Romney To Propose New Sanctions On Iran, New Help For Syrian Rebels

Republican nominee Mitt Romney will accuse President Obama of "passive" leadership in the Middle East in what aides are calling a major foreign-policy address Monday at Virginia Military Institute. "Hope is not a strategy," he will say, according to excerpts released in advance of the late-morning address.

Romney plans to call for more direct intervention in Syria, including making sure anti-government opposition forces have weapons. He also plans to criticize the Obama administration for its initial focus on an anti-Islamic video as the trigger for an attack that killed four Americans in Benghazi, Libya, including U.S. ambassador Chris Stevens.

The renewed focus on foreign policy comes after several weeks of unrest in the Middle East resulting in widespread protests, attacks on multiple American embassies, and the deadly attacks in Benghzai. Romney plans to call the recent attacks "expressions of a larger struggle that is playing out across the broader Middle East" and argue for changing course in the region.

The VMI speech gives Romney an opportunity to make "voters comfortable with Romney as commander in chief," said Republican strategist and former McCain adviser Ford O'Connell. He pointed to a recent Gallup poll that shows Mr. Obama with higher foreign policy approval ratings than Romney and said the goal of the speech is also to "close that gap a little bit."

Read more from Sarah Huisenga at CBS News

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