Romney: Obama's Timing Is Just Dreadful
In op-ed, former candidate takes on president's foreign policy
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 18, 2014 1:33 PM CDT
Mitt Romney is seen at the 40th annual Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Md., in this March 15, 2013 file photo.   (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)

(Newser) – Pundits have lately been lining up to second-guess President Obama's foreign policy, and the latest to do so is the guy who wanted Obama's job. In an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal today, Mitt Romney laments that America's hands seem tied everywhere from Crimea to North Korea to Syria. "Why are there no good choices?" he asks. "A large part of the answer is our leader's terrible timing."

Romney then opens up a big can of hindsight and points out openings he sees where the administration should have acted to avoid these predicaments. For example:

  • Ukraine: As soon as protests started to turn violent, it should have been obvious that Putin might try to capitalize. "That was the time to talk with our global allies about punishments and sanctions," and use the threat of them to dissuade him.
  • Syria: "Months before the rebellion began … a foreign leader I met with predicted that Assad would soon fall." The White House must have known that, and should have moved right away to identify and arm moderate rebels.
  • Egypt: After watching what happened in Tunisia, the US should have pushed "our friend Hosni Mubarak to take rapid and bold steps toward reform." He might have been able to avoid a rebellion, save lives, and preserve the US-Egypt alliance.
"Able leaders anticipate events, prepare for them, and act in time to shape them," Romney concludes. Obama failed to do that. But he "can yet succeed and for the country's sake, must succeed. Timing is of the essence." Click for Romney's full column.