(CNN) - Mitt Romney went on the offensive Tuesday, slamming President Obama's foreign policy initiatives and calling the president a "timid advocate of freedom."
In an op-ed in the National Review, the former Massachusetts governor accused Obama of going easy on dictators and passing blame for the actions and policies of former administrations.
"As American soldiers sacrificed blood in Afghanistan and Iraq to defend liberty, President Obama shrank from defending liberty here in the Americas," Romney wrote. "Vice President Biden was right that the new president would be tested early in his administration. What the world learned was not good news for freedom and democracy. The leader of the free world has been a timid advocate of freedom at best. And bold action to blunt the advances of tyrants has been wholly lacking."
The former candidate for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination said Obama may have failed in his early foreign-policy tests, but that he hopes the president will offer more than "silence, smiles, and a handshake" when dealing with foreign nations and leaders in the future.
"We are still very early in the Obama years – the president will have ample opportunity to defend America and freedom, and to deter nuclear brinkmanship. I am hoping for change," he wrote.