Republicans Freak Out Over Obama's Hugo Chavez Comments

hugo chavez worried

In what appears to be an effort to find an opening in the national security debate, Republicans and presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney are ripping President Barack Obama for his recent statements on Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. 

The remarks in question were made during a recent interview with a Miami television station, in which Obama said that “what Mr. Chavez has done over the last several years has not had a serious national security impact on us.”

Republicans are now reporting that Obama said Chavez is “not a serious national security threat,” and claiming that the comment means the President is not concerned about the Venezuelan autocrat’s relationship with Iran. 

Romney made a last-minute appearance on Fox News with Neil Cavuto to talk about the issue this afternoon, attacking Obama for his “very misguided and misdirected thought.” All day, his campaign has blasted out emails about the issue from the candidate and his surrogates. Here’s the particularly scathing statement from Romney:

“This is a stunning and shocking comment by the President. It is disturbing to see him downplaying the threat posed to U.S. interests by a regime that openly wishes us ill.”

Florida’s Cuban-American Senator Marco Rubio, a foreign-policy hawk and popular vice presidential hopeful also issued his own statement, which called the president “alarmingly naive.”

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.