Dec 23 - Republican hopeful, Mitt Romney attacks Obama on Iraq pullout and says Putin is threat to global peace. Marie-Claire Fennessy reports.
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Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney hits US President Barack Obama on his failure to keep some troops in Iraq. (SOUNDBITE) REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL HOPEFUL MITT ROMNEY SAYING (English): "And I hope that risk is not realized and I hope that we are able to see stability there. But the president's failure to secure an agreement and maintain 10,000 to 30,000 troops in Iraq has to be one of his signature failures." Just days after U.S. troops withdrew, a wave of bombings killed at least 72 people in Baghdad on Thursday. Republicans will use Iraq against Obama in the election campaign if the country descends into violence again. Speaking on his campaign bus in New Hampshire he was sharply critical of Russia's prime minister (SOUNDBITE) REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL HOPEFUL MITT ROMNEY SAYING(English): "Where President Putin has returned to some of the more heated rhetoric of the past, I think he endangers the stability and peacefulness of the globe." He also urged China to exert its influence over North Korea. (SOUNDBITE) REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL HOPEFUL MITT ROMNEY SAYING (English): "China has by far the greatest influence and this is an occasion for China to exert it's influence in a way to move towards a more open society and to encourage the regime to avoid the promotion of nuclear technology to other parts of the world." Romney is among the top two candidates to win the Republican nomination to take on Obama in November 2012. Marie-Claire Fennessy, Reuters
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