TAMPA, Fla -- Former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice said her successor, Hillary Clinton, has done a "fine" job.
It's the overall strategy of the Obama administration, Rice said, that has led the U.S. astray.
"I think she's done a fine job. The problem isn't Hilary Clinton, who's great," Rice told members of Ohio's delegation to the Republican National Convention.
"The problem is that we've chosen to speak with a muted voice about America's role in the world. We've chosen to try to lead from behind. That's an oxymoron in my mind."
Clinton had long been a lightning rod for conservatives, but has won plaudits for her work as the nation's top diplomat.
But Rice, who some Republicans had hoped would be Mitt Romney's running mate, was more unsparing toward President Barack Obama, a likely target during her speech tonight before the convention.
Rice told delegates here that America has been "leading from behind" during the Obama administration. She said that, like many in the U.S., countries abroad are unsure if America can regain its place as the world's dominant economic and military power.
In a PRESS Pass interview with David Gregory from March 2012, Condoleezza Rice answers the question of whether or not she would serve as the Vice Presidential nominee for the Republican ticket in 2012.
"We are united by a belief that you can come from humble circumstances and you can do great things. And today people wonder: Is that still true? Are America's best days behind us?" Rice said.
"And I want to tell you, as a former secretary of state, it's not just something that Americans wonder, it's something that people around the world wonder too. Because when the United States is not feeling strong and confident at home, it shows abroad.And when the united states is not willing to speak with a robust voice for free peoples and free markets, the world is a pretty chaotic place.
The former top adviser to President George W. Bush maintained that she is not concerned by the lack of foreign policy experience at the top of the Republican ticket, saying that success abroad takes the same leadership qualities Romney exhibited in the private sector.
"The details about what you do about Iran on any given day or what you do about china on any given day. Any smart person can figure that out. But if you don't have the basic principles in place...then you can't be a great foreign policy president," she said.
The Stanford professor continued to say she has no plans to return politics, but her high-profile seat during Tuesday night's floor speeches along with her speech tonight will cause plenty of speculation about a possible future spot in the Romney administration.