Mitt Romney lay the blame squarely at 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.”