Former Speaker Newt Gingrich (R) blasted President Obama today, saying Obama's handshake with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez will be used as propaganda around the world.

"Everywhere in Latin America, enemies of America are going to use the picture of Chavez smiling and being with the president as proof that Chavez is now legitimate that he is acceptable," Gingrich told NBC's Today Show this morning.

Gingrich also criticized the President for "bowing" to Saudi King Abdullah.

"What I find distressing is that this administration is opposed to looking for oil offshore, but the president bows to the Saudi king, and the president is friends with Venezuela whose biggest impact on us is that they send us a lot of oil," said Gingrich.

The former Republican leader also took shots at the president for relaxing travel restrictions to Cuba and for responding slowly to North Korea's missile test. The cumulative effect of these actions, Gingrich argued, was a policy similar to that of Jimmy Carter.

"This does look a lot like Jimmy Carter," Gingrich added on "Fox & Friends" this morning. "Carter tried weakness and the world got tougher and tougher because the predators, the aggressors, the anti-Americans, the dictators, when they sense weakness, they all start pushing ahead."

Gingrich is a potential Republican candidate for President in 2012.