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Madeleine Albright finds Romney's foreign policy speech 'confusing'

October 08, 2012|By Christi Parsons
  • Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, a critic of Mitt Romney's proposed foreign policy, is shown during the opening of the International Women's Summit in Pristina, Kosovo.
Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, a critic of Mitt Romney's… (Valdrin Xhemaj / EPA )

WASHINGTON – Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright on Monday dismissed Mitt Romney’s foreign policy as “full of platitudes” and light on specifics in the wake of the Republican presidential nominee’s latest address on the subject.

In a conference call with reporters, Albright said she came away from his speech “confused” on a number of issues, including whether Romney would have intervened to help end the regime of Libyan dictator Moammar Kadafi and if he would now arm the rebels in Syria.

“He has changed his mind on a number of issues,” said Albright, a veteran of the Clinton administration. Romney was first “for intervention” and is “now against,” she said, and she is “unclear where he is on Syria.”

“I thought I heard him say earlier that he would arm the rebels,” she said, and “now he’s just saying he might help them in some way.”

Romney has rolled out a lot of “rhetoric and things,” the former secretary said, but the lack of specifics suggests he doesn’t know “what the role of the U.S. is in the 21st century.”

Nowhere is that more a concern than with respect to Russia, she said, which Romney not long ago said remains America’s leading “geopolitical foe.”

Russia has supported the provision of supplies to troops in Afghanistan, she said, and therefore “we can’t look at them as we did during the Cold War.”

The call came within an hour of the end of Romney’s latest foreign policy address, in which he stepped up his criticism of Obama’s foreign policy and, in particular, the president’s handling of unrest in the Middle East.

In his speech at the Virginia Military Institute in Lexington, Romney charged that Obama has led “from behind” and failed to back up his words with deeds. “Hope is not a strategy,” he said.

In her critique, Albright charged that Romney hasn’t laid out the level of detail to claim a foreign policy plan.

“Peace through strength,” she said, is “not really a foreign policy.”

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christi.parsons@latimes.com

Twitter: @cparsons

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