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Romney: If Clinton runs in 2016, GOP should hit record at State

Romney: If Clinton runs in 2016, GOP should hit record at State

POSTED: Monday, June 16, 2014 - 4:48pm

UPDATED: Monday, June 16, 2014 - 4:59pm

- Mitt Romney said Sunday the way to pull down a potential Hillary Clinton campaign is to attack her record as secretary of state.

The 2012 Republican presidential candidate called Clinton's tenure as American's top diplomat a "monumental bust" and narrowed in on Clinton's recent comments on the Taliban prisoner exchange for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.

"I think her clueless comments about the Bergdahl exchange, as well as her record as the secretary of state, are really going to be the foundation of how a Republican candidate is able to take back the White House," Romney said in an interview on NBC's "Meet the Press."

"I think you have to consider what's happened around the world during the years that she was secretary of state -- and you have to say it's been a monumental bust," he said.

Clinton, the former first lady and senator from New York who's considering a White House bid in 2016, has been busy trekking around the country as a part of her book tour for "Hard Choices," which chronicles her time leading the State Department.

At a Denver event on her book tour, Clinton discussed the Obama administration's exchange of five Guantanamo Bay prisoners for Bergdahl -- the last U.S. service member remaining in captivity from the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Clinton offered a defense of the trade but didn't answer when asked directly if, as secretary of state, she would have approved.

Romney called her comments "clueless."

The former Massachusetts governor's hypothetical strategy for an anti-Clinton campaign is in line with many on the right who have slammed Clinton's tenure as America's top diplomat as riddled with error -- especially the 2012 attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, which resulted in the death of four Americans.

Romney on Cantor loss

Romney also weighed in on the latest drama on Capitol Hill -- Rep. Eric Cantor's shocking Virginia primary loss last week to a little-known, tea party-backed economics professor, Dave Brat.

Romney warned that drawing any overarching themes from the majority leader's loss would be a mistake, pointing to Sen. Lindsey Graham's easy victory that same night over a series of conservative challengers in South Carolina.

"I know it's our inclination to look at races and suggest that somehow a national movement is causing what occurs. But you know, if that were the case, you'd have to look at Lindsey Graham's race," he said.

Romney 2016? No way

Asked if he would consider a third run for the White House, Romney laughed and said what he's been saying since he jumped back into the spotlight after his 2012 defeat -- no way.

Romney spoke to NBC from Park City, Utah, where he hosted a high-profile summit attended by some 2016 hopefuls to meet with key Romney fund-raisers.

"Had I been running, I wouldn't be doing that," Romney said, responding to the White House question.

"I'm convinced that the field of Republican candidates that I'm seeing is a lot better positioned to do that than I am, so I'm not running." 

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