October 19th, 2009
06:57 PM ET
5 years ago

Romney hammers Obama on Iran negotiations

Romney spoke at an AIPAC summit in California on Monday.
Romney spoke at an AIPAC summit in California on Monday.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Mitt Romney has a message for the Obama administration: Stop talking to Iran. Period.

"The Iranian leadership is the greatest immediate threat to the world since the fall of the Soviet Union, and before that, Nazi Germany," Romney said in a speech Monday to the pro-Israel group AIPAC at their national summit in San Diego, according to excerpts provided to CNN.

"The Iranian regime is unalloyed evil, run by people who are at once ruthless and fanatical," Romney said. "Stop thinking that a charm offensive will talk the Iranians out of their pursuit of nuclear weapons. It will not. And agreements, unenforceable and unverifiable, will have no greater impact here than they did in North Korea. Once an outstretched hand is met with a clenched fist, it becomes a symbol of weakness and impotence."

Romney - who has used a series of high-profile speeches to bolster his foreign policy profile in advance of a possible 2012 presidential bid - called on the United States to enact "comprehensive, withering sanctions" coupled with support for "the forces of freedom within Iran." He demanded that a "credible" military threat must remain on the table if Iranian leadership insists on threatening Israel with annihilation.

The former Massachusetts governor also blasted Obama for doing to much to accomodate Palestinian leadership in the pursuit of a peace process, while also placing an undue burden on Israel, "America's most ardent ally in the Middle East."

"The notion that Hamas and violent jihadists are motivated by 'shared interests' and 'common goals' is naïve in the extreme and dangerous to the entire free world," Romney said.


Filed under: Iran • Mitt Romney • Popular Posts • President Obama
soundoff (299 Responses)
  1. notfooledtx

    Hmmm...criticisms coming from someone with literally zero foreign policy experience...I'll file that opinion where it belongs.

    October 19, 2009 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  2. Anthony McMahon-Illinois

    The problem with Romney is you never can believe the guy. He'll say "withering" sanctions today and then, if he were to become president, would likely change his tone-especially after realizing that without the help of other nations the sanctions won't be that "withering." So far I think the president is doing the right thing by trying to negotiate with the nuts in Iran. When that fails (because it probably will get nowhere without the Russians who are doing their usual song and dance) then we can visit the idea of really going after them. We'll need more than just ourselves which the president understands and will need to build a block of allies willing to take on the task.

    October 19, 2009 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  3. Shirley In California

    Sorry, a misspelled word:

    Well, Mr. Romney since you want to talk "foreign policy" let's talk about yours shall we?

    1. Member of the Mormon cult (now, that's foreign);

    2. Draft dodger; and

    3. Sons who are pretty boys. None of them EVER volunteered to do ANYTHING for the military.

    That about sums up your foreign policy Mitt. Which of course the Obama administration could do without.

    October 19, 2009 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  4. GI Joe

    Wow – Mr. Hairspray must have talked to the Wasilla Hillbilly – now he's a foreign relations expert like her.

    Wow wow – just wow

    October 19, 2009 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  5. Pat - boston

    I disagree... Simply look at what happened with North Korea, and you have what happens if America ignores and punishes without talking. Of course, this speech has no value since Romney started to campaign for 2012.

    October 19, 2009 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  6. Unemployed in IOWA

    Obama is making our coutryt less safe. IMPEACH OBAMA for dealing with terrosit.

    October 19, 2009 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  7. Gallimimus

    Not much has changed with this clown. All criticism and no real action. Oh wait, that's the GOP in general. When are they gonna learn? The practices that we have been doing have gotten us nowhere. Now is the time to try out some new approaches.

    October 19, 2009 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  8. W l Jones

    Some people fail to remember the European talk to us and we did not have a perfet government for over two hundred...A heep see,,, but forgot to know their history in this country.

    October 19, 2009 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  9. Reformed Republican

    Been looking at the rocks in the hat again have we there Mitt?

    Tell ya what – You're opinions are completely wrong, with no merit and contribute nothing to the conversation. Maybe you should call into Rushblo or Beck-erhead, they lap this puss up like it's syrup...

    October 19, 2009 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  10. bob in LA

    Aside from making up words in his speech- imagine if the world looked at us the same way. Our fanatical past administration would have been the reason for us being attacked and hated, instead of people just disliking our policies. Oh wait – we were.
    Leaders come and go- there are millions of good Iranian people- negotiation and keeping wars and death at bay is what true leadership is about..

    October 19, 2009 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  11. What Now?

