Republican White House presidential hopeful Mitt Romney embraced Bill Clinton, saying the Democratic former president helped “elevate” his party’s gathering this week.
Clinton’s speech at the Democratic National Convention on Wednesday ridiculed the policy proposals of Mitt Romney and his running mate Paul Ryan as setting the pace for a “you’re-on-your-own, winner-take-all society.”
“He did stand out in contrast with the other speakers,” Romney told NBC’s “Meet the Press” in an interview airing Sunday.
“And, frankly, the contrast may not have been as attractive as Barack Obama might have preferred if he were choosing who’d go before him and who’d go after.”
Clinton’s ringing endorsement of Obama, in which he formally nominated the president for a second term, was a major highlight of the Democratic convention, cheering and moving thousands of the party’s faithful to tears.
He also made a point of taking down Romney’s positions on a wide range of issues.
On the campaign trail, Romney has praised Clinton in a bid to sway undecided voters, saying the Democratic stalwart is a centrist and implying Obama has governed far to the left.
The former Massachusetts governor also criticized the agreement between the White House and Republicans in Congress to raise the US debt ceiling as a “big mistake.”
“I thought it was a mistake on the part of the White House to propose it. I think it was a mistake for Republicans to go along with it,” Romney said in the NBC interview, excerpts of which were provided by the network.
Romney said he would maintain defense spending at its current level, rather than making cuts as backed by Obama.
“I think is an extraordinary miscalculation in the wrong direction,” he said about the cuts.
Romney and Ryan claim their foreign policy expertise is better than Obama’s
By Dominic Rushe, The Guardian
Sunday, September 9, 2012 13:14 EDT
"If you believe this one, you have bought that old bridge"
The Republican White House ticket sought to neuter the perceived foreign policy edge of the Obama electoral campaign on Sunday, attacking the president’s record whilst bragging of their own experience overseas.
The current administration was guilty of failing to halt Iran’s nuclear ambitions, Mitt Romney claimed during an interview with NBC’s Face the Nation. Meanwhile, in a separate TV appearance, his running mate, Paul Ryan, was attempting to make the claim that he is better versed in foreign policy matters than Obama was four years ago, by virtue of Ryan’s longer public service record in Washington.
It represented a two-pronged approach to countering what is seen to be a Democratic advantage going into this year’s election. Obama’s campaign team have made much of the president’s decision to pull troops out of Iraq and embark on military drawdown in Afghanistan, as well as highlight the assassination of Osama bin Laden.
Meanwhile, Romney has made a somewhat clumsy opening gambit as a potential overseas ambassador for the US.
In his first foreign trip as a White House candidate he offended one of America’s closest allies, the UK, by criticising efforts to prepare for the Olympic Games and drew fierce criticism for suggesting while in Israel that the Palestinians’ relative poverty was due to cultural differences.
Compounding the view that Obama has an edge in terms of perceived handling of foreign policy, the Republican hopeful opened himself up to mockery in his recent convention speech in Tampa by suggesting that Russia remained the US’s “number one geo-political foe”.
Vice-president Joe Biden has said the comment showed Romney was “stuck in a Cold War mindset”.
But speaking on CBS’s Face the Nation, Ryan defended his running mate’s comments.
“I think what he was saying was among the other powers, China and Russia, that Russia stands a great threat,” he said, adding: “Iran is our biggest foreign policy threat today”.
The Republican vice-presidential pick also sough to push his own foreign policy credentials, boasting that he had more experience than Obama had in the run up to 2008′s election.
Challenged on what made him better qualified, considering then-senator Obama had sat on the Senate foreign relations committee, Ryan cited his 14 years in Congress.
He added: “I’ve voted to send men and women to war. I’ve been to Iraq and Afghanistan. I’ve met with our troops to get their perspectives. I’ve been to the funerals, I’ve talked to the widows, I’ve talked to the wives, the moms and the dads. That’s something. That matters.”
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