In a wide-ranging interview with Fox News Channel’s Neil Cavuto, presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney took aim at President Barack Obama’s recent remarks in an interview with a Miami TV station, which he said Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez has posed no “serious” national security threat over the past several years.
According to Romney, Obama is neglecting to note Chavez’s ties to rogue Middle Eastern power Iran.
“I was stunned by his comments,” Romney said during the interview, which will also air on Fox Business Network. “This is Hugo Chavez who has invited Iran in, who has invited Hezbollah. Hezbollah, being a surrogate and a proxy for Iran that would have access to weapons that could be used against us. The idea that this nation, this president, doesn’t pose a national security threat is simply naive and an extraordinary admission on the part of this president to be completely out of touch with what is happening in Latin America. This is a very misguided and misdirected thought on the part of our president.”
Earlier in the day, Romney addressed the NAACP convention in Houston and received a round of boos when he mentioned repealing the president’s health-care law. Romney told Fox Business he expected the boos.
“I think we expected that. I am going to give the same message to the NAACP that I give across the country which is that Obamacare is killing jobs, and if jobs is the priority, we are going to have to replace it with something that actually holds down healthcare costs, as opposed to something that causes more spending for the government and more spending for American families,” he said.
He also added he thought he could chip away at the stranglehold the Democratic Party has held on the black vote. As for his critics who want him to be more aggressive responding to attacks from Obama, Romney admitted it was the campaign’s strategy to ignore them for being “completely off base.”
“I respond to the attacks that come, but they say in politics if you are responding, you are losing,” Romney said. “I think the better course for our campaign is to respond to the attacks as being completely off base. People are tired of this petty attack that comes from politicians and they want to see someone who talks about the issues they care about. The president wants to make this a campaign about attacking wealth. I want to make this a campaign about helping the middle class.”
One of the favorite attacks from Romney’s opponents has been that he hasn’t forthcoming on his financial standing. But the former Massachusetts governor said that he has gone as far as the candidates in the previous presidential election.
“The Democrats are always going to be critics,” Romney said. “We have released all of the financial statements required by law and two years of tax returns. The most recent year we will be releasing as soon as that’s prepared. Tax information is there, other financial disclosure is there; the same level of information that John McCain and John Kerry for that matter released when they were running for president.”