March 6th, 2012
04:09 PM ET
6 years ago

Paul calls GOP positions on Iran 'reckless'

(CNN) – Ron Paul said Tuesday that his rivals have "blown way out of proportion" the Iranian nuclear threat and that their language is "reckless" and "dangerous."

On the same day as his rivals for the GOP presidential nomination argued their Iran policies would be tougher than those under President Barack Obama, the Texas congressman suggested their rhetoric borders on warmongering, and that his stance is closer to that of Obama.

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"He certainly is closer to my position than the other candidates because what the other Republicans are saying is very reckless," Paul said on an interview to air on CNN's John King, USA. "There is no evidence whatsoever that the Iranians have or are on the verge of getting a nuclear weapon, according to our own military people, our own CIA, according to the UN."

Paul did not speak at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee –which heard from Obama on Sunday, and GOPers Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, and Newt Gingrich on Tuesday. He clarified that he "doesn't want them [Iran] to have a weapon," but said the others are "so anxious to go to war."

"So I think the war drums are beating much louder than they need to be," Paul told CNN Chief National Correspondent John King. "We need to defend our country, but we don't need to be the aggressor nation and when you start bombing countries and when you start preemptive war you leap over into this thing called aggression."

President Obama said at White House press conference on Tuesday that he, US intelligence officials, and Israeli intelligence officers see "a window of opportunity where this can still be resolved diplomatically."

But Republicans criticized the president for being weak.

"We need to set forth a clear ultimatum to the Iranian government," Santorum, a former US senator from Pennsylvania, said at the AIPAC conference. "We need to say to the Iranian government, the time is now. You will stop your nuclear production now. You will open up your facilities for inspectors from the United States and other countries so we can certify that those efforts are stopping and being dismantled. Now."

Mitt Romney, former Massachusetts governor, said as president he would "not delay imposing further crippling sanctions" upon Iran.

"I will make sure Iran knows of the very real peril that awaits it if it becomes nuclear. I will engage Iran's neighbors. I will station multiple aircraft carriers and warships at Iran's door. I will stand with the Syrian people who are being mercilessly slaughtered," he said. "As president I will be ready to engage in diplomacy but I will be just as ready to engage our military might."

Gingrich said that "failure to stop their program is in fact crossing a red line" and would have consequences.

Obama said the Republican contenders' rhetoric is "more about politics than actually trying to solve a difficult problem."

"Now, what's said on the campaign trail, you know, those folks don't have a lot of responsibilities," he said at the press conference. "They're not Commander-in-chief. And when I see the casualness with which some of these folks talk about war, I'm reminded of the costs involved in war. I'm reminded of the decision that I have to make, in terms of sending our young men and women into battle and the impacts that has on their lives, the impact it has on our national security, the impact it has on our economy. This is not a game, and there's nothing casual about it."

Paul said he sees similarities between the Iran discourse and the statement by Sen. John McCain of Arizona that the US should use airstrikes to stop the carnage in Syria.

The conversations surrounding both countries, he said, are similar to those preceding the US invasion of Iraq, which he argued was a mistake.

Also see:

Santorum hits Romney as 'weakest candidate'

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Santorum fires back at Obama over Israel claim

Filed under: 2012 • Iran • Mitt Romney • President Obama • Republicans • Rick Santorum • Ron Paul
soundoff (54 Responses)
  1. arale norimaki

    Mitt Romney, former Massachusetts governor, said as president he would "not delay imposing further crippling sanctions" upon Iran.

    TO Romney War is good for business invest own your children send them to iran

    How come rich people, rich families with young sons/daughters, sons of politicians, etc. don't enlist in military? don't they like American

    March 6, 2012 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  2. Another Day in the Idtiot Mines

    "So Ron Paul is proposing that we nuke Iran AFTER they drop a nuke on Israel? Yeah, sounds like a wonderful plan to me. Oivay...."

    That's not what Paul has ever said. And Iran is no where near close to having a nuke to drop on Israel. Talk about drinking the koolaid.

    March 6, 2012 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  3. ADP

    LoL. Remind me again, which country we've successfully prevented from acquiring nukes? Perhaps if we ceased invading every weak sovereign nation in the middle east, fewer nations there might want them for deterrents against our brutal, arrogant, imperialistic ambitions... so there. Fool.

    March 6, 2012 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  4. Mitzie

    Ron Paul is the only Republican candidate that I would consider voting for. He is the only one who has stayed consistant in his beliefs and is willing to state his beliefs in public even if they go against the Republican party stance. He is an impressive candidate.

    March 6, 2012 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  5. Dominican mama 4 Obama (the real one)

    Why are the GOPeeing Teatards so willing to send our exhausted armed troops BACK into conflict.
    Who do they think is going to fight the next war they seem so cavalier to start? Romneys' kids? I think not. It'll be yours, and mine, and Fair's...again.

    March 6, 2012 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  6. Woman In California

    When Rick or Willard SEND THEIR son's to THEIR wars then talk. Until then-shut the #ell up!

