Mitt Romney called out President Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton for the situation in Ukraine and other global hot spots, blaming them for leaving the U.S. "without acceptable options."
A key passage from Romney's op-ed column in Tuesday's editions of The Wall Street Journal:
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.
The 2012 Republican presidential nominee famously said during the campaign that Russia was "without question our No. 1 geopolitical foe." Romney's comment was criticized at the time as a gaffe, and Obama hit back at the Democratic convention by saying such a remark was evidence that Romney was "stuck in a Cold War mind warp."
But Arizona Sen. John McCain, the 2008 GOP presidential nominee, among others, recently suggested Romney was right about Russia.
"The president believes the Cold War was over," McCain said earlier this month. "Vladimir Putin does not believe the Cold War is over."
Romney's op-ed column drew rebuttals from current and former aides to Obama, who slammed their boss's ex-rival for not sharing how he would do things differently. Here's an exchange that was started by Tommy Vietor, Obama's former National Security Council spokesman, and a response from Dan Pfeiffer, a senior adviser to the president.
When Mark Halperin, a political analyst for Time magazine and MSNBC, suggested Romney was trying to say Obama "needs better timing," Pfeiffer pushed back again.