Former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney slammed President Barack Obama's "terrible timing" in a Wall Street Journal op-ed published Tuesday.
Romney blamed Obama's timing and failure to make decisions at "a point when America had good choices and good options."
When protests in Ukraine grew and violence ensued, it was surely evident to people in the intelligence community—and to the White House—that President Putin might try to take advantage of the situation to capture Crimea, or more. That was the time to talk with our global allies about punishments and sanctions, to secure their solidarity, and to communicate these to the Russian president. These steps, plus assurances that we would not exclude Russia from its base in Sevastopol or threaten its influence in Kiev, might have dissuaded him from invasion.
Months before the rebellion began in Syria in 2011, a foreign leader I met with predicted that Assad would soon fall from power. Surely the White House saw what this observer saw. As the rebellion erupted, the time was ripe for us to bring together moderate leaders who would have been easy enough for us to identify, to assure the Alawites that they would have a future post-Assad, and to see that the rebels were well armed.
But it wasn't just Obama's foreign policy Romney criticized. He also slammed the "failure" of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, saying the lost efforts of her and Obama are "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.
Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a treaty Tuesday making Crimea part of Russia, but said he did not plan to seize any other regions of Ukraine. The move comes two days after Crimeans voted overwhelmingly to leave Ukraine and join Russia, a referendum that was rejected by the White House.
Read Romney's full piece at the Wall Street Journal.