Romney and Santorum hit Obama over Syria
August 18th, 2011
12:00 PM ET
3 years ago

Romney and Santorum hit Obama over Syria

(CNN) - Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney lambasted President Barack Obama's leadership Thursday saying his call for Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad to step down comes after too much blood has been shed in the country.

In a statement the former Massachusetts governor said the president took "far too long to speak out forcefully against Assad."

Read what Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann said here.

Read what Texas Gov. Rick Perry said here.


"America must show leadership on the world stage and work to move these developing nations toward modernity," Romney said. "This means using the bullhorn of the presidency and not remaining silent for too long while voices of freedom and dissent are under attack."

U.S. authorities resisted calling explicitly for Assad to step down from power until Thursday. The public statements from Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton were closely coordinated with European, Turkish and Arab allies, significantly ratcheting up international pressure against a regime that has been criticized for its harsh crackdown against anti-government protesters in recent months.

Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum said it is "shocking that it has taken President Obama this long to realize that Syria is a threat to not just the region, but to its own people."

"It is about time that the Obama Administration stepped to the plate and called for the long-awaited resignation of President Assad," the former Pennsylvania senator said in a statement.


Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • President Obama • Rick Santorum • Syria
soundoff (83 Responses)
  1. In order for 15 MILLION to find a job, only ONE must LOSE his.... Fire Obama in 2012

    Come Mitt... It is part of Obama's "lead from behind" strategy. The USA isn't supposed to do things like you suggest anymore. We're all the same now under Obama. We have the same voice as Uganda. Welcome to that new Hope and Change reality.

    August 18, 2011 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  2. AEK

    Because with this President, we do things like this in concert with other world leaders and not all alone, cowboy. You, apparently missed you true calling, Mitt. You could have been Secretary of State under President Bush. Is the view pretty good from the Sarah Palin seats?

    August 18, 2011 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  3. SICK OF LIES

    And at what point or when did Mitt ask for the Syrian leader to step down?

    August 18, 2011 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  4. Linoge

    If Obama had called for this sooner, Romney would have blasted him for picking fights when he should be focusing on jobs. Like a puppy at the dinner table, furiously wagging its tail and looking up expectantly for a bite, Romney wants to be President so badly that he will say ANYTHING.

    August 18, 2011 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  5. vic , nashville ,tn

    Mitt Romney is a candidate so he will say what ever he wants to

    August 18, 2011 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  6. Lost in Texas FOREVER

    darned if you do darned if you don't. We have our own issues here in America to deal with and need to stop trying to police the entire world. When the POTUS did not get involved in Libya at first he was criticized, then when he did get involved he was again criticized. If you want to see a large amount of blood spilled you just need to look at the streets of our nation daily. But the GOP wants to lay off more police and teachers who might be able to assist with these wayward youth by putting them in classrooms.

    August 18, 2011 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  7. kimberly

    Isnt this the SAME moron that blasted him for getting us involved in Egypt, when Obama called for the dictator there to step down??? ARE YOU SERIOUS???????? I hope to GOD that they use this flip flops sound bites as the attack against him- he is his own worst enemy, and that he thinks he will be president PROVES hes nuts!

    August 18, 2011 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  8. jerry

    obama waited for most other world leaders to make a statement...his non leadership style. we need to sent this loser to the curb ASAP

    August 18, 2011 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  9. Four and The Door

    Obama had to wait for a room full of political advisors to come to agreement before he knew what to think about the situation. Considering all of the work necessary to launch this 2012 campaign I believe we will see what is called," Leading from behind." on this deal too. al-Assad will pretty much tell him to pipe down and get back on his bus.

    August 18, 2011 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  10. Mitt Romney

    I promise that when I am President I will speak out forcefully against dictators and tyrants...after I have waited to see what everyone else has said, and preferably after they have been forced from power.

    August 18, 2011 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  11. SarahSmart

    LOL so Romney thinks Obama should have what yelled louder and then done nothing about it? Are the republican candidates even listening to themselves?

    August 18, 2011 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  12. Lynda/Minnesota

    Goodness, Mitt. Yawn factor just hit an all time high. Get back to me when you can come up with some real substance to your rhetoric, else lose me forever.

    Obama/Biden 2012

    August 18, 2011 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  13. Eric in Manhattan

    What a hypocrite. Romney is such a flip-flopper, that I surprised he hasn't sprained his back

    August 18, 2011 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  14. GOP hates Middle Class

    The flip flop will occur soon enough...

    August 18, 2011 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  15. Frank S

    And when was it that Romney had previously called for Assad to step down? I DIDN'T THINK SO!!!

    August 18, 2011 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  16. cregis

    Does Mitt want us to invade Syria? That's all we need, another war on borrowed dollars. He must be crazy. I like the President but I want him to stop our meddling in other countries. It's like Bill Clinton said, the way to handle Iraq was to isolate it, not so good for the Iraqis but better for us, then that great Republican Bush had to show up his Daddy and invade. Assad may be bad for the Syrians, but we cannot save the whole world. We've got our own problems, too bad Mitt outsourced so many jobs, we sure could use them now.

    August 18, 2011 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  17. Sniffit

    Same people who yelled at him for moving on the Lybia issue after leading on rounding up international support from NATO and the UN. YAWN. If Obama walked on water, you'd get two criticisms from the GOP:

    "Pffff...what, he can't fly?"

    and

    "See, I told you 'they' can't swim"

    August 18, 2011 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  18. Sniffit

    ""Under President Bachmann you will see gasoline come down below $2 a gallon again," Bachmann told a crowd Tuesday in South Carolina. "That will happen.""

    I think I finally understand. Someone needs to tell Bachman that just because she fuels herself with Two Buck Chuck doesn't mean our cars can.

    August 18, 2011 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  19. FM

    Hey Romney you are following what Krauthammer said you should do by attacking the president. You are wrong, the man wants you to fail and he does not have any clue what it takes to emerge as a winner. Just continue what you are doing and in the end you will come to realise that I was right and Krauthammer is just talks and never will lead anyone to victory like Karl Rove!

    August 18, 2011 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  20. craig spencer

    Romney is becoming more and more irrelevant. I am sure that He knows that there are many republicans who are going to make sure that he gets nowhere near the WH.

    August 18, 2011 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  21. MichaelK

    Just what we need, another insecure, reactionary hothead from Texas who thinks that being a loud-mouthed jerk will fix all the problems.

    August 18, 2011 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  22. Voice of Reason

    What a bunch of hot air. Romney is complaining, but i dont recall HIM ever saying ANYTHING about Syria. At this point, I think Obama could order eggs for breakfast, and Romney would complain about how evil eggs are... Please Mitt – Give the invented indignity a rest and talk about issues. Quit getting your outrage on every morning, and instead spend a few minutes to think about what you can do to make things better.

    If you spend your entire campaign being a reactionary downer, you will never win. You will be the 'also-ran' to Obama's second term.

    August 18, 2011 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  23. BeverlyNC

    Does Romeny know where Syria even is? What was his position on it yesterday? Romney changes positions so often it is hard to keep up with what his "belief of the day" is. Romney is an arrogant, clueless, billionaire who has no idea what it means to work for a living, worry about healthcare access, educating your children, paying your mortgage on 1 house (he has 6 houses), or worrying about how you will ever be able to afford to retire – especially when Republicans like him want to take away our Social Security and Medicare. Romney isn' real – he is a Republican-slogan robot.

    August 18, 2011 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  24. sector7

    What's the solution, Romney? He wants to invade Syria. Ron Paul has an answer for that, too. Ron Paul 2012.

    August 18, 2011 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  25. Rudy NYC

    "U.S. authorities resisted calling explicitly for Assad to step down from power until Thursday. The public statements from Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton were closely coordinated with European, Turkish and Arab allies, significantly ratcheting up international pressure against a regime that has been criticized for its harsh crackdown against anti-government protesters in recent months."
    -------------
    Obama waited for a coordinated support of a statement of condemnation against Assad. I suppose Romney would have gone ahead and started a new war with an all-out invasion. Oh yeah, and then he would cut taxes once his new war was underway.

    August 18, 2011 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
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