Mitt Romney has promised not to attack President Obama when he jets off for his world tour this week. But in one of his final speeches on American soil before he heads to Europe and Israel, Romney will accuse the White House of leaking classified material for political gain and putting the lives of Americans at risk in the process.
Romney is scheduled to speak to the Veterans of Foreign Wars conference in Reno Tuesday, one day after President Obama took a foreign policy victory lap in his speech before the group. Romney, whose own specific foreign policy plans have been vague, doesn’t provide any more particulars for his own plans for nations like Syria and elsewhere, according to advanced excerpts of his remarks. Instead, Romney will hammer Obama over leaks of classified material related to the killing of Osama bin Laden and other covert actions.
“Exactly who in the White House betrayed these secrets? Did a superior authorize it?” Romney plans to say, according to the remarks. “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.”
Leaks have been a big topic on Capitol Hill and the White House recently as the New York Times and other outlets have published big exposes on the inner-workings of the war on terror. Leaked stories have added phrases like “kill list” to the political lexicon as well as revealed details of US cyber warfare capability.
Republicans have accused the Obama administration of leaking the stories on purpose to bolster the White House image in advance of the election. On Tuesday, the GOP says it got some backup from Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), the Senate intelligence committee chairwoman, who told a forum that some of the leaks are coming from White House “ranks.” But she dismissed the idea that Obama was doing the leaking.
“I don’t believe for a moment that he goes out and talks about it,” she said, according to the AP.
Obama and the White House have condemned the leaks and promised to root them out. Attorney General Eric Holder has tasked two prosecutors with finding the leaks and plugging them.
The president has also said that the allegations that the White House leaked the information for political gain crosses the line.
“The notion that my White House would purposely release classified national security information is offensive,” Obama said at a June press conference.