(New York Post) – Mitt Romney thinks Vladimir Putin is better at being president than Barack Obama.
Romney, who lost the presidential race to Obama, told NBC that the Russian leader “outperformed” the president “time and time again on the world stage.”
The former GOP nominee called the US and Russia “geopolitical adversaries,” blamed Putin for giving cover to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and said fugitive leaker Edward Snowden’s asylum in Russia was a “bit of a stick in the eye of America.”
But Romney gave Putin grudging respect as his nation prepares 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.
White House press secretary Jay Carney said he “obviously disagreed” with Romney’s comments.
Romney, who managed the 2002 Winter Games in Salt Lake City, said he had no qualms about bringing his family to the Olympics in Sochi next month, 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,” he said.
“It’s the soft places you can’t be 100 percent certain will be entirely safe.”