Former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney condemned President Obama’s “naiveté” and “false judgment” on Russian threats against Ukraine, accusing the White House of living in “fantasyland.”
The former Massachusetts governor spoke with CBS’ Bob Schieffer Sunday about the president’s role in the escalating Ukrainian conflict, which has already seen the Russian annexation of Crimea and now threatens to spill into open war between Ukraine and Russia.
“I’m sure, governor, you’re tempted this morning to say I told you so,” Schieffer began. “But do you really believe that what happened in Ukraine has anything to do with what President Obama has or hasn’t done?”
“Well there’s no question but that the president’s naiveté with regards to Russia and his faulty judgment about Russia’s intentions and objectives have led to a number of foreign policy challenges that we face,” Romney said. ”And 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 kind of circumstances that you’re seeing in the Ukraine, as well as the things that you’re seeing in Syria.”
“We really need to understand that Russia has very different interests than ours,” Romney said. “This is not fantasyland. This is reality, where they are a geopolitical adversary. They’re not our enemy, but they are certainly an adversary on the world stage.”
The former presidential candidate claimed that Obama shouldn’t have been surprised by the way events unfolded. “There may have been some people surprised, but there were many, many other people that predicted that Russia would try to grab additional territory,” he explained, noting it wasn’t a surprise that Vladimir Putin would use the “opportunity” of a popular Ukrainian revolt to invade.
“We certainly could’ve taken actions early on,” Romney lamented. “We would’ve had far more options to try to shape events to keep Russia from moving in.”
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