In his speech to the Veterans of Foreign Wars convention in Reno, Nevada, today, Mitt Romney highlighted the differences between his foreign policy vision and Obama’s.
Most notably, he called for “a full and prompt investigation by a special counsel” for the White House security leaks, which he called, “contemptible”.
Transcript via Fox News:
It is reported that Bob Gates, the President’s first secretary of defense, bluntly addressed another security problem within this administration. After secret operational details of the bin Laden raid were given to reporters, Secretary Gates walked into the West Wing and told the Obama team to “shut up.” He added a colorful word for emphasis.Lives of American servicemen and women are at stake. But astonishingly, the administration failed to change its ways. More top-secret operations were leaked, even some involving covert action in Iran.
This isn’t a partisan issue; it’s a national security crisis. And yesterday, Democrat Senator Dianne Feinstein, Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said, quote, “I think the White House has to understand that some of this is coming from their ranks.”
This conduct is contemptible. It betrays our national interest. It compromises our men and women in the field. And it demands a full and prompt investigation by a special counsel, with explanation and consequence. Obama appointees, who are accountable to President Obama’s Attorney General, should not be responsible for investigating the leaks coming from the Obama White House.
Via PBS News Hour, here’s Romney’s full speech. The comments on the national security leaks start at 11:48:
Whoever provided classified information to the media, seeking political advantage for the administration, must be exposed, dismissed, and punished. The time for stonewalling is over.
It is not enough to say the matter is being looked into, and leave it at that. When the issue is the political use of highly sensitive national security information, it is unacceptable to say, “We’ll report our findings after Election Day.”
Exactly who in the White House betrayed these secrets? Did a superior authorize it? These are things that Americans are entitled to know – and they are entitled to know right now. If the President believes – as he said last week – that the buck stops with him, then he owes all Americans a full and prompt accounting of the facts.
And let me make this very clear: These events make the decision we face in November all the more important. What kind of White House would reveal classified material for political gain? I’ll tell you right now: Mine won’t.
The harm done when national security secrets are betrayed extends, of course, to the trust that allies place in the United States.
You can read the entire transcript, here.
– Feinstein pushes back on Romney’s use of her comments –
DIANNE FEINSTEIN IN A PRESS RELEASE: “I am disappointed by the statements made by Mr. Romney today regarding a question I was asked yesterday at the World Affairs Council. I was asked whether the White House might be responsible for recent national security leaks. I stated that I did not believe the president leaked classified information. I shouldn’t have speculated beyond that, because the fact of the matter is I don’t know the source of the leaks.”
Romney reportedly said that Feinstein must have gotten “the Cory Booker treatment.”
The White House responded by saying, ” Obama has zero tolerance for leaks.”
Right, that’s why they keep happening, and always designed to make SCOAMF look tough.
Spokesman Jay Carney says Obama has made it clear that leaks are “damaging to our national security interests.”
Obama himself has rejected the notion that his White House was behind the leaks. When questioned about the allegations in June, he called them “offensive.”
If it’s so offensive to him, why doesn’t he do anything to get to the bottom of it?
Back in June, Chartles Krauthammer expressed his belief that the president’s response was a misstep.
“I think he’ll regret having made this statement the same way he’ll regret the idea about the private sector doing okay,” said the columnist.
If it is offensive, the idea that it would’ve been leaked, when we know that in the report itself it included White House officials, then let him prove it by having a special council appointed. From what you said, they would’ve said ‘appoint a special council’ (had it been the equivalent of a “Scooter” Libby investigation).
So what does Krauthammer think is the next step in this growing story?
“The key here is (Senator) Dianne Feinstein. If she demands it, it’ll be done,” Krauthammer said.
“And she’s the Democratic Chair of the Senate Intelligence [Committee],” Fox host Chris Wallace clarified.
“She’s the democratic, liberal chair. She’s extremely angry over these leaks, she should be, and she’s the one who needs to speak out right now,” Krauthammer added.
Well, we all know how that is going to go, now.
Mark Levin’s thoughts on Romney’s speech today, via Daily Rushbo: