POLITICS

Dick Durbin: Mitt Romney 'Suffering From Political Amnesia'

Mar 23, 2014 | Updated Mar 24, 2014

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said Sunday that former Massachusetts governor and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is suffering from "political amnesia" in his recent criticisms of President Barack Obama's foreign policy.

Appearing on CBS' "Face the Nation," Durbin criticized Romney for saying "it's hard to think of a single country that has greater respect and admiration for America today than it did five years ago."

"Governor Romney's suffering from political amnesia," Durbin said. "Does he remember the reaction of the rest of the world to our invasion of Iraq? The fact is that many of our stalwart allies of the past thought it was a terrible decision. What President Obama has done is restore a working relationship."

Durbin continued, "Osama bin Laden is gone. The war in Iraq is over. Afghanistan is coming to a close. ... I'm afraid Governor Romney's forgotten those facts."

Romney, whose remarks came earlier on the CBS program, claimed Obama's "naivete" had damaged the United States' standing and contributed to the current situation in Ukraine.

"The president's naivete with regards to Russia and his faulty judgment about Russia's intentions and objectives has led to a number of foreign policy challenges that we are facing," Romney said. "Unfortunately, not having anticipated Russia's intentions, the president wasn't able to shape the kind of events that may have been able to prevent the kinds of circumstances that you're seeing in the Ukraine."

As the conflict in Ukraine has escalated, political observers have pointed to Romney's widely mocked remark during the 2012 campaign that Russia under President Vladimir Putin is the United States' primary "geopolitical foe."

Romney echoed that sentiment in a Wall Street Journal op-ed last week, claiming Obama had missed his opportunity with Putin.

"There was a juncture when America had the potential to influence events," Romney wrote. "But we failed to act at the propitious point; that moment having passed, we were left without acceptable options."

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