Mitt Romney feels vindicated by Hillary Clinton.
At a book event for Rep. Paul Ryan, his former running mate, Romney said that Hillary Clinton distancing herself from some of President Barack Obama's foreign policy was reminiscent of the campaign he ran against the president.
"She was very critical of the president's foreign policy, and basically said 'he doesn't have one,'" Romney, the 2012 Republican presidential nominee, said, according to Bloomberg. "I used to say that during the campaign.
Romney was referring to Clinton's interview with the Atlantic's Jeffrey Goldberg, where the former secretary of state appeared to create space with the president on foreign policy and knock some of his guiding principles.
"Great nations need organizing principles, and 'don't do stupid stuff' is not an organizing principle," Clinton said, referring to a view Obama has expressed to aides and reporters.
Clinton's split with Obama and the subsequent beltway kerfuffle -- where Clinton was knocked by former Obama aides and forced to backtrack -- was evidence of how difficult it would be for her to create any distance with the president.
"Hillary Clinton tries to distance herself from the foreign policy of the president," Romney said in Chicago. "That would work better were she not his secretary of state for four years."
Romney later added that if Clinton were to win in 2016 -- she is the favorite for the Democratic nomination and is admittedly thinking about a run -- she would just "keep these things going" like they have been under Obama.
Romney made similar statement in a Thursday night appearance with Ryan on Fox News.
"I can't begin to explain the president's foreign policy. I think Hillary Clinton tried to explain it by saying there wasn't a foreign policy, in effect," Romney said. "Rarely did I agree with what Hillary Clinton had to say but on that topic, I think we agreed. I think it's interesting that she tries to distance herself from the president's foreign policy, given the fact that she was his secretary of state for four years."
The former Massachusetts governor's critique echoes what Ryan and other Republicans have said: Clinton won't be able to shake the Obama record.
"I don't think people are going to want to have an Obama third term and no matter how she tries to shake that label, she won't be able to," Ryan said in an interview with USA Today earlier this week.
This line of questioning by Romney and Ryan has worried some Democrats.
Some Clinton associates have quietly expressed concern that one of the most effective critiques could be that her presidency, should she run and be elected, would be nothing more than Obama's third term.
"She was in his government, she was at his side," a Clinton friend and former aide told CNN. "That is, the way to go after her is four more years of the same old thing. The question they should ask her is 'Tell me 10 things that you disagree with him on.'"
Not all Democrats, especially those tasked with defending Clinton, agree that the former secretary of state will need to distance herself from Obama.
"Hillary Clinton is one of the most admired and trusted public figures in America and should she run for president, she will run on her own record and implement her own vision for moving our country forward," said Adrienne Elrod, spokeswoman of Correct the Record, a pro-Clinton communications group, in response to Ryan's critique.