WASHINGTON, Oct 8, (AFP) - Leading Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney declared Friday that God created America to lead the world, and accused President Barack Obama of deliberately weakening his nation.
Romney sought to bolster his credentials to serve as commander-in-chief as new polls showed him back at the top of the Republican field and in a tight potential head-to-head matchup with Obama ahead of next year's election.
“God did not create this country to be a nation of followers. America is not destined to be one of several equally balanced global powers,” Romney said, in the most important foreign policy speech of the Republican campaign so far.
“America must lead the world, or someone else will,” he said, arguing that the globe would be more dangerous absent a prime role for Washington, Romney said in the speech, delivered on the 10th anniversary of the Afghan war.
“I will never, ever apologize for America,” Romney said, surrounded by cadets at the Citadel, a military college in South Carolina.
Republicans have cast Obama's efforts to improve the image of the United States abroad as an “apology tour” and accuse the current administration of settling for a diminished US role in the world.
But Obama 2012 campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt said Romney's speech “proves once again that he is willing to say anything, regardless of the facts, to get elected.””Governor Romney raised real questions about his capacity to lead this country and wage the fight against terrorism,” LaBolt said, complaining Romney did not identify defeating Al-Qaeda as a goal.