WASHINGTON (AP) – Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney says it is “stunning and shocking” that President Barack Obama doesn’t see Venezuela’s leader as a threat to U.S. national security.
Obama was asked in an interview this week with a Miami TV station to assess the relationship between Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez (OO’-goh CHAH’-vez) and Iran. Obama replied that while he is always concerned about Iran, he does not believe Chavez has had, in his words, a “serious national security impact” on the U.S.
Romney said in a statement Wednesday that it was disturbing to see Obama downplay the threat posed by Chavez’s regime.
Chavez has close ties with Iran and has hosted Iranian leaders in Venezuela. Chavez has been battling cancer for months, but says he is cancer-free and running for re-election.