March 18th, 2014
09:01 AM ET
5 months ago

Romney slams Obama, Clinton for foreign policy 'failure'

(CNN) - Mitt Romney is blaming President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for the crisis in Ukraine as well as other foreign policy challenges across the globe.

In an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, the former Massachusetts governor and 2012 Republican presidential nominee says a "failure" by the President and former secretary of state to lead when they had the chance has led to the current situation.

Romney's op-ed comes on the same day that Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a treaty making Crimea part of Russia after the autonomous region of Ukraine voted overwhelming this past weekend to join Russia. The United States, the European Union, and Ukraine did not recognize the results of the referendum.

"From Crimea to North Korea, from Syria to Egypt, and from Iraq to Afghanistan, America apparently has no good options. If possession is nine-tenths of the law, Russia owns Crimea and all we can do is sanction and disinvite-and wring our hands," Romney wrote.

And Romney placed the blame on Obama and Clinton, who if she runs for the White House in 2016 would instantly become the overwhelming favorite to win the Democratic nomination.

"President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton traveled the world in pursuit of their promise to reset relations and to build friendships across the globe. Their failure has been painfully evident: It is hard to name even a single country that has more respect and admiration for America today than when President Obama took office, and now Russia is in Ukraine. Part of their failure, I submit, is due to their failure to act when action was possible, and needed," Romney wrote.

Romney was derided for saying during the 2012 election that Russia was a major political foe of the U.S. In a March 2012 interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer on "The Situation Room," Romney said that Russia "without question, our number one geopolitical foe. They - they fight every cause for the world's worst actors."

But as the situation in Ukraine, and especially Crimea, unraveled over the past month, many conservative commentators criticized the President and touted Romney's prescience.

Romney closed his op-ed by adding that there was still a chance for American diplomacy, saying that a "chastened president and Secretary of State Kerry, a year into his job, can yet succeed, and for the country’s sake, must succeed. Timing is of the essence."

Ron Paul: 'What's the big deal'

Former longtime Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, who ran for the 2008 and 2012 GOP presidential nominations, had a very different view of the crisis in a piece published Tuesday in USA Today, asking, "What's the big deal?" and "Why does the U.S. care which flag will be hoisted on a small piece of land thousands of miles away?"

Paul, who advocated an extremely limited U.S. foreign policy extremely popular with his libertarian following, also wrote that "Perhaps the U.S. officials who supported the unconstitutional overthrow of Ukraine's government should refocus their energies on learning our own Constitution, which does not allow the U.S. government to overthrow governments overseas or send a billion dollars to bail out Ukraine and its international creditors."

CNN Political Editor Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report


Filed under: Hillary Clinton • Mitt Romney • President Obama • Russia • Ukraine
soundoff (51 Responses)
  1. Enough is Enough

    And shortly all of the progressive apologists will rise and tell us how Obama and Clinton are foreign policy geniuses.....and all of the worlds problems were caused by Bush and the Republicans.....for crying out loud....Obama already knows the solution to world hunger....he just hasn't told us yet because he knows that we aren’t yet ready for it!

    March 18, 2014 09:08 am at 9:08 am |
  2. Tampa Tim

    Mittens received liar of the year in 2012, for his lies about Jeep. Sarah Palin received liar of the year for death panels. (Boehner just received 4 Pinocchios for his lies about health care.) Do we really need to listen to those, including McCain, who are still bitter about losing to a black man? Mittens was silent when Putin went into Georgia in 2008.

    March 18, 2014 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  3. Gurgyl

    --so you want another war with Russia? Nonsense, I am glad Obama is president not this dude. I don't know why he is talking after losing to humiliating defeat, what 338/105 electoral votes. Nonsense.

    March 18, 2014 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  4. ChrisM

    Ha, the loser Mitt speaks. So republicans want more War.

    March 18, 2014 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  5. Ali

    Maybe we should send our armed forces to North Korea, Iran, Syria, go back to Iraq and stay in Afghanistan. Because that's the opposite of the President is doing. Any volunteers? Another reason why I'm glad the Righ-wingers have no say in foreign affairs. Look what they did when the President asked them to provide an aid to Ukraine..look. Disgrace to humanity. They will say anything to please their few fox channel viewers. Vice President Biden is in Eastern Europe (Russia's border) as we speak. I call that leadership, but Rmoney will not mention. We should asked him what he would differently? War?

    March 18, 2014 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  6. salty dog

    Tisk tisk mittens, your overseas tour was a smash, much like bush, can't smell your own hole again. The hypocracy is boundless .

    March 18, 2014 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  7. Tampa Tim

    All the war mongers from the right have to offer is war, no diplomacy. Most Americans are tired of a dozen years of war, and, in reality, no countries feared Bush. North Korea got their nukes, Iran began building facilities, Al Qaida continued attacks, Putin went into Georgia, most of our allies turned away from the Iraq war when they found out everything was a lie.

    March 18, 2014 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  8. Gurgyl

    Why not we send THESE REPUBLICANS to Russia, Crimea, Iran, North Korea, then their children followed by their wives.

    March 18, 2014 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  9. Tampa Tim

    According to Mittens, we need more WW I battleships.

    March 18, 2014 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  10. salty dog

    You see people like him try to justify the hatred they already have, trying to convince someone to hate that doesn't, requires much more substance, which the gop grossly lacks . That's why their voting block is not likely to change, there is not enough rich people to win elections by themselves, enter hate, divide and conquer,which they have done. If the gop supporters could gain ten IQ points, the gop would be dead overnight .

