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. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Romney is playing politics with war and that is flat out wrong.

    September 28, 2009 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  2. Lisa

    see..this is someone Dems would be scared of. Not Palin. She is nowhere close to the substance Romney has. And whether people agree with his views or not, at least she doesn't make people flip the channel, or shreik in terror at the sound of his voice.

    September 28, 2009 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  3. Roger

    Romney wants to go to Iraq & get an asscessment? Why? So let me get this straight, if you run for president get your tail kicked you get to asscess federal things. If thats the case I say send Huck he put a big time beat down on the Mitten & is still beating the poor guy down. Mitten what he lacks in brains he makes up for in persistence.

    September 28, 2009 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  4. Leftie

    Stop grand-standing, Romney! You don't hold ANY political office . . . who CARES what your "assessment of what's happening there" is??!!!

    September 28, 2009 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  5. Val in MA

    Meet the next President of the United States: Mitt Romney! He is best of the best!

    September 28, 2009 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  6. Robert

    Romney is an idiot...

    Last weekend he criticized Obama for supporting the deposed president of Honduras instead of the military guy who took over (who he says has policies more in line with what Washington wants). Actually, we are supposed to support democracy, which means that we should (and under Obama do) support whoever the lawfully elected leader is. The Honduran people voted for this guy, end of subject. It doesn't matter who we want in there, it only matters who the Hondurans voted for.

    Now he is going to Iraq and Afganistan to get 'an assessment.' Excuse me, what office does he hold that would allow him that? He is not even a candidate yet, and no presidential election is near. He shouldn't even be allowed over there.

    September 28, 2009 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  7. No More Incumbents

    Let's accomodate him and send Peloisi, Franks, Dodd, Biden and Obama too.

    September 28, 2009 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  8. Kevin

    "Return" to Iraq & Afghanistan? I didn't know we had left!

    September 28, 2009 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  9. Shibumi

    Send Michelle instead. She can gather all the Jihadists together and sing "Cum Ba Ya" in a circle. Maybe teach them how to grow a garden.
    Stinkle Barry could even resurrect "Midnight Basketball".
    A good time to be had by all.
    Bring on 2010.

    September 28, 2009 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  10. Greg, San Francisco, CA

    I'm all in favor of his going to Iraq and Afghanistan – as long as he doesn't come back.

    September 28, 2009 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  11. Moderate Democrat

    Romney totally destroyed his state when he was governor. No way would I ever consider voting in a PROVEN failure (which disqualifies all republicans).

    September 28, 2009 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  12. Craig

    There are already to many businessmen there already. Oh i see Bush didnt include you in the pie him and his cronies divided up.

    September 28, 2009 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  13. JJ

    I'm all for it if he enlists and sticks it out with the troops for the long haul.

    September 28, 2009 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  14. Zach K

    Romney is a Fraud. I never want to see him as our president.

    September 28, 2009 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  15. ANGIE IN PA

    what office does this nut hold?

    He is a Private citizen he has no right to maken any assement in Iraq or Afghanistan No need for him to meddle besides he has no Military experience so back off Mittens!

    September 28, 2009 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  16. Ron

    Think they will keep him? That would clear the way for a Palin-Wilson ticket in '12.

    September 28, 2009 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  17. Farrell in Houston

    We've seen this political posturing photo opps played out before and is a total waste of militaries time. Let our Generals on the ground do their job and it's not guarding people like Romney to support their political ambitions.

    September 28, 2009 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  18. Chris - Denver

    Please let him stay there.

    September 28, 2009 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  19. vic nashville , Tn

    This news conform that Romney is running for 2012

    Better he appear situation room announce it

    Obama 2012 / Hillary 2016

    September 28, 2009 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  20. Larry

    This is exactly the same as Sean Penn and others going to war "theaters" to "get an assessment". My how the republicans mocked Sean Penn. Will they do the same for Romney? I thought not. Cuz he's "presidential", even though he got whupped by McSame.

    September 28, 2009 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  21. Chris D.

    What a panderer.......I will not vote for Mitt "No Apology" Romney for President in a million years!!!!!!
    It's 2009, and he's already getting ready for 2012. Country first? No, ambition first.

    September 28, 2009 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  22. Put up or Shut it

    So when a hollywood self-proclaimed star goes to Iraq, why don't you complain then? At least Mitt is willing to take a risk and make the trip. Flying in and out of a war zone is not a 1st class trip to the bahamas. Plus all this stupid talk of him or his sons going to fight. Why don't you demonstrate your own bravery and enlist in the war. Our current so-called leader in chief won't talk to McCrystal, doesn't support the troops, says he wants to end the war but doesn't know how, thinks he's big man on the UN stage and can't get his own party to come together. Romney at least has more management and business acumen to get the country financially back on track. I see this for what it is, another talking point in a debate to use after he goes over there to see how things are. But at least he's interested in the right priorities.

    September 28, 2009 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  23. alb

    There is nothing preventing Romney from enlisting to help in Iraq and Afghanistan if he wants to. We do not need him to bloviate on the subject, though, so if he wants to go to the region, he had better pay for his own travel and protection. These are war zones, not tourist spots. I think Obama, Gates, et al. can handle the situation without his posturing. Why do I feel as if Romney is less worried about the policies in these wars than his own failed political career?

    September 28, 2009 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  24. Constantly Amazed and Disgusted

    Great Mitt-
    I'm sure you can figure out what everyone who actually knows something about foreign policy and state-building has been unable to do. And I'm sure all the soldiers and commanders are keen on getting your expert input to help them do their jobs better. When you've fixed Afghanistan, can you please divert your focus to global warming? We could all use some of your expert help there too. Thanks,
    CAD

    September 28, 2009 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  25. craig

    How "presidential" of holier than thou $Mill Romney, playing politics with the situation in Iraq to "find out what's REALLY happening over there."

    This man would stoop to anything to be the GOP nominee in 2012.

    September 28, 2009 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
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