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Romney to Slam Hillary Clinton on Foreign Policy, Economy

Potential presidential candidate Mitt Romney will take explicit aim at possible rival Hillary Clinton on both economic and foreign policy issues in an address at Mississippi State University Wednesday night, according to excerpts from his prepared remarks.

And he appears ready to outline his case for another likely run for the president, declaring that “strong American leadership is desperately needed for the world, and for America.”

“Secretary of State Hillary Clinton cluelessly pressed a reset button for Russia, which smiled and then invaded Ukraine, a sovereign nation,” he will say, according to text provided to NBC News by aides. “The Middle East and much of North Africa is in chaos. China grows more assertive and builds a navy that will be larger than ours in five years. We shrink our nuclear capabilities as Russia upgrades theirs.”

Romney, who lost the general election to President Barack Obama in 2012, will also paint the Republican Party as better equipped than Clinton’s Democrats to address issues of income inequality and poverty.

“How can Secretary Clinton provide opportunity for all if she doesn't know where jobs come from in the first place?” he’ll add.

The former Massachusetts governor, a onetime CEO with a highly-publicized net worth in the $250 million range, was painted by his Democratic foes in 2012 as out of touch with the problems of regular Americans.

His remarks at Mississippi State University appear squarely aimed at challenging that label – and at blunting the Obama administration’s claims that the economic recovery has been successful.

“Short term, our economy is looking up,” he’ll say. “But it is a lot better for the few, and pretty darn discouraging for the many. Incomes haven't gone up in decades.”

- Kelly O'Donnell and Carrie Dann