    March 18, 2014 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  11. Ali

    At least Putin has a supportive people in the house, unlike the Tea baggers. They haven't accomplished anything except defy the President. They can't even vote for a simple aid for the people of Ukraine without attaching to any domestic politics. It is so bad that Sen. Graham has to beg the House speaker. I think Rmoney should stop watching Fox channel and see what's really going on in the world. The world was a whole a lot worse when the President took office...remember the economic meltdown two wars and of course Osama Bin Laden (you don't hear that name often). sore loser

    March 18, 2014 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  12. Dead Bear

    Mitt is exactly what this country did not need in the White House. Another millionaire son of a career politician who was too cowardly to serve his country during his generation's war but now talks a hawkish big game on foreign policy... Do us all a favor, Mitt. Enjoy your cushy seat at the country club and STFU!

    March 18, 2014 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  13. Winning

    So what would you do different, Romney? All the right does is pi ss and moan, but alternative solutions? They have none.

    March 18, 2014 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  14. icansee4miles

    Not that Romney's relevant; but where was he and his ilk when Russia took over Armenia on Bush's watch? The Republicans are all bombast when they are out of power! May it stay that way!!

    March 18, 2014 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  15. Marty

    I disagree with Gov. Romney. I'm not sure if President Obama is a success or failure with foreign policy because I don't know what his foreign policy is.
    Failure – if his policy is a strong leadership position for the U.S. in the world
    Success – if his policy is for the U.S. to be a weak European style country

    The opinion of many Americans is to take a strong world position but more and more Americans are happy to be taken care of (fed, clothed and housed) by someone in the" Manner House". It's a changing America a traditional foreign policy it's a failure for the new America "what difference does it make".

    March 18, 2014 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  16. Jodo

    It's hillarioius reading the defensive posturing from the chumps that voted for obama.

    Insulting Romney, calling people Tea baggers, calling other people lies and all of the other childish rants do not compensate for obama's complete and total failure.

    And a side note to the kiddies -- it is possible to express your opinion without insults and hate speech. I understand that obama taught you to hate half of your fellow Americans, but you were duped. Together we stand, divided we fall

    March 18, 2014 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  17. guest

    I wonder if they even believe the stuff they say anymore. I mean I know they will say they believe it, but it is just so far out there and stepped on over an over that you have to wonder if they actually believe this stuff or is it all for those political points, find something that gets stuck in peoples craw and run with it. Like if we block all foreign policy in congress, make the president go it alone, then we can sit and try to impeach him for executive action if he does or say he did nothing if he doesnt. How does this play in Peoria? I mean I know nielson usually picks stupid people, but C'Mon!

    March 18, 2014 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  18. Bessy

    Is this guy for real ? He, and like thinking Republicans, just can't let a day go by that they don't subject the world to their " words of wisdom ". What a pack of idiots. Thank heaven that enough voters in this country were able to see past his BS when the election was held.

    March 18, 2014 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  19. Tampa Tim

    Jodo – Loved your insults. I am curios how the republicans non stop attacks on women's rights, seniors, veterans, minorities, students, poor people, uninsured, and the American worker is someone not divisive?

    March 18, 2014 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  20. ghostwriter

    Gotta love Mitty. Republicans...how anyone outside your bubble takes you seriously is beyond me. I have simply gone into the mode of laughing at you first, reading your current exploits and laughing again. I rarely even bother to substantiate any of your claims anymore. Not that it takes more than 30 seconds to debunk most of your talking points....if they haven't already been debunked.

    I think it's way past time to retire Mr. Cheesy Grits...Mr 47%....Mr. Right Height Trees....Mr. If I were Hispanic.....

    March 18, 2014 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  21. tom l

    Jodo,
    I totally agree. They have been suckered into hating half of their fellow Americans.

    March 18, 2014 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  22. guest

    Just look how happy romney is in that picture. They can smell the money in the air. Go take over the Crimean, set up american oil industry, then give it back to ukraine cutting out russia and the eu for energy production and set up a mcDonalds on every corner like it is South vietnam

    March 18, 2014 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  23. Rudy NYC

    Why am I reminded of Mitt Romney jumping the gun, shooting his lips from his hips, during the Benghazi attacks? Remember that? Gov. Romney had kept good on his 47% video promise by trying to make the attacks a divisive campaign issue. That was during the first hour of the attacks, which lasted for around 7-8 hour, leaving four Americans dead.

    When we learned of the fatalities hours after Mitt's criticism, suddenly his words sounded like a callous rant, for which he apologized. Now, here he is again, trying to score political points. For what? It's certainly not to help American interests, because all that he's really doing is making the President's job all the more difficult....which no doubt is the whole purpose.

    March 18, 2014 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  24. tom l

    Tampa,
    I'm going to engage with you (I'm not sure why though). I'm curious what your actual thoughts are on Crimea and how Obama, Clinton and Kerry have handled the Russian situation. From what I can tell, you only keep saying that repubs want to start another war yet I don't see that at all. So rather than saying, and misrepresenting, what repubs will do, how about telling me what should be done. In my opinion, there is nothing we can nor should do. The toothpaste is out of the tube now so we can't go back in time to change things. Plus, it's really not our business. So, Tampa, what would you do?

    March 18, 2014 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  25. DH

    American voted TWICE on who they wanted to lead us domestically and on foreign affairs. GOP still can't believe we do not want them. Get use to it.

    March 18, 2014 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
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