March 18th, 2014
09:01 AM ET
6 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. Michael MN

    Always the ones that failed to serve when they had a chance suddenly become brave and gung ho when they will never serve

    March 18, 2014 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  2. salty dog

    Taking a hard stance, and military presence in every world conflict, we may need your children and grandchildren to serve mitt, you OK with that?

    March 18, 2014 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  3. Sniffit

    Armchair generals proving hindsight is 20/20. Yawn. I suppose Mittens would never have invaded Iraq then? Let's ask him that and see how good his armchair generalling really is.

    March 18, 2014 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  4. salty dog

    Stock market high, ended two wars, killed bin laden (he wasn't supposed to do that, now who's the boogeyman). We have high unemployment and record food stamps, not at all related to the record inequality we have, worse than the gilded age, and what followed. All because if greed, lie to yourself and say I'm wrong, whatever fires your hate. The gop hide behind religion, they show no compassion, but think they are morally superior, sickens me that they suppress rights of the poor, to healthcare, the right to vote,,and education . They truly disgust me.

    March 18, 2014 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  5. Malory Archer

    What is it with the rightwing "also-rans" that causes them to not be able to let go of the fact they lost and move on with their lives? I've been following politics for 40 years, and never in that time have I EVER heard the Dem candidate spend the winner's ENTIRE term taking every opportunity to get their mug on TV or radio and bash the person who bested them in their respective election bids. Granted, after the USSC handed the presidency to the repub in 2004, Al Gore supporters were quite vocal, but he accepted his fate with grace and never whined about the guy the USSC installed – even after that guy STARTED TWO WARS!!! Honestly, the rightwing are REALLY, REALLY sore losers. Ironically, they're not much better when they're able to pull off a win.

    March 18, 2014 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  6. Michael

    I'm sorry Mittens, the only thing you have any credibility on is outsourcing American jobs. I consider you an expert in that field.

    Republicans are always urging war, just don't expect their kids to do the dying.

    March 18, 2014 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  7. smith

    Obama backed this coup in Ukraine and now we have a big mess there. The same thing happend in Egypt and Libya. Maybe we should quit meddling in other countries because we are just making the situation worse. Romney is just playing politics, but Ron Paul has the right idea. There is nothing the US can do anyway.

    March 18, 2014 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  8. sonnie3

    As far as world leaders go, Putin is far outpacing our potus and Hillary Putin don't give a hoot about what obama has to say. Let's face it we blew it with our current leadership.

    March 18, 2014 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  9. Tampa Tim

    Tom l – I had given up on engaging you. Like the GOP, you have no plan other than Monday morning quarterbacking. At no time have you offered any solution, but, for the record, I prefer diplomacy and sanctions versus what the GOP did in Georgia.

    March 18, 2014 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  10. tom l

    @smith

    Obama backed this coup in Ukraine and now we have a big mess there. The same thing happend in Egypt and Libya. Maybe we should quit meddling in other countries because we are just making the situation worse. Romney is just playing politics, but Ron Paul has the right idea. There is nothing the US can do anyway.
    ====
    Yep, yep, yep and yep. And Ron Paul has always been correct and never waivered. You would think that liberals would agree with him (especially with Iraq) but, alas, he has an "r" next to his name and we all know that the gang cares a lot more "who" says it rather than "what" is said...

    March 18, 2014 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  11. Bill

    Sorry Mittens, you are (and never were) relevant. Still a clown I see.

    March 18, 2014 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  12. rs

    The ridiculousness of the Right blossoms with each and every day. Predicting that Russia would renew interest in re-acquiring former Soviet states as part of Russia took no genius (even Palin sort of mentioned it), but when Georgia was absorbed into Russia, and Mr. Bush went fishing, that was the sign Russia needed to say "alright, no one will stop us". This new meme that President Obama is weak, and Putin smells weakness is idiotic.

    As with the case of Georgia, Crimea is not even a remote foreign interest of the United States, and truth be told, there is little to stop such an action when the Russians living in the region vote to become part of Russia again.

    This is just another GOP tempest in a teapot- I am just surprised that someone of Mr.Romney's caliber would stoop to calling a sitting President weak (and based upon what evidence, sir?) for cheap political gamesmanship.
    This is just more GOP anti-patriotic "we hate the government and the President". Nothing more, nothing less.

    March 18, 2014 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  13. Rudy NYC

    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.
    ------------------------
    Interesting. I'm always being called a liar when people dislike my facts. I'm always being called a left wing hate names for simply debunking the myths, distortions, and misinformation being promoted by the right wing. Your post is an excellent example of it.

