Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney says the "the world needs American leadership" and he would lead a nation better able to shape events rather than being at the mercy of them.
Campaigning outdoors in battleground Virginia, Romney opened Thursday with reflections of the four Americans killed in violence at the U.S. Consulate in Libya.
He tied the upheaval abroad to his pitch for a stronger military and better job opportunities at home.
Said Romney: "Your optimism is my optimism. America is coming back."
Romney blamed President Barack Obama for the potential of looming defense cuts under a budget deal the president sealed with Democrats and Republicans in Congress last year.
The GOP candidate said it seems the United States is sometimes at the "mercy of events instead of shaping events."
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