As he embarks on a campaign trip abroad, Mitt Romney today will slam President Obama's administration for national security leaks.
Romney will make an issue of leaking classified material during his remarks this afternoon to the Veterans of Foreign Wars in Reno. His speech will also take Obama to task for eroding America's standing in the world.
According to excerpts of the speech released by his campaign, Romney will seize on comments made by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the chairwoman of the intelligence committee. He'll also mention reports that ex-Obama defense secretary Robert Gates was upset by the release of some details of the raid that killed Osama bin Laden.
"This conduct is contemptible," Romney will say. "It betrays our national interest. It compromises our men and women in the field. And it demands a full and prompt investigation, with explanation and consequence.
"Whoever provided classified information to the media, seeking political advantage for the administration, must be exposed, dismissed, and punished. The time for stonewalling is over," he will say.
Feinstein, D-Calif., told the World Affairs Council yesterday that she doesn't believe that Obama himself is leaking classified secrets. But she placed responsibility on his administration: "I think the White House has to understand that some of this is coming from their ranks," she said.
Obama last month said it was "offensive" to suggest that anyone in his administration is purposely releasing classified information.
On the topic of American's role in the world, Romney will continue a theme he has sounded repeatedly: that Obama has hurt America's standing around the world.
"If we do not have the strength or vision to lead, then other powers will take our place, pulling history in a very different direction," Romney will say, according to the speech excerpts released by his campaign.
"A just and peaceful world depends on a strong and confident America," he will say. "I pledge to you that if I become commander in chief, the United States of America will fulfill its duty, and its destiny."
Romney's VFW speech will be his last campaign event in the United States before he heads to England, Poland and Israel. During his trip abroad, Romney will attend the Olympics, raise money, meet with foreign leaders and make some policy speeches.
Obama spoke to the VFW yesterday. Without mentioning his opponent by name, Obama criticized Romney for not having a plan for what to do in Afghanistan and for his GOP rival's recent remarks that America is in decline.
Romney is also expected to repeat his call for Congress to delay automatic cuts to defense spending that were part of the sweeping deal to raise the nation's debt ceiling. In an interview with CNBC yesterday, Romney said these cuts have "to be put off."
The Obama and Romney speeches to the VFW underscore the importance of the military vote. In 2008, 54% of voters who served in the military supported John McCain -- a naval aviator and ex-prisoner of war in Vietnam -- over Obama, according to surveys of voters as they left their polling places.
Depending on Romney's choice for a running mate, this could be the first presidential election in 80 years without someone with military service on either ticket.
While a new USA TODAY/Gallup Poll shows Romney leading Obama on issues dealing with the economy, the president has a 12-point advantage over his opponent when it comes to foreign policy issues.