Romney calls Obama weak on nuclear Iran
June 17th, 2012
06:11 PM ET
6 years ago

Romney calls Obama weak on nuclear Iran

(CNN) – For the second day in a row, presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney labeled his rival weak on combating a nuclear Iran, saying President Barack Obama is more worried about Israel, an American ally, taking preventative military action than about Iran itself.

"This president has communicated in some respects that he might even be more worried about Israel taking direct military action than he is about Iran becoming nuclear," Romney said Sunday on CBS. "That's the opinion of some who watch this."

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Romney made similar remarks Saturday, speaking via satellite to a conference of evangelical Christians in Washington.

Asked by a member of the audience at the Faith and Freedom Coalition conference how he would handle relations with Israel as president, Romney said, "I think by and large you can just look at the things the president's done and do the opposite."

He also used his line hitting Obama, saying: "He's almost sounded like he's more frightened that Israel might take military action than he's concerned that Iran might become nuclear."

The tough rhetoric from Romney drew a response from Obama's re-election team, which issued a statement listing important steps taken by the Obama administration to bolster relations with Israel while slamming the Republican candidate for attempting to "score cheap political points by distorting President Obama's record of support for Israel."

"Our relationship with Israel is too important for Gov. Romney to play politics with it," Obama campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt wrote.

In an interview with the Atlantic Monthly in March, Obama maintained that a nuclear Iran was "unacceptable," and said Iran and Israel understand that he isn't bluffing about his opposition to an Iranian nuclear weapon.

"I think that the Israeli government recognizes that, as president of the United States, I don't bluff," he said.

"I also don't, as a matter of sound policy, go around advertising exactly what our intentions are," Obama continued. "But I think both the Iranian and the Israeli governments recognize that, when the United States says it is unacceptable for Iran to have a nuclear weapon, we mean what we say."

Iranian officials have insisted their nuclear program is intended solely for peaceful purposes, though their statements have not persuaded officials in Washington and Jerusalem.

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Filed under: 2012 • Iran • Israel • Mitt Romney • President Obama
soundoff (83 Responses)

    Mitt Mccain said that Russia is the number one US foe,proving that he is unqualified to be President.

    June 17, 2012 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  2. maf

    Geez Mitt, you sound like you have been given a position to defend by the high school debate club. You don't really believe in the position you have been told to take and your argument is weak and unsubstantiated! You are painting yourself into a corner you will be unable to defend as this campaign heads to the real debates. When you are spraying and praying your ideology, you are just trying sound bites out to see which ones resonate. So far you are batting a big ZERO!!

    June 17, 2012 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  3. The GOP needs to pack up and leave

    And Romney's opinion doesn't matter for squat.

    June 17, 2012 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  4. Noodle Nose Johnson

    More tough talk from the biggest wuss in the world.

    June 17, 2012 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  5. wow o wow

    Every day, Mitt pokes his head out briefly to deliver the same thing..."Obama is weak.... da di da di daaawww.." And then he goes back into hiding without offering any better plan. The old saying is true here... Anyone can tear down a building, but it takes skill to build a house. Obviously all Mitt is trained to do is tear down. Sign of weakness.

    June 17, 2012 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  6. JimmmyNelson

    Mitt beating the Republican War Drum....... NO MORE WARS!!!!

    June 17, 2012 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  7. artraveler

    Is Romney willing to sign up his sons for a war or is it the usualy Republican talk, start a war and let someone else's sons and daughters pay the price. Romney (Rubberman) is surrounded by the same "experts" who got Bush into Afganhstan and Iraq and, because this is the Republican Stimulus for the MIC, let's start another one. If you want one-sign up all your sons! Enough chickenhawk Republicabn wars!

    June 17, 2012 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  8. He won't say

    When asked what he would do differently, Mitt says "I think we should just look at what Obama did and do the opposite." Really Mitt... so your plan is to do the opposite? You would in fact... Invade Iran... you would have sent troops in when you didn't like the election results? Is this really your position, since you are unwilling to give a real answer?

    June 17, 2012 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  9. jefflz

    Romney has surrounded himself completely with GW Bush's former military and foreign policy advisers. If anyone can come up with a reason to start a war they can. WMD? No, problem – we will find them after the war is over. Just lets get started with the bombing. "We don't want the smoking gun to come in the form of a mushroom cloud". Say wait, isn't this where we came in 8 years ago?

    June 17, 2012 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  10. mjw

    Romney is the only one that is not up to date with the news on the Iran nuclear situation. He is so robotic he just repeats old stories and of course that is a shot against the President for his big contibutor Sheldon from Las Vegas. The President makes decision without being beholden to anyone. Mitt Romney cannot and will not he is so obligated to these big donors and corporations.

    June 17, 2012 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  11. Donald Berrian

    I'm more concerned about Romney starting another pointless war with Iran than I am concerned about their Nuclear program. Why is it OK for North Korea to have the bomb and not Iran? Does Romney think defending Israel is more important than defending the US? Israel has the bomb as do India and Pakistan. Historically, a Nuclear deterrent has done more to prevent war than all of the threats and sanctions ever tried. Let them and Israel consider the threat of being vaporized for a while. Maybe they will get serious about peace.

