney of the 1,144 delegates necessary to clinch before the Republican convention in August.
"I think the people of our party want to make sure we have a nominee that can beat Barack Obama...I can't tell you exactly how the process is going to work. But I bet I'm going to become the nominee, I sure hope I'm going to become the nominee."