ABC News' David Chalian Reports: President Obama's nuclear diplomacy came under fire today. Sen. Judd Gregg (R-NH), who was tapped by the president to become Commerce Secretary before withdrawing his nomination, provided a thumbs up to the new missile defense policy announced by the president, but called his handling of the policy shift "a major diplomatic error."
"I guess he didn't really tell the Polish government or the Czech government until late last night and that was really a major diplomatic error," Sen. Gregg said on ABC News' "Top Line."
"You know, we heard about how this administration was going to be so much more adept at handling diplomacy but it turns out in one of the first major diplomatic actions that they've taken they just didn't handle it well at all. You just don't say to two countries who have stood up and said we're willing to do this, after considerable cajoling from us, that you're going to walk away from them and give them. . . 12 hours notice that you're going to announce this," Gregg said.
"It was not well handled, but I do think from a substance standpoint that it probably makes sense," he added.
Sen. Gregg cited concerns of the expense of the system previously supported by the Bush Administration and the ability for such a missile defense shield to properly meet the Iranian threat.
"The Iranians are a huge problem for us there's no question about that and their movement towards a nuclear weapon is a huge problem for everyone, but whether or not we need to put in place a long range missile defense capability in Eastern Europe I have had serious reservations about," Sen. Gregg told us.
While Sen. Gregg rapped the Obama administration for its handling of the situation, other Republicans are standing in firm opposition to the policy itself.
Sen. McCain (R-AZ) called President Obama's policy shift "seriously misguided" and the Republican National Committee is seeking to paint President Obama as a leader willing to let down our allies in Poland and the Czech Republic.
We also chatted with Sen. Gregg about his opposition to the Baucus health care bill announced yesterday.
Be sure to watch the entire interview with Sen. Gregg HERE:
Politico's Jonathan Martin also stopped by, as he does each Thursday, to give us his take on President Obama's hastily announced policy shift today, the administration's reluctance to be drawn into a race debate, and how Mr. Obama plans to get the 51 votes he needs on health care. You won't want to miss Martin's analysis.
You can watch the entire interview with Politico's Jonathan Martin HERE: