July 26th, 2007
03:09 PM ET
7 years ago

Romney backs Clinton in fight with Obama

Romney campaigned in Iowa Thursday.

MARSHALLTOWN, Iowa (CNN) - At an early morning "Ask Mitt Anything" event Thursday, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney joined Sen. Hillary Clinton in criticizing Democratic candidate Sen. Barack Obama for saying he would meet with controversial world leaders during his first year as president.

"It's absolutely extraordinary that someone can be so out of touch with our world," the former Massachusetts governor said. "Meeting with [authoritarian tyrants] is not what a president does."

These comments centered around what Sen. Obama, D-Illinois, said Monday night during the CNN/YouTube debate. He was asked whether he would be willing to meet with world leaders of Iran, Syria, Cuba, Venezuela and North Korea.

"It is a disgrace that we have not spoken to them," Obama said at the podium. "The notion that somehow not talking to countries is punishment to them - which has been the guiding diplomatic principle of this administration - is ridiculous."

Not so, said Romney.

"A president meets with important leaders where there are mutual interests or where there's been progress or hope to be key progress," Romney said. "Discussions with people of that nature are done through other parties and
things of that nature, but you do not bestow the dignity of the presidency on people like [them]."

Obama's democratic opponent Hillary Clinton has also engaged in a war of words with the junior senator, saying she would use high-level envoys in situations like this.

"We're not going to just have our president meet with Fidel Castro [of Cuba]and Hugo Chavez [of Venezuela] and, you know, the president of North Korea, Iran and Syria until we know better what the way forward would be," Clinton said during the debate. "I don't want to be used for propaganda purposes."

When asked if this means his view aligns with Clinton's, Romney said, "If two Democrats are violently disagreeing with each other, I am probably going to be on the side of one or the other, but she happens to be right in that regard."

But speaking in his stump speech earlier, Romney showed no restraint against her. He said the New York senator would raise corporate taxes, which, he says, would be a bad idea because "the corporations will then go overseas." He also called her healthcare plan "Hillary-care," a phrase he's used at campaign stops before, saying "if you think healthcare is expensive now, wait until it's free!"

He never so much as mentioned any of his fellow Republican candidates seeking the nomination for president.

- CNN Iowa Producer Chris Welch

soundoff (89 Responses)
  1. Robert, Edwards AFB, CA

    Well, no kidding. Republicans stand a better chance of winning the election with Clinton than they do against Obama.

    July 26, 2007 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  2. Jonathan Koontz, West Salem, OH

    I do not agree with Mitt or Hillary. Why is it that these two people feel that they have the right to represent the people of the United States in such a arrogant and flamboyant way? We wonder why the rest of the world looks at the U.S. in such a disdainful manner, and you don't have to look any further than people like Clinton and Romney...real good policy there, let's continue to promote this whole "we're right, you're wrong, so there" attitude, and then expect to be a leader in the world. That is poor, poor leadership, at best.

    July 26, 2007 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  3. test

    If what are we doing isn't working then we need to try a different tactic. Its worth a try

    July 26, 2007 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  4. Ben, Chicago IL

    **ATTENTION CLINTON SUPPORTERS** I hope this is a big wake up call, hearing Mitt "I'd double Guantanomo" Romney backing Hillary.

    July 26, 2007 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  5. Sridhar, Poughkeepsie, NY USA

    Romney just further proves that he's part of the problem and not the solution.

    July 26, 2007 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  6. Stephen

    Hell may freeze over Hillary and Romney 'agree' ... It should show you that Hillary is wrong. Its Bush Foreign Policy all over again.

    July 26, 2007 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  7. Thomas, Boston MA

    It only shows the ignorance and closed-mindedness of the republicans and Hilary that they would not even consider speaking with representatives from those countries. How do they ever hope to draw peace between us and "tyrant" nations if we will not swallow our pride and show them the respect every nation deserves.

    July 26, 2007 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  8. Ap (DC)

    I swear the Republicans are just salivating over the possibility of having Clinton be the Democrats representative. Democrats have all the momentum here and they're going to pick THIS as a time to try to push A WOMAN through. Great job, guys.

    July 26, 2007 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  9. Ryan, New York, NY

    Obama should send Mitt some new cosmetics and a spa gift certificate as a thank you for that gift.

    July 26, 2007 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  10. A, NYC

    I am glad Mitt is backing Hilary on this..after all, that means more dems voting for O8AMA!

    July 26, 2007 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  11. J. Williams, Baltimore, MD

    "...[Y]ou do not bestow the dignity of the presidency on people like [them].”

    No, because that is the attitude that has gotten us so far, in the world's eye, today. Ignore that those countries exist, leave them out of the negotiation table, and I'm sure they'll rush to comply with your wishes.


    When was the last time someone ignored what you had to say, and you suddenly felt the urge to do everything they asked, just so they would "bestow" upon you the dignity?

    July 26, 2007 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  12. Michael, Connecticut

    Senator Obama is correct. It is empty suited doctrainaire's like Pmney who are "out of touch" with what is needed in the world.

    July 26, 2007 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  13. Matt Houston, Texas

    “It’s absolutely extraordinary that someone can be so out of touch with our world,”

    This is the same guy who also wants to be able to bomb whoever he wants...

    Are yall starting to realize just how much Bush that Clinton is?

    July 26, 2007 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  14. Barbara, Lincoln, NE

    The lesson to be learned from the Clinton-Obama exchange is that the next person to answer the question always has a chance to improve upon your answer and one-up you! Hillary, this is a cheap shot. You owe the voting public more than this kind of attack. Move on.

    July 26, 2007 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  15. Chris, Alexandria, LA

    What do you expect from a man with the middle name Hussan.

    July 26, 2007 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  16. Mauricio Toronto

    Reading some of the previous comments leads to one question...

    Are you people actually reading the whole discourse or just parts of it.

    Mr. Romney stated that the President will not meet with the Presidents of these rogue states, but the contact is made by other parties.

    July 26, 2007 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  17. Don, Overland Park, KS

    This has to be the dumbest "war of words" I've ever seen. Obama was speaking of the need for the country (note use of the word "we") to have relations with our enemies. Hillary politicized it into the president is going to have dinner at Castro's house. She's politics as usual. Fake as the day is long.

    Shouldn't be suprising that the Republicans are backing her. They realized long ago they'd rather demonize her (and her husband) than have to face Obama in the national elections.

    July 26, 2007 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  18. Lesly, Boston, MA

    This ridiculous arrogance has got to stop before we can help our nation be more secure and powerful on the world stage. Americans have fallen from grace in the eyes of many foreigners to the point where we can not speak english or use our own currency in their nations like we were once so fortunate to have the privilege of doing. Whats next, hiding our own citizenship for our safety?

    July 26, 2007 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  19. Bob Anderson, Hartford, CT

    Someone should show Romney a photo of Nixon visiting China, and Clinton a photo of Truman and Stalin at Yalta... Are these two still in the third grade? This is the real world, guys, and you can't just give the silent treatment to anyone you don't like. And talking to bad people doesn't automatically make you one.

    July 26, 2007 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  20. Marcie, Asheville, NC

    I feel like the statements made by Clinton and Romney contain a lot of fluff, a lot of words that do not make any good points. Do they seriously think that the president of America should not try to meet with foreign leaders, understand them, and then attempt to help them understand us? I think that meeting with leaders of the world is important for our president to do and that Obama's eloquence and intelligence would be extraordinarily effective.

    July 26, 2007 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  21. MarineVet Texas

    None of these are even qualified to meet with any leaders if someone is to meet with a leader of a foreign nation is should be Joe Biden chairman of foreign relations he is the best bet for Presidency WAKE UP!!

    July 26, 2007 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  22. Becky,Euless, Texas

    My problem really is that the last two Decades considering I am 25, we have been between the
    Bushes and the Clintons, I just think we really need a make over at the White House! an Extreme
    Make Over, Let's try someone Now, and at the moment Obama Makes way more sense! ( I just
    finishing Reading his Book!

    Thank you

    July 26, 2007 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  23. Marc, Reston VA

    The absurdity here for me it that Romney doesn't ding Bush for being buds with Musharraf, or holding hands with Saudi princes. We're talking dictators and ruling monarchs here, but hey, they're not authoritarian tyrants, are they?

    July 26, 2007 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  24. Jay

    It's absurd that politicians like Mitt Romney can say things that completely degrade the entire population of a country because they don't follow the same political standards as we do. They are no less of human beings than us and deserve to be heard just as we deserve to be heard. The arrogance in that statement is simply beyond me.

    July 26, 2007 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  25. Debbie, Weymouth, MA

    As a Mass. Democrat all I can do is laugh over this one. Mitt supporting your plan is the kiss of death among Democratic voters. My goodness... considering the endorsement that Obama just picked up in NH it is truly a BAD day for Clinton Campaign in New England.

    July 26, 2007 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
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