    March 18, 2014 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  14. Tampa Tim

    smith – Obama backed what coup in Ukraine? Where did you get that?

    March 18, 2014 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  15. rs

    smith

    Obama backed this coup in Ukraine and now we have a big mess there. The same thing happend in Egypt and Libya. Maybe we should quit meddling in other countries because we are just making the situation worse. Romney is just playing politics, but Ron Paul has the right idea. There is nothing the US can do anyway.
    ________________________
    I agree- at least the President didn't start a shooting war like Bush did every time he went outside.

    March 18, 2014 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  16. Rudy NYC

    sonnie3 wrote:

    As far as world leaders go, Putin is far outpacing our potus and Hillary Putin don't give a hoot about what obama has to say. Let's face it we blew it with our current leadership.
    ------------------------
    My advice to Putin fans is to move to Russia, where you can be rewarded for expresssing your love of Putin.

    March 18, 2014 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  17. Edoggy

    Romney, the best bleachers president we never had!!

    March 18, 2014 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  18. Pete

    Who's going to listen to someone that doesn't believe in Americas own banking system with accounts mostly hidden overseas..He ,his son said publicly if elected he'd open more overseas accounts,investments as he's done in the past and that's all of Romneys so called foriegn policy experience isn't it..Selling American corporations to foriegn investors at our American workers expense is just pathedic but that's the shameless republicans who stoop to new lows every day...

    March 18, 2014 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  19. Rudy NYC

    Obama backed this coup in Ukraine and now we have a big mess there. The same thing happend in Egypt and Libya. Maybe we should quit meddling in other countries because we are just making the situation worse. Romney is just playing politics, but Ron Paul has the right idea. There is nothing the US can do anyway.
    ====
    Yep, yep, yep and yep. And Ron Paul has always been correct and never waivered. You would think that liberals would agree with him (especially with Iraq) but, alas, he has an "r" next to his name and we all know that the gang cares a lot more "who" says it rather than "what" is said...
    -------------------
    Don't be such a partisan demagogue, tom. Your assertions couldn't be farther from reality. Genuine libertarians have more liberal views than conservative ones. Most liberals did agree on not going into Iraq, and they do not believe in invading either the Crimea or Ukraine, no matter what Russia does.

    March 18, 2014 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  20. The Real Tom Paine

    -smith

    Obama backed this coup in Ukraine and now we have a big mess there. The same thing happend in Egypt and Libya. Maybe we should quit meddling in other countries because we are just making the situation worse. Romney is just playing politics, but Ron Paul has the right idea. There is nothing the US can do anyway.
    **************************
    Smith, how were we " meddling" in Ukraine? Is it wrong to lend moral support to efforts to help a country be more democratic, or is this just another way you " independents" have crafted to say you are more comfortable backing corrupt despots because you still cling to some Kissinger-style real-politik as opposed to letting people make their own decisions? I guess that explains why you are so comfortable letting oligarchs here in teh US rule the roost with their money as opposed to making the playing field level: is it because democracy is bad for business?

    March 18, 2014 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  21. quinLee

    When it comes to foreign affairs, or even domestic affairs for that matter, I trust this guy no more than I trust my Uncle Roscoe to represent America’s best interest. Why is it that we continue to give these proven self-righteous morons a spotlight? This is America for Pete’s sake; we have the best and brightest people but for some reason only the idiots get the attention.

    March 18, 2014 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  22. Al

    Of course, President Obama's international problems have nothing to do with the previous administartions "War is the answer!" mis-adventures. They poisoned the well for decades.
    /end satire

    March 18, 2014 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  23. rs

    Meanwhile- just what does the GOP think is an appropriate response to Russia and Mr. Putin might be, eh? Except for their usual whining, they have been very short on real policy or solutions. They don't support diplomacy, and they say they don't want war (which to Mr. Romney apparently is the beach in France during Vietnam). They proved that when Mr. Bush did nothing about Georgia,. Mr. McCain made the bizarre "we are all Georgians" statement, but beyond that they either simply fail to recognize the reality that there is nothing to be done (and certainly NATO seems to have already acknowledged that), or they just want to try to capitalize on it to further demean the President.

    Either way, the GOP and the Right look absurd, cheap and inappropriate.

    March 18, 2014 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  24. The Real Tom Paine

    I guess we all forgot Mittens got an online degree from West Point since Election Night.

    March 18, 2014 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  25. tom l

    @Rudy
    "My advice to Putin fans is to move to Russia, where you can be rewarded for expresssing your love of Putin."
    =======

    Are you saying that about Bill Clinton?

    March 18, 2014 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
1 2 3