Romney rips Obama, Clinton on foreign policy
June 12th, 2014
06:06 PM ET
5 years ago

Romney rips Obama, Clinton on foreign policy

(CNN) – Mitt Romney blasted President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton over foreign policy Thursday, saying their leadership during Obama’s first term helped weaken America’s standing in the world.

The 2012 GOP presidential nominee went after Clinton in particular for arguing that the five Taliban detainees released last month in exchange for captive Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl aren’t a threat to the United States.

“That may be one of the most clueless responses I've heard in a long time, because of course you don't throw our allies under the bus,” Romney said on Fox News. “You recognize as well we have soldiers in Afghanistan, and the reason we're there in the first place is to protect United States’ interests and our security needs.”

“So I don't know where she's coming from,” he continued. “I frankly think this is a continuation of a pattern of the Obama-Hillary Clinton foreign policy, and it hasn't worked.”

In an interview that aired on NBC News this week, Clinton pushed back at the notion that America is less safe now that five prominent Guantanamo detainees are out of U.S. custody. They were handed over to Qatar, where they are supposed to remain for a year and be monitored but basically free to live their lives.

“These five guys are not a threat to the United States,” she said. “They are a threat to the safety and security of Afghanistan and Pakistan. It’s up to those two countries to make the decision once and for all that these are threats to them.”

Fired up, Romney said Clinton’s biggest weakness if she runs for president will be defending her record as America’s top diplomat.

"There's almost not a place in the world that's better off because of her leadership in the State Department,” he argued.

Romney also weighed in on the growing turmoil in Iraq, where a militant group known as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria is threatening to take over more cities, including the capital, Baghdad.

The President said Thursday that Iraq needs more help from the United States and he "will not rule anything out" in terms of assistance.

Romney, however, faulted Obama for not reaching a status of forces agreement with Iraq, in which the United States would have left thousands of soldiers in the country.

“This is the consequence of a president who did not take the right actions at the time opportunity presented itself,” he said.

“A policy of weakness and accommodation that came from the Obama and Hillary Clinton team is one that's led to very serious and negative results,” he later added.

At an event Thursday promoting her new book, Clinton talked about the administration’s efforts to obtain an agreement, but said Iraq flatly refused.

“There was a lot of effort to work through with the (Nuri al-) Maliki government what such a status of forces agreement would look like,” she said. “At the end of the day, the Maliki government would not agree.”

She described the current unrest in Iraq as a “dreadful, deteriorating situation.”

Asked if she would consider leaving residual forces in Afghanistan beyond 2016, the deadline Obama has laid out, Clinton said she would be open to that depending on the conditions at the time.

Clinton has used the book tour to highlight her time as secretary of state. Asked Wednesday what her biggest accomplishment was, Clinton said “helping to restore American leadership.”

She listed a number of achievements and diplomatic moves, such as bridging "an international coalition to bring Iran to the negotiating table" and "passing a treaty through the Senate… to get back to inspecting missile sites and lowering the number of nuclear weapons in Russia and the United States."

She also noted "building relations with China," standing "up for peace in the Middle East" and engineering "three face-to-face meetings between Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Abbas."

CNN’s Dan Merica contributed to this report.

soundoff (105 Responses)
  1. Anonymous

    duuhhh what elsse is new, wake up dude that remark is already a cliche..

    June 13, 2014 07:04 am at 7:04 am |
  2. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    Keep shadowing the POTUS.... Shallow man that will never be President!!

    June 13, 2014 07:40 am at 7:40 am |
  3. Bob

    her biggest accomplishment was, Clinton said “helping to restore American leadership.” Now that is a joke.

    June 13, 2014 07:41 am at 7:41 am |
  4. The Elephant in the Room

    "one of the most clueless responses I`ve heard in a long time"? . . . Really? Mitt, the LAST and NEXT clueless response has & will come out of your mouth, if you don`t stick to your comfort zone which is establishing secret, OFFSHORE bank accounts to cheat the American Treasury out of its fair share of you [extra-ordinarily low] tax dollars which are ordinary income dollars contrieved to be capital gains. Such actions cheat our soldiers out of the supplies they need for the WARS you and other Republican war mongering chickenhawks lust to wage spilling the blood of the children of those 47%`ers.

