(WASHINGTON) -- The White House probably expected that the three top GOP candidates for president wouldn't have anything positive to say about Thursday's decision to call for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's resignation.
And those expectations proved true.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann all accused President Obama of taking too long to condemn the Syrian dictator as Syrians continue to die after months of deadly crackdowns on Assad's political opponents.
Campaigning in New Hampshire, Perry said the president's action was "long overdue" because al-Assad not only threatens his own people but also "the security and stability of the entire Middle East."
Romney was no less critical, asserting, "It has taken President Obama far too long to speak out forcefully against Assad and his vicious crackdown in Syria."
He blamed the president for using the word "reformer" to describe the Syrian leader early on in the crisis, which Romney alleged emboldened al-Assad.
Meanwhile in South Carolina, Bachmann mused that "better late than never" is the wrong way to conduct foreign policy. She added there has been not enough force used to pressure al-Assad to stop killing his own people.
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