Romney rips Obama, Clinton on foreign policy
June 12th, 2014
06:06 PM ET
6 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. Name

    Who cares

    June 12, 2014 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  2. Tom

    Run Romney run!!

    June 12, 2014 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  3. Alan/Maui

    Wish you where President. Obama is a mess.

    June 12, 2014 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  4. Thomas

    “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.” said Mitt .

    Mitt , you have five sons , none of whom served in the military

    I told you , the third time is the charm !

    Mitt is going to run again and he and Ann will take no prisoners this time around ,

    Romney / Rubio 2016 ?

    June 12, 2014 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  5. YoonYoungJo

    With this aspect of the O Administration, I tend to agree with the GOP. I'm 99% in agreement with Obama's domestic policy and agenda but when it comes to foreign policy I still have to agree with the GOP. I think the issue with our President is he is a good honest man, and good honest people tend to believe others are like minded to a fault. I too used to believe there was good and bad in everyone but predominantly good in most. Its only been after many years and many experiences I learned that its more of a 50/50 split. When I was younger I would have said it was a 90/10 split. And this was in spite of my young childhood being mostly horribly negative, yet I still retained an overall positive perspective on life. With 90% being good, decent honest people. Its only now after many years that I have come to realize the split between decent honest to deceptive dishonest is a much more even split. This doesn't mean the 50% who are decent and honest don't ever lie or cheat, but there is lying and cheating and lying and cheating. There is a major difference between lying to a Federal Judge or about a major issue, and lying to someone about whether they look nice or not.

    Anyways getting off subject, the amount of leniency Obama has shown foreign countries, particularly ones who have deceived the US tends to be a little too much. When I read news headlines I wish the world was a more peaceful place. Especially the Middle East. Unfortunately in areas like the Middle East, they just don't want to give up yet slaves and human property (their woman and children).

    June 12, 2014 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  6. Bea

    Romney? Mr. 47%? Who cares what this guy has to say?

    June 12, 2014 11:57 pm at 11:57 pm |
  7. Mike in Texas

    First McCain now Romney. Two bitter sore losers. America rejected you. Show some class and shut up. I didn't hear Carter and Mondale slam Reagan after they lost, or Dukakis, or George HW Bush, or Bob Dole or Al Gore or John Kerry. Sorry Obama burst your Presidential aspirations but the majority of voters didn't want your butt in the White House. Get over it.

    June 13, 2014 12:34 am at 12:34 am |
  8. tp

    How could you Mitt?

    June 13, 2014 12:37 am at 12:37 am |
  9. j.v.hodgson

    Iraq, the SOFA was not achieved because despite many concessions from Obama, Maliki would not give US forces immunity from Shia sharia law justice. We have never agreed to a SOFA that does not have our troops subject to local law anywhere in the world including allies like Germany and Japan and Korea to name but 3.
    The Taliban itself has kept its fight in Pakistan and Afghanistan and has not been responsible for terror attacks across international borders. The war in Afghanistan was declared because the Taliban sheltered OBL and Al Qaeda militants
    The only place the Taliban have fought USA is in Afghanistan
    Bergdahl exchange. Under Bush 171 Guantanamo detainees were released by GWB and not a single quid pro quo release. We don't leave our troops behind for any reason.
    Both new presidential candidates have agreed to sign a SOFA in Afghanistan and unlike Iraq we will have almost 10,000 troops the same as wanted in Iraq
    So called ISIS The war in Syria started out to protect the Alawites ( a powerful minority) and the ASSAD base.
    It was a sectarian and civil war from the start, that created this ISIS group who have now invaded Iraq, because the Iraqi army we trained deserted as soon as they came under fire. Turkey, the Arab states must control this relatively small army ( the Kurds will keep their positions away from ISIS) and then negotiate a political resolution ,, but Maliki will have to Go to achieve that.
    Typical Republican critical Rhetoric and no solutions or ideas what to do.

