Donald Rumsfeld. (September 3, 2013)
GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) -- He guided former Presidents Gerald R. Ford and George W. Bush and Monday, former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld spoke candidly against President Obama's handling of Syria.
Rumsfeld made a stop at the Ford Presidential Museum in Grand Rapids to give a lecture on his new book, Rumsfeld's Rules: Leadership Lessons in Business, Politics, War, and Life.
But it was less a lecture and more a question and answer about the Middle East, specifically about Syria. Rumsfeld spoke with good humor and didn't back down on questions; he made it clear he's not impressed with the way President Obama is handling the situation in Syria.
Rumsfeld says President Obama is faced with terribly difficult decisions, but says he is not providing the leadership he should.
"The president is not, in my view, providing the kind of leadership that I think almost any president in my adult lifetime would be providing," said Rumsfeld. "I think of Gerald Ford and how he would be dealing with an issue like this, and it would be notably different."
He says President Obama needs to either change the regime or do nothing in Syria.
"Why would you go in and fire a shot across the bow? All it does is make a splash; what have you achieved?" Rumsfeld said. "What you've probably achieved is the embarrassment of the United States."
In an interview with WZZM 13 earlier in the day, Rumsfeld said he wants to be supportive of the Obama administration.
"The current folks were dealt a pretty bad hand, to be honest. I think Secretary Kerry and Secretary Hagel come in after four to five years of polices that didn't work out.
WZZM 13 will have more of Rumsfeld's views on Syria at 11 p.m.