Mitt Romney was adamant Sunday on NBC's Meet the Press that he will not run for president in 2016 — but that didn't stop him from slamming the current administration's handling of Iraq and taking a swipe at potential competition Hillary Clinton.
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Romney said the terror enveloping Iraq is "a result of inaction" by President Barack Obama. He said the White House should have acted decisively against the insurgents "when Assad was on his heels" in Syria.
And while the Iraqi leadership deserves "much of the blame," a relatively small presence of American troops in Iraq would have been a wise choice to keep the fighting at bay, the former Massachusetts governor said.
"This administration has repeatedly underestimated the threat," Romney said, widening his criticism to Hillary Clinton's time as Secretary of State, calling her tenure a "monumental bust."
Although Clinton has not announced her candidacy, Republican candidates understand the strong possibility of going head-to-head with her, and they have a game plan.
"The playbook, I believe, is to look at her record," Romney said. "Consider what’s happened around the world when she was secretary of state," Romney said, adding that more recently, Clinton made "clueless comments about the Bergdahl exchange."
While the GOP has a plan, there isn't a clear idea of who will employ that plan — and Romney was insistent that it won't be him.
"The field of the republican candidates that I’m seeing are much better equipped" to run, Romney told David Gregory from a GOP fundraising event held at a luxury resort in the Rocky Mountains.
"I brought a number of the 2016 contenders here. If I had been running, I wouldn't be doing that," Romney quipped.
First published June 15 2014, 7:19 AM