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Decision 2012: Romney Attacks Obama's Middle East Policies

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Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney attacked President Obama on foreign policy Monday, saying the president needs to shape history in the Middle East and not lead from behind. NY1's Grace Rauh filed the following report.

When it comes to President Obama's leadership in the Middle East, Mitt Romney is not impressed.

"I know the president hopes for a safer, freer and more prosperous Middle East that is allied with us. I share this hope. But hope is not a strategy," Romney told supporters Monday.

In a foreign policy speech at the Virginia Military Institute, Romney explained - in broad strokes - what he would do differently. Romney says he will work with American allies to prevent Iran from gaining nuclear weapons. He says he would tighten sanctions against Iran as well.

In Syria, Romney says he will help arm rebels who "share our values."

He promised to roll back the president's cuts to military spending. And he said he would strengthen America's relationship with Israel.

"I believe that if America does not lead, others will: Others who don't share our interests and our values. And the world would grow darker," Romney said.

President Obama's campaign hit back with a web video.

"The administration was wrong to stand by a statement sympathizing with those who had breached our embassy in Egypt," Romney is quoted as saying in the ad.

The ad goes on to say Romney is failing the commander-in-chief test.

For his part, President Obama managed to inject some politics into an official event -- turning labor leader Cesar Chavez's California home into a national monument.

Chavez organized farm workers. President Obama adopted the "Si Se Puede" slogan of Chavez's group, the United Farm Workers, in his 2008 campaign.

"Even though we have a difficult road ahead, I know we can keep moving forward together," Obama said.

President Obama's road to re-election is a difficult one as well. A new national poll from the Pew Research Center shows Mitt Romney with a four-point lead over the president among likely voters. ClientIP:, UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP