(CNN) – Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney on Saturday continued his attacks on President Barack Obama for announcing the withdrawal of virtually all U.S. troops from Iraq by the end of the year, decrying it as a "sudden change of policy."
The presidential candidate said the Obama administration had indicated earlier they were working to have a status of forces agreement with Iraq that would keep a larger sum of troops in Iraq "for some extended period of time" or until the United States could hand off operations to the Iraqi military.
"Either they failed to do it, either by virtue of ineptitude, or they decided that it wasn't that important - politically or otherwise," Romney told reporters at his New Hampshire campaign headquarters.
Obama announced Friday that almost all of the 39,000 remaining troops in Iraq will return by December 31, making good on a 2008 campaign pledge to end the war.
Soon after the president made the announcement, Romney's campaign responded with a statement questioning Obama's decision as a "naked political calculation."
Romney didn't outline his recommendations for troop withdrawal, but argued the president was removing troops too soon.
"I believe that you listen to the commanders on the ground and understand from them what the timetable is to transition entirely to the Iraqi military," Romney said.