(Newsroom America) -- Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney will use a major foreign policy speech at the Virginia Military Institute on Monday to argue the U.S. needs a more assertive world presence, as he criticizes President Obama for what he will characterize as a weak foreign policy.
In his speech Romney will call for a more aggressive role in Syria, sanctions on Iran and conditions for continued monetary aid to Egypt, the latter of which is now being led by an Islamic fundamentalist political leader.
Romney will say "it's time to change course in the Middle East" while accusing Obama of "passivity." He will call on the U.S. and other countries to arm Syrian rebels with weapons capable of taking on the "tanks, helicopters and fighter jets" of President Bashar Assad's army.
The GOP contender, who has enjoyed a bounce in the polls following what many perceived as his trouncing of Obama during the first presidential debate last week, will also voice strong support for Israel, and couch future Egyptian support on Cairo's actions toward the Jewish state.
"Hope is not a strategy. We cannot support our friends and defeat our enemies in the Middle East when our words are not backed up by deeds," Romney plans to say, according to an advance copy of his speech. He will stress that the U.S. should use its considerable influence "wisely, with solemnity and without false pride, but also firmly and actively."
The Obama campaign dismissed Romney's claims and said the president has a good record on foreign policy.
"We are not going to be lectured by someone who's been an unmitigated disaster on foreign policy every time he sticks his toe in the foreign policy waters," campaign spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters aboard Air Force One on Sunday.
The Obama campaign has prepared a TV ad calling Romney "reckless" and "amateurish" on foreign policy issues.
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