Mitt Romney accuses Barack Obama of classified bin Laden leaks

 

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney moved today from his attacks on Barack Obama's handling of the struggling US economy to a charge that the president sought political gain by leaking classified details of the raid that killed Osama bin Laden.

Romney planned to make the accusation today during an address to the Veterans of Foreign Wars national convention. Obama addressed the VFW yesterday as both candidates shift, if briefly, from economic issues to military affairs and foreign policy.

In excerpts of the speech released by his campaign, Romney called the alleged leak "contemptible," saying such action betrayed the national interest and compromised US troops. He demanded an investigation.

Romney addresses the VFW on the eve of a visit to key US allies Britain, Israel and Poland. Aides said the former Massachusetts governor would use the speech to outline his view that Obama has relinquished US leadership around the world.

In an election that's expected to be one of the closest in recent memory, the race has been dominated by the weak US economic recovery and stubbornly high 8.2 per cent unemployment, and Romney has largely avoided other topics.

Obama is comfortable with military and foreign policy issues and cast himself in yesterday's speech to the VFW as a steady commander in chief, tested by two wars and the successful raid that killed the al-Qa'ida leader bin Laden in his Pakistan hideout. The president touted his record as one of promises kept, including ending the war in Iraq and winding down the conflict in Afghanistan.

Obama yesterday suggested Romney would have kept troops in Iraq indefinitely and criticized him for opposing the president's 2014 timeline for withdrawal from Afghanistan.

"That's not a plan for America's security," Obama told the veterans group.

While raising money in California yesterday, Romney told supporters that "the consequence of American weakness is seen around us in the world."

Obama campaign officials challenged Romney to offer clear policy ideas during his three-country trip, which will be viewed as a measure of how well the Republican candidate can stand up on the world stage. Obama took an even broader foreign trip as a candidate in 2008.

Romney is expected to meet with British Prime Minister David Cameron and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, among others.

Romney suggested yesterday that the Obama administration had not been aggressive enough in deterring Iran's nuclear ambitions or in trying to quell the violence in Syria.

The Obama administration has long called for Assad to leave Syria, relying on a strategy of sanctions and international isolation to pressure Assad into handing over power.

Romney said he agreed with Obama's call for Syrian President Bashar Assad's departure but said Obama had not shown proper leadership to force it.

"America should've come out very aggressively from the very beginning and said Assad must go," Romney told CNBC. "The world looks for American leadership and American strength."

On both issues, however, Romney has not outlined how he would alter US policy toward Iran or Syria.

The candidates shifted to world affairs after both campaigns quieted their mutual attacks out of respect for the movie theater massacre Friday in Colorado.

The tragedy did not inspire either candidate to speak up on the sensitive issue of gun control, and it did not keep them from chasing campaign contributions.

Romney headlined fundraisers over two days in California, netting $10 million. Obama was expected to raise more than $6 million during two days of West Coast fundraising.

Obama today was continuing a Western campaign swing with appearances in Oregon and Washington state.

AP

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
i100 In this video, the late actor Leonard Nimoy explains how he decided to use the gesture for his character
Arts and Entertainment
Secrets of JK Rowling's Harry Potter workings have been revealed in a new bibliography
arts + ents
News
Down-to-earth: Winstone isn't one for considering his 'legacy'
people
News
news
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Sauce Recruitment: Retail Planning Manager - Home Entertainment UK

salary equal to £40K pro-rata: Sauce Recruitment: Are you available to start a...

Ashdown Group: Front-End Developer - London - up to £40,000

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Creative Front-End Developer - Claph...

Recruitment Genius: Product Quality Assurance Technologist - Hardline & Electric

£18000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The role in this successful eco...

Ashdown Group: QA Tester - London - £30,000

£28000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: QA Tester - London - £30,000 QA Tes...

Day In a Page

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower