WASHINGTON, June 13 (UPI) -- Mitt Romney joined the chorus of Republicans taking pot shots at the Obama administration's foreign policy as the White House defended the swap of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl and considered new action in a crumbling Iraq.
The erstwhile presidential nominee, speaking at his private donor retreat in Park City, Utah, Friday, called the foreign policy under President Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton a "monumental bust."
"The world saw all this for what it was -- a foreign policy of withdrawal from leadership, and accommodation," Romney said. "The Obama-Biden-Hillary Clinton foreign policy is a monumental bust."
Romney spoke to an audience of about 300 former donors and supporters, including potential 2016 candidates Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. The event had the feel of a campaign, and Romney was back on the stump.
"Tragically, all we've fought for in Iraq, all that 4,500 American lives were shed to gain, is on the cusp, potentially, of vanishing," he said, referring to the administration's scramble to respond to a worsening situation in Iraq, as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant takes control of portions of the country.
Turning his eye to Clinton, who has emerged as a prohibitive frontrunner for the Democratic nomination, if not the White House, in 2016, Romney criticized her work engaging Russia while she was the nation's top diplomat.
"Hillary Clinton said on Wednesday that some world leaders 'may not be happy' when they read her new book," he said. "'I'm looking at you, Vladimir,' she said. Please, this is from a woman who was gushing with smiles when she presented a minion of Vladimir Putin with that red 'reset' button."
Romney was referring to an occasion where she and Russia's foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, pressed a red button labeled "reset" that was meant to symbolize improving relations between the U.S. and Russia.
Ryan, when asked if he wished to add anything to Romney's critique, only replied: "What Mitt said."