NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. — Former Marine Corps. Lt. Col. Oliver North said Friday that Ukraine is paying the price for America’s lack of leadership under President Barack Obama.

NATIONAL HARBOR, MD - MARCH 07: Former United States Marine Corps Lieutenant Colonel and television host Oliver North speaks during the second day of the Conservative Political Action Conference at the Gaylord International Hotel and Conference Center March 7, 2014 in National Harbor, Maryland. The CPAC annual meeting brings together conservative politicians, pundits and their supporters for speeches, panels and classes. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Former United States Marine Corps Lt. Col. and television host Oliver North speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Md., Friday, March 7, 2014. (Getty Images)

“The people of Ukraine are at this very minute paying the terrible price for America’s leadership deficit disorder and the Obama organization’s utopian rush to unilateral disarmament,” North said at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference held outside Washington, D.C.

He continued, amping up his criticism of President Obama’s approach to national defense and foreign policy.

“We don’t need a head of state who guts our defenses and draws phony red lines with a pink crayon,” he said, referring to the president’s infamous threat to intervene in Syria if its leader, Bashar al-Assad, crossed a “red line.”

He argued before convention attendees that the president of the United States should at the very least be truest and admired by our allies and “if not feared, at least respected by our adversaries.”

North spent a good deal of his speech accusing the Obama administration of mishandling the military.

Members of the U.S. armed forces and “their families have made extraordinary sacrifices for all of us,” he said. “The deserve better than a commander in chief garbed as a Nobel laureate, trotting around the world, kowtowing to foreign leaders and apologizing for America.”

The crowd was particularly pleased with this line.

“They deserve a commander in chief who knows America, the greatest force for good the world has ever known, has no thing ever to apologize for. Not once,” he said. “The members of our armed forces and their families deserve better than to be treated like laboratory rats in some radical social experiment.”

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