GOP nominee Romney lost the 2012 presidential race to Obama.
“We are, and I’ve said this before, geopolitical adversaries -- not enemies, but adversaries geopolitically,” Romney said. “And Putin lines up with [Syrian President Bashar] Assad and gave Assad the cover that he needed and won a diplomatic battle with regards to Syria.”
The former Massachusetts governor also said that NSA leaker Edward Snowden finding asylum in Russia is a “bit of a stick in the eye at America.”
White House press secretary Jay Carney said he “obviously disagreed” with Romney’s comments.
Even with all the criticism Putin has taken because of his position on gay rights, Romney still praised the powerful Russian as his country preps to host the Winter Olympics. “I think most observers of the international political scene suggest that Russia has elevated itself in stature and America has been diminished,” Romney said.
He plans on bringing his family to the Olympics in Sochi despite the threat of terrorism.
“The hard sites will be safe. The athletes will be safe. Spectators when they’re in the venues will be safe,” Romney said. “It’s the soft places you can’t be 100 percent certain will be entirely safe.”