    "Stop thinking that a charm offensive will talk the Iranians out of their pursuit of nuclear weapons. It will not. And agreements, unenforceable and unverifiable, will have no greater impact here than they did in North Korea. "

    So like, then what should we do? Start ANOTHER war?? And last time I checked, "charm offensives" such as sanctions, et al were a tactic of diplomacy. And tend to work. North Korea is not the threat you'd like us to believe, so stop using it as your game changer.

    Why are some republicans so pro violence? It's ridculous and hasn't done us any good the past 8 years. Except work to break us. Thanks.

    October 19, 2009 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  12. DianeR PCFL

    I am sick of these GeeNopers mouthing off about foreign policy. Aren't they the ones that led us into a War on Iraq based on lies that ate up the budget surplus and murdered 4500 of our brightest and best , along with over 87,000 Iraqis whose lives have been lost. along with untold millions who are daily subjected to terrorism and brutality – and don't tell me about ridding the country of a ruthless dictator – so what and for what??? The only ruthless dictator that I'm glad is gone is GWB and the only symbol of weakness I see on the world stage right now are dimwitted republifascists who don't know when to shut their stupid mouths.

    October 19, 2009 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  13. Tom

    What an idiot. Why does this guy prove time and time again his ignorance of foreign policy. His idea plays right into Iran's hands. Obama is doing the right thing by preventing Iran from gaining the high ground.

    October 19, 2009 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  14. Susan

    Excuse me, but I don't remember Romney making it out of the primaries last year. That alone speaks volumes.

    Romney should keep his thoughts to himself because he isn't privy to the classified information President Obama receives. He's just like all those other republicans who appear eager to "send more troops" into Afghanistan, but I ask you ... Where were Romney and all those republicans when we all but abandoned our efforts in Afghanistan to wage war on Iraq, which had absolutely nothing to do with Osama Bin Laden.

    October 19, 2009 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  15. phoenix86

    Excuse me Mitt, but the Iranians are not negotiating with Obama. They are dictating terms to him.

    October 19, 2009 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  16. Phat Elvis

    Oh Please, Romney doesnt know jack. Comparing Iran to the soviet union? heads up mitt, Iran was a soviet client state, striclty minor leagues, and still are. you want to solve the problem with Hamas? force Israel into a 2-state solution. want to get rid of violent jihadists? dont start wars with other countries while fighting a war with the real enemy.

    America can afford to extend a hand to people it disagrees with it, because the reality is we have the largest economy and military force to back it up.

    October 19, 2009 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  17. B

    If you stop talking then what, Bomb them into submission ?

    We just had eight years of no talk and just threats, it doesn’t work remember?

    October 19, 2009 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  18. War Criminal Juror

    Romney is a NEO-CON hack. If it was up to him, we be policing the whole world. Wars, wars, and more wars.. But he or his kids will never serve in the military. Typical chicken hawk.

    October 19, 2009 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  19. sonny chapman

    The Nazis & Soviet Union had massive militaries. Wrong analogy.

    October 19, 2009 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  20. CHANGE.COM

    Suck it up to AIPAC, Romney. They are powerfully wealthy and can buy whatever they want. But policy has to be made with abroad world view and not just through the eyes of AIPAC.

    October 19, 2009 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  21. Lynda

    Yeah just another Republican looking for another War to start.......making threats with military actions is just another Bush/Chaney policy........were trying to get out of Iraq and trying to find a way to end this mess in Afganistan and this man wants a "Credible military threat left on the table" All he is looking for is the Jewish vote, once he gets that he will sell them down river just like all the Republicans do....

    October 19, 2009 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  22. MarkR

    Gee Mitt, has W's method of public hate and ignorance worked pretty well for the past 9 years? Preaching hate to the world only drives those who could help get rid of the fools in charge of Iran into the opposite camp. Ever trying to tell a teenager they can't talk to a particular person you don't like? Pretty much the same deal hear. Show real leadership to the world, and the world will treat you like a leader. Preach hate, hide your head in the sand, declare yourself to be king, and you end up by yourself on an island, surrounded by sharks. Of course, 2012 is not far off, so clearly you are going where the RNC wants you to go. Now that worked really well last year, so please keep it up!

    October 19, 2009 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  23. ran

    More hate/fear/obstructionism. Got to be a Republican speaking again.

    October 19, 2009 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  24. Nathan

    This guy should be selling suits at Men's Warehouse, not deluding himself with thoughts of the presidency... Gimme a break.

    October 19, 2009 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  25. S M R

    So MITT,what is your suggestion? Do you agree with McCain to BOMB, BOMB, BOMB, BOMB, BOMB IRAN?

    October 19, 2009 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
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