BOSTON - Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney plans to deliver a major speech next week with the aim of offering a "stark contrast" between his foreign policy vision and that of the Obama administration, which has recently come under criticism for its handling of an attack in Libya that resulted in the death of U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three others.
Romney also penned an op-ed in Monday's Wall Street Journal in which hethat the United States under President Obama has lost its role as leader of the free world and accuses the administration of playing "budgetary games" with proposed defense cuts in a bill authorizing automatic cuts in spending if Congress fails to hit budget targets.
But according to Romney advisers, while there will be a focus on foreign policy this week, it will be a continuation of the campaign's emphasis on several areas where they believe the former Massachusetts governor is able to present a "clear choice" between himself and the president. They say Romney will continue to discuss tax and spending policy, the national debt, access to health care, job creation and the economy.
"They all fit under one umbrella," Romney senior advisor Ed Gillespie told reporters on a Monday morning conference call when he was asked whether the campaign is pushing multiple messages rather than one coherent theme. "... Our message is very clear, which is we cannot afford four more years like the last four years. And we need a real recovery."
According to Politico, there has been an internal debate among top Romney advisers over how much the nominee should be pushing an attack on the president's reaction to the deaths in Libya, with some aides pushing for a stronger pivot to foreign policy and others arguing to continue a focus on the economy.
Romney senior adviser Kevin Madden told reporters Monday that with such a close race, the campaign is focusing on voters who remain undecided and who are concerned about a variety of issues.
"There also are a number of voters out there that may be registering ... support for Obama that's very soft," Madden said. "And the charge for us, of course, is what are we going to do to make the case to them that Governor Romney has a better vision for the future. And so I think the question that we're posing to them -- which is 'Do you really want another four years like the last four years,' -- is a critical one."