After scoring high with his pronouncements on the economy during last week's first presidential debate,moved into the choppy waters of foreign policy with his Monday speech. At the heart of his proposed policy to make the world and in particular America a safer place is a program of shipbuilding.
In a speech that was high on rhetoric but low on policy Mittens promised to make the world a more peaceful place by a show of U.S. strength that echoes the late President Regan of building peace through strength.
He was not specific on all fronts, but gave actual numbers for new warships. Romney said that he would build 15 new warships a year so as to strengthen the U.S. Navy. Presumably he'll need to recruit a lot more military in order to man the ships too, which will be one way to decrease employment in a time joblessness is up, particularly among the young.
Romney asserted that Obama's approach to foreign policy, if allowed to continue for another term, would make the world "grow darker." He believes that Obama's policies of diplomacy over action have made the U.S. appear weak and were "Leaving our destiny at the mercy of events." This he asserted was causing a world power vacuum. Romney's policies of showing the world how strong the U.S. is and can be militarily, will it seems frighten the the world into the light.
He was keen to show solidarity with Israel. He believes that Obama's attitude towards Israel makes the world a more dangerous place. He's prepared, unlike Obama, to back Israel to the hilt and has said before that he would support Israel if it decided to take military action against Iran.
On Iran he attempted to appear stronger than than Obama but did not go as far as some thought he might. He proposed a subtle change in wording from Obama on the issue of Iran and nuclear waepons. Romney says that his administration would prevent Iran "from acquiring nuclear weapons capability." Obama's policy is to stop them from building a bomb - it's all in the wording!
Again using threatening rhetoric Romney says "we must make clear to Iran through actions - not just words - that their nuclear pursuit will not be tolerated." What he would actually do to make this clear to Iran is certainly not clear from this speech but the fact that he wants to build 15 warships a year could be a clue.
Many thought Romney would go for an all out attack on Obama over his reaction to the attacks on U.S. diplomatic missions and the murder of the U.S. ambassador to Syria. Well, he did criticise Obama's overall approach to the Middle East but did not build on the comments he made straight after the attack on the Syrian diplomatic mission where he all but blamed Obama for the deaths incurred.
Romney gave us no real information on his own strategy for the Middle East. How will he tackle and encourage Saudi Arabia, for instance, toward becoming democratic? But he again comes out with the notion of increasing arms, this time to the Syrian rebels, to help them in their war against President Assad's "tanks, helicopters and fighter jets".
He managed to not drop any balls in this speech but he might just have opened the door for Obama to come back at him in this area of policy that has been a strong point, at least in terms of words if not actions, for the president in the past.
'Somebody said that someone got filled in
For saying that people get killed in
The result of this shipbuilding'
"Shipbuilding" - Elvis Costello
If you like to write about U.S. politics and Campaign 2012, enter "The American Pundit" competition. Allvoices is awarding four $250 prizes each month between now and November. These monthly winners earn eligibility for the $5,000 grand prize, to be awarded after the November election.