COLUMBUS, Ohio – Responding to his rival’s attack on his foreign policy record, President Obama defended the decision to remove all combat forces from Iraq as “the right thing to do” and challenged Mitt Romney with favoring a return to failed policies abroad.
Speaking at an afternoon rally on the campus of Ohio State University, Obama said that Romney in a speech this week “doubled down” on his past statement that ending the war was “tragic.”
“After nine years of war, more than $1 trillion in spending, extraordinary sacrifices by our men and women in uniform and their families, he said we should still have troops on the ground in Iraq. Ohio, you can't turn a page on the failed policies of the past if you're promising to repeat them,” Obama said. “We cannot afford to go back to a foreign policy that gets us into wars with no plan to end them. We're moving forward, not going back.”
Ending the war in Iraq was one of the hallmarks of Obama’s 2008 campaign for president, and it was the front on which he chose to engage Romney, albeit belatedly, after the GOP nominee’s speech in Virginia on Monday.
Vice President Joe Biden has been a lead campaign voice challenging Romney on foreign policy. But he's camped out near his home in Delaware for intensive preparation for Thursday's vice presidential debate.