    America is far more respected NOW than under #43. The world knows we [theough Bush/Cheney] purposefully LIED our way into a fake WMD justified war in Iraq solely to bolster GWB`s image as a strong leader. I recall how feckless and rudderless America`s international direction was pre-911, do any of you? Go back and read the papers regarding who was in control and what the strategic direction was. Talk about clueless.
    Mr. Obama has put the world on notice . . . enimes of America, don`t phuck with us . . . and friends & acquaintances, don`t try to get over on the USA. Put your skin in the game too.

    June 13, 2014 07:42 am at 7:42 am |
  5. The Real Tom Paine

    So, the man with a single term in public office thinks he has the insight to speak on this? That would be laughable, if he weren't the best the GOP can offer after losing the election 2 years ago. A man with car elevators and binders full of women still thinks that he can connect with the average person and persuade people to vote for the whack jobs that never wanted him in the nomination 2 years ago. I would argue that a man who has no real accomplishments aside from firing people is in no position to critique anyone, much less think he has a point of view worth hearing.

    June 13, 2014 07:57 am at 7:57 am |
  6. smith

    Egypt, Syria, Ukraine, Libya, and now Iraq are all in complete chaos. Back in 2008 these were all stable countries and some were are allies. The Obama foreign policy is junk.

    June 13, 2014 08:01 am at 8:01 am |
  7. Lynn

    Hey Mitt–when asked to describe the threat these 5 posed, Sen. John McCain (R.Ariz.) - who has considerably more foreign relations credibility than you - said the threat would be to the Afghani people, not US troops. Sounds like what Hillary said. Why don't you throw McCain under the bus like Hillary?

    Compared to the two of them, you have the foreign policy experience of a gnat.

    June 13, 2014 08:32 am at 8:32 am |
  8. Tommy G

    Bob
    her biggest accomplishment was, Clinton said “helping to restore American leadership.” Now that is a joke.
    -–

    Of course a good interviewer would have asked her for specific examples of where that has been the case, especially considering there are many cases where that is clearly not the case. Leadership and Obama are mutually exclusive words.

    June 13, 2014 08:34 am at 8:34 am |
  9. TONE

    smith

    Egypt, Syria, Ukraine, Libya, and now Iraq are all in complete chaos. Back in 2008 these were all stable countries and some were are allies. The Obama foreign policy is junk.

    At least King Obama's foreign policy did not cost us trillions of dollars in debt, dead and injured soldiers. Bush, and the republicans is America's biggest mistake. I love to call him king he conducts himself like royalty he is brilliant,and wise.

    June 13, 2014 08:36 am at 8:36 am |
  10. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    It's a shame that Mitt can't walk away with class like so many others before him. Al Gore, John Kerry, even Bush 41.

    And it's even a bigger shame that he gets so much media coverage. Can you imagine the outrage by the right had Mitt won and President Obama was doing this very same thing? First of all, he damn sure wouldn't get the media coverage. We'd probably get the privilege of seeing them pack up and move out of the WH, but once that happened the MSM wouldn't want to hear from the Obama family again.

    So much hypocrisy and double standards in this country.

    Sorry your trust fund brat wasn't able to fool enough into thinking he gave a darn MSM...,

    FIFY

    June 13, 2014 08:44 am at 8:44 am |
  11. Malory Archer

    The President pulled everyone out quickly because the Iraqi government refused to sign the Status of Forces Agreement for our troops, without which they would have been left to the mercy of the Iraqi government if accused of a crime outside a "green zone". No SOFA = no troops, and the President should remind Iraq of that.

    June 13, 2014 08:44 am at 8:44 am |
  12. jack

    Romney blasts Obama....................just a classic case of POTUS envy.......................bless his heart

    June 13, 2014 08:52 am at 8:52 am |
  13. Hector Slagg

    I believe Romney when he says he isn't running for President again. And I can see a lot of you want to elect another "Loser". However "Peasants" don't count your Chickens before they hatch! As anything can happen Romney could be swept up in a draft. And, like it or not he was the much better candidate! but you know that, don't you. Get ready for some abrupt changes, you may not like!

    June 13, 2014 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  14. Gurgyl

    This guy is so pathetic, he does not know as to what he is saying of Foreign Policy. FP means war, send troops there? Not diplomacy?

