Psaki to Romney: You'd do what exactly?

Oct. 8, 2012 at 4:13 PM
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ABOARD AIR FORCE ONE, Oct. 8 (UPI) -- Obama campaign spokeswoman Jen Psaki Monday challenged U.S. Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney to lay out exactly what he would do in handling Syria.

Romney delivered a foreign policy address at the Virginia Military Institute earlier in the day, sharply criticizing President Obama's handling of events in the Middle East and North Africa.

"He [Romney] said that the president and his team are not doing enough when it comes to Syria, when it comes to Libya, and several events in the Middle East," Psaki said during the daily press briefing aboard Air Force One as the president headed to Bakersfield, Calif. "What exactly are they suggesting we do? What exactly is their plan and their proposal? So if they're going farther, they should say that."

Psaki called Romney's speech his "seventh attempt by our count to reboot his foreign policy."

She characterized the speech as "chest-pounding rhetoric" and "clumsy," and said his views are outside the mainstream.

"He's surrounded himself with a number of people who were advisers to past President Bush, people who have been saber-rattling -- have used saber-rattling rhetoric when it comes to Syria and Iran, and that's something that we think the American people should take a look at," Psaki said.

White House press secretary Jay Carney took issue with Romney's remarks on Afghanistan and Iraq, saying if Romney had his way, the United States still would have tens of thousands of troops in the latter.

"In Afghanistan it's the same thing. This president inherited a policy that was adrift, that was under-resourced, that Governor Romney had supported and other Republican leaders had supported," Carney said. "He kept his commitment to redouble our efforts against al-Qaida, to fully resource our mission in Afghanistan, to hone that mission so that its objectives were clear and achievable. And he has fulfilled that, and we are now in the process of drawing down our presence in Afghanistan and ending that war."

When it comes to Israel, Carney said, "There's an attempt to draw a distinction and to suggest that this president's commitment to Israel's security is not strong, and yet Israel's leaders themselves have said that military cooperation and support, and intelligence cooperation and support from this president and this administration is unprecedented in the U.S.-Israeli relationship.

"Those are the facts."

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