Romney Blasts 'Naive' Obama's Foreign Policy

Former Presidential candidate says Obama is "distancing ourselves from allies" and that his foreign policy is "ineffective and wrong".

Elad Benari ,

Mitt Romney
Mitt Romney

Former Presidential candidate Mitt Romney on Friday criticized President Barack Obama over his policy in the Middle East and his attitude towards Israel.

Romney, who spoke at the inaugural Israeli American Council National Conference in Washington, accused Obama of being “naive” and of “distancing ourselves from allies”.

Commenting on reports that Obama had sent a letter to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei suggesting cooperation against the Islamic State (ISIS), Romney was quoted by The Washington Times as having said, “I was frankly stunned that the President of the United States would write a letter of that nature, in effect legitimizing a nation and a leadership which is violating international norms and is threatening the world. I find it astonishing.”

“You can talk about a president talking to other world leaders. But to suggest that somehow we could somehow work together is something that is so far beyond the pale I was speechless,” Romney added.

“The right kind of approach is to recognize Iran in the way we thought about South Africa during apartheid. We considered it a pariah. Their leaders were shunned, they were not invited to international bodies. We exerted moral sway. To somehow have communications with Iran’s supreme leader is, in my view, an enormous error,” he said.

“It is tempting to think that the President is simply inept in dealing with foreign affairs. The reality is, he does have a foreign policy,” Romney said, characterizing it as “ineffective and wrong.”

“The president is weakening our military and distancing us from our allies - which weakens us,” Romney said, according to The Washington Times.

Obama, he continued, “began by going into the Arab world and apologizing for America, and saying we were dictatorial, divisive - and that we were dismissive of other nations. And the remarkable thing is that he now is doing that very thing. But not to our enemies. To our friends.”

“It turns American foreign policy on its head - and it’s one of the reasons, in my view, that you see bold actions by authoritarian regimes around the world. It leads bad people to think America can be pushed around,” declared Romney.

The comments come amid continued tensions between Washington and Jerusalem, highlighted a few weeks ago by comments attributed to an unnamed Obama administration official.

The comments, cited by journalist Jeffrey Goldberg, were made up of a series of derogatory names and insults directed at Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, including descriptions such as “chickens**t” and “Aspergery”.

The comments raised the ire of Israeli officials as well as of Republicans. Secretary of State John Kerry later phoned Netanyahu and apologized. The White House also distanced itself from the comments.