"It's really indicative of a broader failure of this administration's foreign policy and the crisis that is taking place across the Middle East," Ryan said. "It is clear the administration's policy unraveled."
Romney's intense focus on foreign policy is intended to undercut what the Obama campaign has seen as the president's ironclad international affairs credentials — and send a message to voters that they can trust the Republican on foreign policy despite limited experience. To that end, Romney's advisers said he's planning a major foreign policy speech, to be delivered sometime after Wednesday's debate.
Obama campaign spokeswoman Jen Psaki was dismissive of the argument.
"There is no op-ed or no speech which we've heard he may or may not give at some point that is going to change the view of the American people that he has been reckless, erratic and irresponsible on foreign policy issues every time he has had an opportunity to speak to them," Psaki told reporters in Henderson, Nev., where Obama is preparing for the debate.
White House press secretary Jay Carney said Romney's op-ed "contains no specifics or an alternative," adding that most of the positions Romney was advocating "are no different from what the president is actually doing."
One possible exception is Iran, Carney said, where Romney appears to oppose U.S. policy of economic sanctions and diplomatic isolation.
"The alternative is war," Carney said. "As the president has said, if Gov. Romney and other critics are advocating that position (war against Iran), they ought to say so clearly."