    Thank you Mr. President for actually taking charge and keeping this country safe.

    March 6, 2012 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  7. Rob

    Once again Ron Paul is the only candidate making any sense. Where Paul and Obama differ is while Obama talks about bringing the troops home, all he's really doing is continuing Bush's foreign policies. This is precisely why Paul has the support of the veterans.....more donations from the military than all the GOP candidates & Obama COMBINED.

    March 6, 2012 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  8. What Now

    Whether you like him or not, you have to give Ron Paul credit for saying what her really thinks. At least if you decide to vote for him, you will know exactly what you are getting. I can't say that for the rest of the republican candidates.

    March 6, 2012 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  9. Sora

    I cant believe what i am hearing from some of you people. Ron Paul just because he doesnt want to kill thousands upon thousands of people. Some how he suddenly becomes dangerous. Those who criticize this man should actually do some intelligent thinking and research instead of following the other sheep. Ron paul for those who dont like him is more than you deserve .

    March 6, 2012 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  10. Drew

    This could make a great comedy movie, "The three stooges Invade Iran". These idiots speak as though we have unlimited funds and then cry about the economy. None of these Presidentoal wannabes has a clue what it takes to run the country.

    March 6, 2012 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  11. Namejkane fl live from teapublican moon base no taxes, no regulation no health care, free gas.

    Republican canidates , sign up your children first and we will be right behind you morons!!!!!

    March 6, 2012 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  12. Bootstomper

    Republican foreign policy is fantasy policy. This group is so out of touch with what is actually going on in the world it's pathetic.Start a war for votes,great policy. When I watch Obama compared to this group of GOP candidates, I feel better knowing that an adult is in charge.

    March 6, 2012 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  13. kelvin mays

    There has not been one peice of evidenice that says that Iran has a nuke. Prove that they are making one and then do something about it. You can't arrest a bank robber because he is thinking about robbing a bank. Untill they attempt to GOP then STFU.

    March 6, 2012 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  14. kelvin mays

    Someone please tell Rob's dumb (ask) that the troops are home.

    March 6, 2012 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  15. Eli Ojemuyiwa

    Romney, Newt,Santorum are chicken hawks.They did not fight the wars of their generation or bothered to join the military, yet they are loudest beating the war drums. Very dangerous. Count Romney's 5 boys in to fight the war.

    March 6, 2012 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  16. Eddie

    No mater what you think about Ron Paul (and I'm no fan), he is 100% correct about one thing, that according to the US military, the FBI, and the United nations.. there is NO PROOF WHATSOEVER Iran is even seeking to build a nuclear bomb,.. so what's all this talk about war???????????????????

    March 6, 2012 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  17. duvexy

    Wreckless?? Who is the country that has military in several coutries?

    March 6, 2012 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  18. B

    Paul is absolutely right and is the Only Republican candidate that understands what is at stake! The rest of them sound like Reckless people as McCane does with his non-stop talk about Bombing here and there from Iraq,Georgia,Syria, Iran, Libya, and anyone else that he thinks warrants it.....

    These idiots know nothing but War as a solution for everything!

    Term limits, get these old fools out of the Government and on to a golf course.

    Dangerous fools.

    March 6, 2012 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  19. Brandon

    He is right. I am voting for Ron Paul because : I have listened to every candidate at the debates several times over and over, and In my god to honest , humble opinion, I truly believe Romney and Santorum are Ego Laden, Madmen.

    March 6, 2012 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  20. GD

    Thank you Mr. Paul for pointing out the obvious to your GOP colleagues. Will they listen? Doubtful, they all seem quite hard of hearing. For that matter, they also seem quite incapable of digesting facts & good advice.

    March 6, 2012 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  21. slong67

    Ron Paul is the only Republican candidate I would consider for President. The Only thing I don't like is he wants to dismantle too much of government regulation

    March 6, 2012 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  22. Woman In California

    People such as Truth are actually pathetic. When ALL of us are GONE Israel will STILL be in existence. Believe it or not THEY ARE GOD'S chosen people. You can read ALL about it in the Bible. There are stores that give the Bible to people for FREE. Try it.

    March 6, 2012 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  23. Zack

    Ron Paul is the only intelligent one in the GOP. All other candidates get 'giddy' about war with very little evidence supporting them. That is not how a good leader should act. A good leader should strive for peace above everything else, even if it makes him unpopular. He should reluctantly have to go to war, not get excited about it. Ron Paul 2012 or more killing.

    March 6, 2012 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  24. Stephen in VA

    I never thought I'd say this, but–I agree with Paul. I never have before, but on this issue he's absolutely right. Who in their right mind would want to pursue a war with Iran just because they're scared?

    March 6, 2012 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  25. Jeremy

    A world full of nukes but no systems to launch or defend against them. Iran does not have the missle systems to use these supposed "nuclear weapons"

    March 6, 2012 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
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