    June 13, 2014 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  15. Lynda/Minnesota

    "Romney, however, faulted Obama for not reaching a status of forces agreement with Iraq, in which the United States would have left thousands of soldiers in the country."

    Hey. When did President Mitt Romney adopt the good guys with a gun will always stop the bad guys with a gun strategy? That it isn't working in our own country should be a wake up call to all Americans. That Mitt Romney and the GOP have spent nearly 6 years criticizing the sitting President of the United States 24/7 ought to be a wake up call as well. To our enemies, for sure. Certainly our enemies have been using it to their advantage.

    I know. I know. GOPerville doesn't really care about the Middle East. If it were up to them, we'd have blown it and its people to smithereens nice and neatly years ago.

    June 13, 2014 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  16. Anonymous

    Regarding "Egypt, Syria, Ukraine, Libya, and now Iraq are all in complete chaos. Back in 2008 these were all stable countries and some were are allies," we propped up an Egyptian dictator in exchange for Egypt not attacking Israel, Syria was never our ally, nor Ukraine, and Libya was a charter member of the supports terrorists club, never an ally. The chaos in those countries has nothing to do with American foreign policy. But as far as Romney offering his insight and criticism, it's un-American for a losing candidate to attack a current president just to score points with the extreme right base of an extreme right political party. Fueling the flames of discontent has become the new norm. There was a time when loyalty to America always outweighed fanatical devotion to obstructionism.

    June 13, 2014 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  17. TONE

    It would have been irresponsible of Americans to elect this guy President.

    June 13, 2014 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  18. old age voter

    @TONE

    King Obama's domestic policies cost us trillions of dollars in debt.
    failed energy policies
    failed job policies
    failed health care policies (Democratic Party Health Care – not one Republican vote)
    failed housing market policies
    failed budgets
    failed education system policies

    June 13, 2014 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  19. Chris-E...al

    I wished 0bama and the dems would do a good and complete accurate assessment on something wow .

    June 13, 2014 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  20. Dead Bear

    So the armchair generals Romney and McCain know exactly why we failed in Iraq, eh? Funny, I have yet to hear either sore loser blame it on the decision to disband the Iraqi army which was made in haste during the Bush administration by Paul Bremer. I guess Obama/Clinton are wrong because they didn't follow the Republican chicken hawk foreign policy to a "t". sounds like a success to me... Thank you, Mr. President for getting us out of that quagmire! Now, please don't let us get dragged back in!

    June 13, 2014 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  21. TONE

    I would not be surprised if these terrorists are being funded by Republican doners fuel by greed to stuff themselves with defense stock dollars. Who knows Romney might be one of those.

    June 13, 2014 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  22. TONE

    old age voter

    @TONE

    King Obama's domestic policies cost us trillions of dollars in debt.
    failed energy policies
    failed job policies
    failed health care policies (Democratic Party Health Care – not one Republican vote)
    failed housing market policies
    failed budgets
    failed education system policies

    Fine if you hate my king, but stop the lies please because he restored everything you mentioned. Under bush the handling of those issue was a disaster. You remember it was the Republicans who tanked our economy. By the way you mentioned jobs where is the Republican jobs bill you remember the 2010 drumbeat by republicans jobs jobs jobs every single bill that came before the gop gets a resounding no.

    June 13, 2014 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  23. Kameron

    Most of America has seen what happens when someone not qualified to run a sno cone shack is elected to be President. The world would be better with someone like Mitt as President. The country deserves better than what we have. A lawless, dishonest Bafoon with no credibility is what we have.

    June 13, 2014 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  24. Susan

    I find it so hard to believe that hillary is still being held out as a candidate for the democrats. She has demonstrated how completely unqualified and incompetent she is in public office. Stick to being a former first lady, she was almost good at that.

    June 13, 2014 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  25. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    Actually Mitt, if the US seems weak it's because you and the rest of the GOP traitors in this country are running around screaming it from the rooftops every chance you get. The rest of the world sees this, including our enemies. They know that Congress is not working with this POTUS. And it's the perfect time to do whatever they want. After all, we won't try to get the culprits, we'll just blame the administration for what the attack was called.

    FIFY
    The same people that vilified the Dixie Chicks are now doing far worse.

    June 13, 2014 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
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