Mitt Romney on Thursday blamed President Obama for the Sunni militants’ takeover of key cities in northern Iraq.
“His foreign policy is what has led to these foreign crises all over the world. Try to recapture the lead and keeping these things from happening is going to be a real challenge,” Romney, the 2012 GOP presidential nominee, said on Fox News’s “Your World with Cavuto” when asked about Iraq.
“This is the result of the president’s missteps over the last several years,” he added.
Asked what Romney would do if he were president, he said he couldn’t make a judgment because he doesn’t have access to intelligence.
“Clearly, as the president said, you have to keep all options on the table. The sad thing is the limited options we have are the result of poor decisions made in the past. You’ve got to act at the right time, at the time the opportunity is presented,” he said.
In Syria, for instance, Romney noted that Obama drew a "red line" and said President Bashar Assad must go. Three years later, Romney said the administration is “doing nothing really to make that happen.”
Romney said Obama also failed to get a status of forces agreement in Iraq so a residual force of 10,000 to 15,000 could remain after the 2011 pullout.
“All of these decisions made in the past puts us in a very difficult position now, frankly with very poor options,” he said.
In 2011, Romney advocated that between 10,000 and 30,000 U.S. troops remain in Iraq to help its government transition with its military capabilities.
The next year, during the 2012 presidential campaign, Obama’s camp launched an ad attacking Romney’s stance, claiming he advocated a residual force of 30,000 troops.
Some top Republicans, including Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), have blasted the Obama administration for pulling out of Iraq, saying the move was made too soon.
McCain on Thursday said the situation in Iraq is a “colossal failure of American security policy."