Mitt Romney Speaks to Keydets At VMI

Lexington, VA - Mitt Romney continues his focus on Virginia with a stop Monday at VMI in Lexington.

There was little mincing words at VMI as Mitt Romney told some 400 cadets at the nation's oldest state supported military college that a lack of presidential leadership in the Middle East has moved this country closer to war over the past few years.

"It's clear the risk of conflict in the region is higher now than when the president took office. I know the President hopes for a safer, freer and more prosperous Middle East allied with us. I share this hope.. but hope is not a strategy," said Romney.

Romney touched on a number of hot issues including Syria where he said he will support organizing and arming the rebels.

On Israel where he said he would rebuild a relationship with that country - that he claims - is suffering under Obama.

Romney also vowed to stop deep cuts in the military and use that power to help shape the world.

He used that platform to again fire a shot at Russian President Vladimir Putin.

"I'll implement effective missile defenses to protect against threats. And on this, there will be no flexibility with Vladimir Putin," said Romney.

But more than anything, Romney committed himself to changing the way he says the President leads this country in tough times - which he says is not necessarily from the front as in times past.

"It is our responsibly and the responsibility of the President to use America's greatest power to shape history... not to lead from behind leaving our destiny at the mercy of events," said Romney.