    June 17, 2012 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  12. SC

    We don't have any more money to stage another war. If we start a war against Iran, we will then be begging for food.

    June 17, 2012 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  13. usualone

    Does Romney realize the repercussions if Israel attacks Iran?

    June 17, 2012 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  14. Bootstomper

    Send Romney and his kids to Afghanistan instead of the country club.

    June 17, 2012 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  15. Squigman

    Since we're in the mood to point out weaknesses, how about the weakness the republicans have for corporate donations? How about the economy, and the republicans ability to shut said economy down? How about the disdain republicans have for the workers, and especially workers protected by organized labor? How about the ferret faced candidates, marched out by the republicans> Mitt, is very weak chin'd. Republicans, offer no leadership. They just rehash past mistakes, marketed in a positive spin.

    June 17, 2012 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  16. dreamer96

    Mitt Romney who dodged the draft, and his 5 sons will never serve....would start WWIII if he was President....Conservative Religious Politicians should not be given the Commander in Chief Job...They just want to bring on the End of Days Apocalypse, just to prove their religion is right....

    June 17, 2012 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  17. RINO Bil

    Yeah, when good old Mitt was governor, he really gained a lot of practical experience commanding Massachusetts' vast nuclear arsenal. Not once during Romney's tenure did Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Hampshire or Vermont dare fool around with the Codfish State.

    June 17, 2012 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  18. ted

    Mitt, you have no clue. I believe Obama is concerned about both and trying to keep things peaceful between Netanyahu and Adminidjad has got to be stressful. But you wouldn't know anything about that because your experience was at Bain where you could tell people what to do. Guess what, you cannot do that as President. You need to be diplomatic. Do you even know the word?

    June 17, 2012 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  19. texasgreenacres

    Mr. Romney I personally think you under estimate President Obama.Lets access this by remembering his words I don't care where I find him even if it's in a cave he will meet his end.(quote president Obama) and as stated it come to pass.While others was weary about doing what had to be do.He wasn't even secretary Gates said it was one of the boldest moves he had witnessed. And you have the nerve to call him weak?I call him clever and you arogrant

    June 17, 2012 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  20. chris

    "Romney labeled his rival weak on combating a nuclear Iran, saying President Barack Obama is more worried about Israel, an American ally, taking preventative military action than about Iran itself."

    Robmee does this because he's a Republican and Republicans have buddies who provide for defense, so it's beneficial (for his connections) for him to start a war – we learned this during the Cheney administration. "Preventative" means "pre-emptive". They whine about fed spending but have no problem starting wars. Obama's doing fine on this. He finally got bin Laden by getting intelligence and sending our brave troops – very efficient hit.

    June 17, 2012 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  21. AKsteve

    Yes. As any good Republican knows, we should of fabricated false evidence years ago and invaded them. Thus disgracing our country, ruining our reputation and causing huge deficits. Then of course, blame it all on the Democrates.

    Dah, this president is just sooo dumb. (Oh BTW, that was sarcasm. Sorry if it excited any tea partiers).

    June 17, 2012 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  22. T'sah From Virginia

    ►"I think by and large you can just look at the things the president's done and do the opposite."◄
    And then I will say to Iran that you are nothing but a big fat hippopotamus
    Then I will meet with the Israelis leaders and when we get together, I’ll give them a "buzz"
    And tell them "I’m not familiar precisely with exactly what I said but I stand by what I said whatever it was...?"

    WAKE UP AMERICA!!! MITTens could not even answer the question put forth to him by a voter!!! He is already “dangerous” as a candidate and it would only escalate in the White House!

    Obama 2012 – The Only Trusted Way Forward!!!

    June 17, 2012 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  23. craig

    Okay, for the sake of argument, let's accept Mitt's words at face value. I'm standing by to find out exactly what he wants to do. What's the plan, Mitt? How would you handle things differently? Be specific, since this obviously matters. Are you going to pre-emptively attack Iran? Are we invading? What will you say if you don't find the WMD's? How are you going to fund this war...or is this another unfunded thing that will raise the deficit even further?

    What are you going to tell Israel? Are you going to be stronger on stopping the illegal settlements? Are you going to use the veto in the UN the next time something comes up?

    Come on, Mitt. Level with us. For just once be specific. Don't lie. Don't hedge. Lay out a plan so we can fairly judge if you've got a better idea. If you can't tell us,'s pretty obvious yet again that you're not running FOR anything, just running AGAINST things.

    June 17, 2012 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  24. PHIL TJ

    What is Mitts Policy on Nuclea Iran, Just go and attack like that? You are mistaken. iran is not Iraq or Afghanistan, or somalia. Go, but be ready to die in big numbers

    June 17, 2012 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  25. Tom

    Keep trying, alexithymic Mitt. Rather rich, coming from the GOP'S biggest empty suit who is afraid to stand up to an idiot like Rush Limbaugh!

    June 17, 2012 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
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