WASHINGTON — Former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney on Wednesday accused President Barack Obama of failing to sufficiently highlight America's strengths in his travels and speeches around the world.
In an interview as Obama was flying to Saudi Arabia at the start of a Mideast trip, Romney said there's nothing wrong with "showing our respect for the people in the world of Islam." But he also said he believes Obama was too apologetic about this country's mistakes during a speech in France earlier this year.
Interviewed from Boston on NBC's "Today" show as Obama set out on a tour that will include a speech in Egypt on U.S. relations with the Islamic world, Romney said that "of course, America makes mistakes." But he also said considers it inappropriate to "go around the world apologizing."
Romney, who unsuccessfully sought the Republican presidential nomination last year, said Obama should talk more about the sacrifices the United States has made on other nations' behalf, such as during World War II, "what we have done in blood and sacrifice."
"I think it's appropriate for him to describe the greatness of America," Romney said of Obama.
On another matter, he said moving General Motors Corp. into a bankruptcy and restructuring was "the right course," but said it should have been done sooner.
He called the federal investment in GM "really money down the drain. .... The government should get out right now."
"Look, I don't want the Sierra Club telling General Motors what kind of cars they should build," Romney said.
Asked if he was already, in effect, running for the GOP presidential nod in 2012, Romney replied, "No, I'm looking right now at trying to get some Republicans getting elected in 2009 and 2010."
"And what happens later, ... that's a very distant horizon."