(Photo by Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images) Former House speaker Newt Gingrich. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images)

Former House speaker and GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich on Sunday criticized President Obama's strategy for dealing with Syria, saying he is "following from behind."

"We are now relying on the Russians," Gingrich said on CNN's "State of the Union." "This is not a good long-term position."

Gingrich also suggested that Obama's diplomatic strategy has cost the United States diplomatic clout. "You have Putin playing chess and Obama playing, frankly, a very lucky game of tic-tack-toe," he said. "Putin stepped in to maximize Russian influence in the Middle East. That is a strategic defeat for the United States."