Borrowing a page from fellow defeated GOP presidential candidate Sen. John McCain, Mitt Romney attacked President Barack Obama’s foreign policy this weekend, blaming him for escalating the crisis in Ukraine.
McCain, who like Romney in 2012 was beaten by Obama in 2008, has been a constant source of criticism for the president’s handling of the Middle East. Though conservatives’ unparalleled vitriol toward the president continues unabated, Romney and McCain take particular issue with the foreign policy of Obama that is often lauded as his Administration’s greatest success.
As a guest on CBS’ “Face the Nation,” Romney criticized the president’s “faulty judgment” in Ukraine.
“Unfortunately, not having anticipated Russia’s intentions, the president wasn’t able to shape the kinds of events that may have been able to prevent the kinds of circumstances that you’re seeing in the Ukraine,” Romney said
Romney also seized the opportunity to blast former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who is expected to be a heavy favorite in the next presidential election, saying that Clinton’s decision to reset relations with Russia in 2009 set the stage for this conflict.
Romney stated the U.S. could have worked together with its allies as soon as the demonstrations in Ukraine began and communicated potential consequences to Russia before it annexed Crimea.
For the failed presidential hopeful, the interview provided an opportunity to counterattack Obama’s criticism of him during the election for Romney’s stated remarks that Russia, not Al Qaeda, was the biggest geo-political threat facing America. Of course the counterattack comes nearly two years too late.
“I think effective leaders typically are able to see the future to a certain degree, and then try to take actions to shape it in some way. And that’s of course what this president has failed to do,” the former governor said.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Andrii Deshchytsia said Russia’s buildup of troops on the border increased the chances of war between the two former members of the Soviet Block. Several smaller border countries that once comprised the U.S.S.R. expressed concern that Russia’s intention go far beyond Crimea.
“We don’t know what Putin has in his mind and what would be his decision. That’s why the situation is becoming even more explosive than it used to be a week ago,” said Deshchytsia, adding Ukrainian forces are “ready to respond” if Russia decides to invade.
President Obama leaves on Sunday for a six-day trip to Europe and the Middle East. The crisis in Ukraine is expected to be a main focus of the trip, CBS reports.
Andrew Scot Bolsinger won more than two dozen press awards during his journalism career. He is a freelance writer, author and operates www.criminalu.co, which is focused on prison reform. He can reached at Andrew.Bolsinger@gmail.com