CBSN

Romney Grilled On Foreign Policy Experience

(CBS)
From CBS News' Scott Conroy:

MANCHESTER, N.H. -- On a tumultuous day in Pakistan, reporters pressed Mitt Romney on why voters should trust a one-term governor from Massachusetts to make important foreign policy decisions.

"If the answer for leading the country is someone that has a lot of foreign policy experience, we can just go down to the State Department and pick up any one of the tens of thousands of people who spent all their life in foreign policy," Romney said.

"That's not what the nation needs in the president. The person that is president of the United States we look to to have leadership skill—which is the ability to assemble a great team of people, to be able to guide and direct them to understand what decision has to be made on the basis of data and analysis and debate and deliberation—an individual who knows how to make difficult decisions."

Romney pointed out that Ronald Reagan was not a foreign policy expert when he took office, but his policies helped win the Cold War.

"The president is not an expert," Romney said. "The president is a leader who guides America in making the important decisions which must be made to keep us safe."

But Romney also tried to make the case that he does have applicable experience in the realm of terror security.

"Mayor Giuliani was mayor for maybe a couple of months after 9/11 — he got about three months after 9/11 — and he did a fine job in responding to the tragedy that occurred on 9/11," Romney said. "I had the privilege over a four-year period to help create — or help develop with others — a state plan to provide for the security of our state. I also helped to develop — again with the help of others — a plan to secure the Olympic winter games, the first national special security event following 9/11."

  • Scott Conroy On Twitter»

    Scott Conroy is a National Political Reporter for RealClearPolitics and a contributor for CBS News.