Washington (CNN) - Mitt Romney accused President Obama Friday of being a "weak" leader and specifically questioned Obama's handling of the economic crisis and foreign affairs.
"An uncertain world has been made more dangerous by the lack of clear direction from a weak President," Romney said in a speech before the annual Conservative Political Action Conference meeting here in the nation's capital.
Romney is one of a dozen presidential candidates speaking at the three day gathering that drew about 11,000 conservatives from around the country. A former Massachusetts governor and successful businessman, Romney focused the majority of his remarks on the economy, which is likely to be his greatest strength in what will be a competitive contest for the Republican nomination.
"Let me make this very clear," Romney said, "If I decide to run for president, it won't take me two years to wake up to the job crisis threatening America. And I won't be asking Tim Geithner how the economy works or Larry Summers how to start a business."
Considered to be the frontrunner in the race for the GOP nomination, Romney's comments on a potential White House bid drew applause from some audience members. After his speech, Romney moved from the stage onto the floor and was immediately surrounded by well wishers and people hoping to get a glimpse of the governor.
Romney, who failed in his first run for the Republican nomination in 2008, is beginning to reactivate a political operation to once again run for president. Recently, Romney held meetings in New Hampshire, where he also owns a home, and has been talking to donors.
The economy is expected to be a major issue in the 2012 presidential race and Romney said the president's efforts to turn the economy around have failed.
"President Barack Obama has stood watch over the greatest job loss in modern American history," Romney said. "And that, my friends, is one inconvenient truth that will haunt this president throughout history."
On the issue of foreign policy, Romney peppered Obama with criticism for his handling of Iran, North Korea, Russia and the war in Afghanistan.
"I surely hope that at some point in the near future, the president will finally be able to construct a foreign policy, any foreign policy," Romney said.
Romney chose to steer clear of any criticism of the Obama administration's handling of Egypt. Moments after Romney closed his speech, President Hosni Mubarak stepped down.
CPAC will close tomorrow with the results of an unscientific presidential straw poll of attendees. The results will amount to nothing more than bragging rights in a battle for the GOP nomination that will be waged in neighborhoods and living rooms across the country beginning in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina.