September 28th, 2009
03:47 PM ET
5 years ago

Romney says he wants to return to Iraq and Afghanistan

Mitt Romney says he wants to return to Iraq & Afghanistan.
Mitt Romney says he wants to return to Iraq & Afghanistan.

(CNN) – Mitt Romney says he wants to return to Iraq and Afghanistan.

Eric Fehrnstrom, an adviser for the the former Massachusetts governor and 2008 Republican presidential candidate, tells CNN that "we are working through the appropriate channels to make this happen."

"I'm going to Afghanistan and Iraq in a couple of months," Romney declared in an interview published Sunday in the Washington Examiner. "I'll get an assessment of what's happening there and what the prospects are. But I certainly would support our troops with the additional troops which are being called for by General McChrystal, and provide the equipment and the manpower and the budgetary support which our troops deserve."

McChrystal is the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan. He said Sunday that he wants more troops and a new strategy - but most importantly, he wants to win the battle for the hearts and the minds of the people in the war-torn country.


Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said Sunday that the administration is in the process of evaluating its Afghanistan strategy, and once it is confident the strategy is right, it will address the question of additional resources.

Romney, along with two other governors, visited Iraq and Afghanistan in May of 2006, as part of a Department of Defense sponsored trip.

This past weekend Romney, who may make another run at the GOP presidential nomination in 2012, had sharp words for President Barack Obama's handling of foreign relations. At the biennial Mackinac Republican Leadership Conference on Mackinac Island Michigan, Romney said that the president is "above" the world stage and acting too much as a "neutral arbiter" who uses only words to tell other nations what's right and what's wrong.

The previous weekend, Romney also criticized Obama on national security matters at the Value Voters Summit, an annual gathering of social conservatives held in the nation's capitol.


Filed under: Afghanistan • Iraq • Mitt Romney
soundoff (99 Responses)
  1. danel

    Really now..why can't you send your sons to fight in Afghanistan and Iraq?

    September 28, 2009 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  2. Rick

    Hey MITT! Going to carry a gun? NO? How about your healthy active sons? NO???? YOU ARE USELESS!

    September 28, 2009 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  3. kelly from nyc

    Mitt Romney is not in political office, why does he get to go there to observe? If you really want to help, become a soldier!

    September 28, 2009 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  4. Steve A. , New Braunfels , Texas

    Sadam predicted that if we invaded his country that" for every man we killed 20 would take his place "and that this would be" the mother of all wars" even though he is long dead his predictions seem to be coming true. Romney may want to think twice about that statement before he runs for election seeing as how we the people recently ousted the last war king by one of the largest landslides in history.

    September 28, 2009 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  5. b

    If he wants to go over there, tell him to enlist. I'm sure he would find out how it really is, when he is being shot at.

    September 28, 2009 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  6. Ray S

    I feel so much more secure, now that I know Mitt is going to visit Iraq and Afghanistan again. Oh happy day!! How much of the taxpayers money will be spent so Mitt and his trip toadies can "cheer the troops up"? What a waste of time! Mitt will go there, receive the usual red carpet treatment with full security cordon. All sorts of careerists will be running around trying to kiss his pompous rear end. He will shake some designated hands, and be on his way again, back to his multi-millionare world, complete with Mormon fantasies of the Nephites vs the Lamanites.

    September 28, 2009 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  7. Mississippi Miss

    I appreciate Mitt Romney's effort to go and check things out for himself in Afghanistan and Iraq. No matter how political his intentions may be,
    any news we get coming from him, will at least be truthful.

    President Obama has cloud-eye-tis, which prevents him from seeing, hearing or telling the truth. Wish they made a pill for that.

    September 28, 2009 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  8. chelle

    So Romney figures that the US can use what exactly to "make" the world listen?? If not words then what?? Nuclear missiles? It's called diplomacy – something the Republicans used to actually be good at (Russia/Japan/Theodore Roosevelt). Go figure....

    September 28, 2009 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  9. Jacob

    maybe Iraq should host the next Republican Nation Convention? What a perfect place for you to spend the next three years campaigning!

    as if you have the answers, mitt!

    September 28, 2009 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  10. MR

    My husband has deployed to the Middle East as a Colonel in the Army and has talked about what an inconvience it is for politicians to visit troops. Understand that elected officials have a need to do it but why Romney? He isn't officially a candidate for anything yet and we are going to take the time of soldiers to show him around for photo ops and to pad his foriegn policy credentials? Hope he intends to pay his own way – its too soon to start this stuff for the 2012 Presidential race!

    September 28, 2009 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  11. John C

    Typical republican, everthing is about how it looks on TV and what they can say on the radio. If they were half as good at walking the walk as they are at talking the talk, they would not have done such an abismal job when they where in charge. Romney is a cardboard cutout of a poltician, the perfect GOP candidate.

    September 28, 2009 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  12. 2010 can't get here fast enough

    MY next President of the United States of America, a good, smart, successful family man who forgot more than Obambi knows about anything.

    He has actually run a state and a business and got healthcare passed in the bluest of states which has ballooned as EXPECTED because the nitwit liberals in Mass (I live there) are allowing anyone on the doles as they lowered the thresholds so people who DID buy it BEFORE and CAN afford it are now part of the public trough slurping.

    Time for the liberal progressives to mock someone superior to them in ever way (once Oprah is over of course) with remarks about multiple wives ( a lie) funny underwear and believing in goats.

    Can't wait to hear the crying when Obama and his minions take a beating STARTING in next years ELECTIONS, (just so I am clear for the moron Sniffit), ELECTIONS, genius, BEATING IN ELECTIONS.

    September 28, 2009 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  13. Dave

    I'm surprized Romney is being criticized when President Obama has no foreign policy experience. What is more, Obama has no leadership experience whatsoever. In addition, I do believe Romney can help us with our economic problems exacerbated under Bush and more so under Obama.

    September 28, 2009 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  14. gino

    Does Romney have a foreign policy we don't know about? Oh! It's a secret.

    September 28, 2009 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  15. 2010 can't get here fast enough

    MY next President of the United States of America, a good, smart, successful family man who forgot more than Obambi knows about anything.

    And unlike Obambi, he will go to Afghanistan and talk to, oh I don't know, GENERALS that are running the show maybe?

    Go have fun in Denmark Barry.

    Romney has actually run a state and a business and got healthcare passed in the bluest of states which has ballooned as EXPECTED because the nitwit liberals in Mass (I live there) are allowing anyone on the doles as they lowered the thresholds so people who DID buy it BEFORE and CAN afford it are now part of the public trough slurping.

    Time for the liberal progressives to mock someone superior to them in ever way (once Oprah is over of course) with remarks about multiple wives ( a lie) funny underwear and believing in goats.

    Can't wait to hear the crying when Obama and his minions take a beating STARTING in next years ELECTIONS, (just so I am clear for the moron Sniffit), ELECTIONS, genius, BEATING IN ELECTIONS.

    September 28, 2009 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  16. James

    The Republicans have said repeatedly that the primary duty of the federal government is to handle our defenses to keep Americans safe, yet here comes Romney, a Republican governor, who seems to be taking a federal role. We all know that he's already running for president in 2012, so his motives are quite transparent. We don't want or need his assessment of the wars in the Middle East. He should keep his nose out of it. This is the job of the current President, whom we all elected.

    September 28, 2009 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  17. Independent but never a republican

    Any time a republican gets involved with the military, thousands of them die.

    September 28, 2009 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  18. The Lonely Libertarian of Liverpool NY

    Neither of the major party has any plans to end this war? Both are going to send more troops into harm's way?
    NO and NO pull the troops home now! Today ! No more wars for Corporate profit!

    September 28, 2009 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  19. Pre-Existing Condition

    I want to buy the same health insurance policy that Mitt Romney has. Where can I buy it?!

    September 28, 2009 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  20. Bill Sampson

    Going to get your picture taken with the troops, Mittens? Getting ready for 2012?

    Gosh, you had the chance to actually serve in the military during the Vietnam War, but received several deferments because you were in Paris converting the French to Mormonism. How very convenient for you. Who arranged all of that good luck?

    I don't blame you for avoiding that messy and dangerous situation in the jungle. I'd have gone to Paris, too. But I wouldn't then go on to pretend to be a big military guy posing for pictures in Iraq to build up my 2012 presidential campaign.

    Hypocrisy and money are the currency of politics, I guess. Good luck, Mittens.

    September 28, 2009 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  21. John

    Romney holds what office now?

    And what would he learn that he can't read in reports?

    I wonder if Mitt ever considered that a visit to Iraq and Afghanistan would be nothing more than showboating and an annoying distraction to the commanders and troops.

    September 28, 2009 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  22. Laughter at you!

    His underwear will protect him. Hey, maybe he can hand out a few pairs to our soldiers. That's a freaking great idea. We could put up a big clothesline full of them between Iran and Iraq.

    September 28, 2009 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  23. God n' Country

    All I can say is, I hope he wins in 2012. We need a president with real experience handling the economy. Not a president with real experience handling racism, terrorism and prostitution with his relationships with ACORN, Rev. Wright, and Weather Underground.

    Romney/Crist 2012!

    September 28, 2009 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  24. GOPer

    Please. What position does citizen Romney hold to conduct this so-called "assessment" for the country?

    Americans entrusted these important decisions to our Defense Secretary, Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Commander in Chief.

    September 28, 2009 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  25. Declan

    I'd trade the presidencies of Obama, W., Clinton, and George HW Bush if we could get President Romney in 2012. Most capable candidate we've had since the 1980s; the most accomplished; most exemplary, personally; and a true outsider, see how he was ganged up and defeated in 2008 by the establishment Republicans, each with big names, and long party politics histories.

    September 28, 2009 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
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