    June 13, 2014 12:37 am at 12:37 am |
  10. Mike

    You lost. Go away. We don't care what you have to say.

    June 13, 2014 12:49 am at 12:49 am |
  11. Andrew

    Romney GO HOME!! No mention of how we invaded a country on lies. No mention of Bush and Cheney dissolving the Army and Government of Irag. No mention of the Iraqis not wanting us to leave 30,000 troops. No mention that we no longer have American kids dying there.

    Romney and Republicans need to put their money where their mouth is
    SEND YOUR OWN KIDS ROMNEY > 5 sons and none have SERVED.

    June 13, 2014 01:01 am at 1:01 am |
  12. Andrew

    Welcome home SGT!
    I know now not to trust Republicans to do everything possible to bring our POW's home.

    June 13, 2014 01:04 am at 1:04 am |
  13. Jumping Jack

    Yo George. You lost the election.

    June 13, 2014 01:18 am at 1:18 am |
  14. The Republican Party Is Dead To Me

    He's everything he ever wanted. Trouble is, no one else did, and he's been hurting every since he learned this fact. He could run again, and the outcome would still be the same. He's not his father. He's just a weak mouth, surrounding a silver spoon.

    June 13, 2014 01:49 am at 1:49 am |
  15. just me

    The battlesquawk of the chickenhawk. Bloodcurdling, isn' it?

    June 13, 2014 01:51 am at 1:51 am |
  16. Name Uche Agonsi

    The unanswered question is why most armies in countries attacked by these insurgents have shown much weakness by allowing the insurgencies victories. Its in Nigeria, Afghan, and now happening in Iraq among other places. Is the problem in personnel, equipments, tactics or what?.....for national defence forces to succumb to small collections of ragtag armies......why do we have a small moslem population causing troubles all over the world, infact on the verge to dominating all ethnic nationalities with barbarism. I believe the civilised world must be stringent and empathic in its response to the moslem threats, and also immediate. Containment in diplomacy does not work when dealing with barbarism. THE CIVILISED WORLD MUST SEEK IMMEDIATE SOLUTION TO MOSLEM INSURGENCIES WITHOUT DELAY.

    June 13, 2014 01:57 am at 1:57 am |
  17. jordan

    I don't remember Gore and even an active Senator Kerry throwing the Bush administration under the bus like this after losing much, much closer Presidential elections. Classic spoiled rich kid behavior. I get Fox giving his tantrums air time, but cnn should learn to ignore mitch like the rest of mainstream America.

    June 13, 2014 02:15 am at 2:15 am |
  18. john

    Why we butting in other people problem stop sending our kids over there to be killed. We hav our own problems here with school shootings etc.

    June 13, 2014 03:15 am at 3:15 am |
  19. Jeremy

    Oh Mitt, just keep quiet! As an American, I feel safer than ever before. Obama/Biden have kept us safe, along with Hillary! You GOPer's just want war, war, war, and more war. Sorry, I don't agree.

    June 13, 2014 03:27 am at 3:27 am |
  20. Mag

    Poor Romney. Still standing in the shower trying to get wet. Left to him, Bush's great adventure of 2003 would get a reprise.

    June 13, 2014 03:56 am at 3:56 am |
  21. Michael MN

    If you are ever being held as a POW I will do my best to make the fringe elements happy and let you die in the enemys hands

    June 13, 2014 06:05 am at 6:05 am |
  22. Guest

    What is his foreign policy experience / expertise?

    June 13, 2014 06:20 am at 6:20 am |
  23. a little sad

    Thank goodness that Romney will never be called "President Romney".

    June 13, 2014 06:26 am at 6:26 am |
  24. Anonymous

    So the Republicans cry foul everytime anyone mentions W’s crimes and misdeamanors because he is no longer president, but Clinton is fair game? Hypocrisy at tis best.

    June 13, 2014 06:27 am at 6:27 am |
  25. croaton

    Perhaps Mitt was right all along.

    June 13, 2014 06:50 am at 6:50 am |
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