Russian President Vladimir Putin runs rings around President Barack Obama “on the world stage,” Mitt Romney says.
In an interview with NBC News
published Friday, the former GOP presidential nominee made it clear he’s still no big fan of Obama’s foreign policy.
"I think Putin has outperformed our president time and time again on the world stage," Romney bluntly commented.
Romney took specific aim at the president’s handling of National Security Agency secrets-leaker Edward Snowden and of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad. The former NSA contractor has been granted a year’s political asylum in Russia, where he now lives.
"We are, and I've said this before, geopolitical adversaries," Romney said of Russia. "Not enemies but adversaries geopolitically. And Putin lines up with Assad and gave Assad the cover that he needed and won a diplomatic battle with regards to Syria."
Romney characterized Russia's acceptance of Snowden as "a bit of a stick in the eye at America. And I think most observers of the international political scene suggest that Russia has elevated itself in stature and America has been diminished."
The White House shrugged off the comments.
"I obviously disagree with that," press secretary Jay Carney said Friday, USA Today reported.
Romney, speaking on NBC’s Today show
Friday, also expressed support of embattled Gov. Chris Christie, calling him “a strong leader,” and saying he not only fired the aides responsible for the bridge-gate scandal but “has moved on as a leader.”
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