Opening a foreign policy-focused conference with 300 of his top donors on Friday, Romney chided President Obama for "reaching out a hand of friendship to every nation and people," even those who have endangered U.S. interests, such as Iran and North Korea.
Romney said Obama had offered to meet with North Korea's leader,
Noting Russia's recent incursion into and
"Please," Romney said of the former secretary of State's approach toward Russia. "This from the woman who was gushing with smiles when she presented [Putin's] minion with her red reset button."
Romney, vilified in the 2012 campaign by
"I'm not going to give any advice to Secretary Clinton," Romney said with a smile. "Politics is a rough-and-tumble process."
He made a swift pivot instead to her foreign policy record, saying that her "challenge will not be about wealth or poverty, but instead will be about her record as secretary of State."
"That record has been extraordinarily lacking and ineffective," Romney said Friday. "It is hard to think of a place in the world where our foreign policy interests were enhanced by virtue of her serving as secretary of State. And the eruption of challenges throughout the world just underscores the ineffectiveness of the foreign policy of the Obama administration, of which she was obviously a key part."
The former Massachusetts governor's three-day summit was intended in part to introduce five potential
Despite his losses in 2008 and 2012, loyalty to Romney continues to run deep in this crowd, particularly given the unsettled GOP presidential field for 2016.
Amid all the talk here of a "Draft Romney" movement, the former Massachusetts governor said it was "very nice and heartening to have people say such generous things, but I am not running, and they know it."
"The unavailable is always the most attractive, right?" Romney quipped. "That goes in dating as well."
The lone Democrat to address the group Friday was one of Clinton's potential Democratic challengers, former Montana Gov.
Schweitzer, who was introduced by Romney as a man of "extraordinary character," had much higher praise for his longtime GOP friend than for Clinton. In front of several hundred donors, Schweitzer bluntly told Romney that he hadn't recognized on television the man who ran against Obama for president.
"You are a funny guy, and you're easygoing, and Obama, he is not," Schweitzer said. "He's as stiff as a board, and you've got it going on."
But Schweitzer slayed the potential 2016 GOP field with his praise. If Romney ran again, he said, "he would be a giant in a field of midgets."