President Barack Obama's reelection campaign issued a new attack on what it calls Mitt Romney's "failures on foreign policy" on Monday, the same day the Republican presidential candidate is slated to deliver a major foreign policy speech in Virginia.
A new ad, titled "Policy," references Romney's gaffe-laden trip to England, Israel and Poland in July and targets the former Massachusetts governor's widely criticized response to the recent attacks in Benghazi, which took the lives of four Americans, including U.S. ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens.
"Reckless, amateurish -- that's what news media and fellow Republicans called Mitt Romney's gaffe-filled July tour of England, Israel and Poland," the narrator says in the ad. "When our U.S. diplomats were attacked in Libya, The New York Times said Romney's knee-jerk response 'showed an extraordinary lack of presidential character.'"
"And even Republican experts said Romney's remarks were 'the worst possible reaction to what happened,'" the voice continues. "If this is how he handles the world now, just think what Mitt Romney might do as president."
The spot will air in Virginia and is the first paid media effort by the Obama campaign to lay into Romney's foreign policy message.
In a memo that accompanies the ad, Michele Flournoy and Colin Kahl, advisers to Obama's reelection team on national security issues, contrast the president's foreign policy record with Romney's inability to offer specifics on how he will meet the challenges facing the country today.
"Mitt Romney has, throughout this campaign, raised more questions than answers about what he'd actually do as President," they write. "He supported the Iraq war and said that removing all of our troops from Iraq was 'tragic,' he called Russia -- not al-Qaeda -- our 'number one geopolitical foe,' and he said that he wouldn't have set a timeline to end the war in Afghanistan. Those aren't policies, those are misguided talking points -- and the American people deserve more from someone running to be commander-in-chief."
On Monday, Romney is expected to lay out a clearer vision of how he would tackle foreign policy issues. He will also continue his criticisms of the Obama administration's handling of the crisis in Libya, which the White House has since branded a terrorist attack -- even though the president has repeatedly declined to characterize it explicitly and publicly as an act of terrorism.
But while the Obama administration continues to deal with questions over the attack in Benghazi, in its memo the Obama campaign notes that Romney used the tragedy "to take advantage of an international crisis for pure political gain," calling his approach "cynical" and "offensive."
Read the full Obama campaign memo below:
Romney Foreign Policy