Gov. Mitt Romney blasted Russian president Vladimir Putin as a "thug" Monday night on Hannity, adding it broke his heart to watch Putin "out-maneuver" President Obama on the world stage on such issues as Syria and the START Treaty.
In a diplomatic embarrassment for the United States last fall, Obama’s threat to use military force against Putin-backed Syrian president Bashar al-Assad for crossing the "red line" was deeply unpopular both home and abroad, and a Russian-brokered deal led by Putin ultimately resulted in Assad removing his chemical weapons.
"Putin has not only dealt with Syria in a way that made the president take second fiddle, but the new START Treaty is also an enormous win for Russia," Romney said. "But by the way, President Putin is a terrible president. He's a thug."
SEAN HANNITY: You know, it's interesting, you made some comments that made a lot of news, comparing him to Putin over the weekend. What did you mean by that?
MITT ROMNEY: Well, what I said was, with regards to Syria, Putin has out-maneuvered President Obama. Look, on the international areas, Putin has not only dealt with Syria in a way that made the president take second fiddle, but the new START treaty is also an enormous win for Russia. Under the new START treaty that the president signed and heralded, Russia ends up with two to three times as many nuclear warheads as we have. The president, I think, has been out-maneuvered on the world stage by President Putin. But by the way, President Putin is a terrible president. He's a thug. He's killed, from what we can tell, I don't know that I want to accuse him of killing, but there are have been members of the media that have disappeared and opposition voices that disappeared, put in jail and so forth. This is not a good guy. Our president is a lot better president than President Putin, but it breaks my heart to watch President Putin out-maneuver him on the world stage.