Getting New York Times columnist Tom Friedman’s endorsement probably wasn’t on Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney’s pre-election to-do list. And based on Friedman’s reaction to Romney’s criticism of President Barack Obama’s posture on Iran, he won’t likely get it anytime soon.
In an appearance on CNN’s “Piers Morgan Tonight” Tuesday, Friedman, co-author of “That Used to Be Us: How America Fell Behind in the World It Invented and How We Can Come Back,” assessed the Mitt Romney-Paul Ryan ticket as “incredibly weak” on foreign policy, and said Obama was actually tougher on Iran than former President George W. Bush.
“I think they have an incredibly weak foreign policy biography between the two of them and a rather weak theme, frankly,” Friedman said. “To hear Romney criticizing President Obama for just getting around to sanctions — wait a minute, there were eight years of the Bush administration where we, you know, dilly-dallied around to getting around to serious, crippling sanctions. Romney talks like the Bush administration never happened, you know, both in kind and in some of the decisions it took.”
And that, Friedman said, meant Romney’s attacks are unwarranted.
“So it’s really ludicrous. I mean, you can criticize Obama on a million things,” he continued. “But on Iran — I think he’s done actually quite a good job, finally, of getting around to something that wasn’t done in the previous eight years. And that is putting in some really tough, pinching sanctions on the Iranians.”