Republican Mitt Romney was expected to slam his potential 2016 presidential opponent, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, at Mississippi State University Wednesday evening in the latest sign the former Massachusetts governor will run for president for a third time. Romney attacked Clinton’s economic record and foreign policy regarding Russia in a copy of his planned speech attained by ABC News.
“How can Secretary Clinton provide opportunity for all if she doesn’t know where jobs come from in the first place?” Romney’s speech reads. “We need to restore opportunity, particularly for the middle class. ... You deserve a job that can repay all you’ve spent and borrowed to go to college.” He added it was “time to apply conservative policies” to create jobs and improve the American education system, according to the Associated Press.
Romney pointed to growing conflict in the Middle East and parts of Africa as evidence of Clinton’s failures as secretary of state from 2009 to 2013. She failed to keep America up to speed with China and Russia’s military expansions, Romney’s speech read.
“Secretary of State Hillary Clinton cluelessly pressed a reset button for Russia, which smiled and then invaded Ukraine, a sovereign nation,” the speech read. “The Middle East and much of North Africa is in chaos. China grows more assertive and builds a navy that will be larger than ours in five years. We shrink our nuclear capabilities as Russia upgrades theirs.”
Romney took aim at President Barack Obama as well, calling him “timid” and a weak leader on the global stage for his policies in Syria and on Israeli relations.
Romney is expected to announce a third bid to run for president in 2016 sometime in February. He spent much of his years following his 2012 presidential election loss to Obama at a new home in Utah, a Mormon bastion where he is overwhelmingly popular compared with Obama. Analysts expect him to be more “open” about his Mormon faith and personal life if he runs in 2016, topics he rarely addressed during his White House campaigns in 2012 and 2008.