WASHINGTON (CBS DC) — Ahead of President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address Tuesday night, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney expressed dismay that Obama had lost his “reputation for integrity and honesty,” and had been “outmaneuvered” by Russian President Vladimir Putin in foreign affairs.
Speaking on Monday to Fox News, the 2012 Republican presidential candidate weighed in more than one year after his loss about some of Obama’s troubles in his second term, noting that the president’s reputation as “dishonest” may be hard to shake.
“I guess he’s trying very hard to get something done. He really didn’t have an agenda for his second term and he’s groping to find one — try to and show some degree of progress on some kind of an agenda,” said Romney.
Noting a recent Washington Post/ABC News poll showing that 63 percent of Americans are not confident in Obama to make the right decisions, Romney said that the “If you like your health insurance you can keep it” false campaign promise was “dishonest,” and hurt the president among other economic failures since last November. Romney said that in November 2012 there was a sense the economy was turning around, which Americans have since realized was not true.
“And it’s a very difficult thing to try and re-establish a reputation for integrity and honesty if you’ve lost it in such a dramatic way, as those promises demonstrated.”
Obama’s use of executive orders for legislative changes to the Affordable Care Act, climate change and raising federal workers’ wages were criticized by Romney, who said the president should be more willing to work with Republicans on issues such as immigration.
“You’re not accomplishing a real legacy as a president unless you can work with people in both parties,” Romney told Fox News.
Romney also took a shot at the president for his handling of action in Syria, saying Obama was “outmaneuvered on the world stage by [Russian] President Putin.” Romney added that the START nuclear treaty the president has touted is much to the benefit of the Russians. He took a shot at Putin, calling him a “terrible president” and a “thug.”
Romney is the focus a new documentary featured on Netflix, entitled “Mitt,” which takes a behind-the-scenes look at both his personal life and presidential campaign trail.