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)
  1. GI Joe

    Mitt complains, but he never states what HE would do.

    Just keeps spreading fear and doubt about others because he hasn't a clue

    I'll never trust him. EVER

    June 17, 2012 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  2. Cody from UT

    Oooo what a brilliant plan! "just look at what the president does and do the opposite" what a pathetically shallow, short sighted comment.

    Clearly Romney is not ready to admit he wants to start a war with Iran and would be happy if Isreal struck first.

    June 17, 2012 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  3. GI Joe

    "I'm not Obama" is not a policy, Rich Boy. What would YOU do? Chirp chirp – waiting.

    June 17, 2012 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  4. Marie MD

    That's the opiniong of some who watch "this". What's up bishop? You don't have an opinion of yourself. Just recently you were saying that Russia was our biggest threat.
    You changed your mind because you can't see Russia from your La Jolla mansion?

    June 17, 2012 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  5. Blue

    Romney makes me sick. He acts as if he is Superman. He can do everything, but the truth is that he can't do anything but brag. What has he done but to destroys lives and take their money. Have you not wonder how he got so rich? It was not by hard wrok. It is called stealing. I can't wait for him to shut up. He reminds me of an ape, beating his chest, I can do anything. Good Grief!

    June 17, 2012 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  6. A not-so-stupid former republican

    Romney is reduced to taking cheap shots at the President. He has no plan of his own to elucidate. He is starting to sound like Palin!

    June 17, 2012 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  7. The Funky Truth

    Start a war and send the poor, while defense contractors get rich some more.

    June 17, 2012 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  8. HRPuckinfutz

    Obama weak on Nuclear Iran. Romney weak on Intellect.

    June 17, 2012 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  9. tony

    Yo Mitt,since you want to goto war with Iran,will any of your sons be on the front line.

    June 17, 2012 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  10. n

    why is this Romney guy talking? Listen very careful America to this chicken hawk, Is this the leader you want for 2012. Romney is lost in his own mind.

    June 17, 2012 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  11. mcskadittle

    Are you ready for nuclear war with Iran? vote for romney

    June 17, 2012 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  12. Katie B from NC

    That's it? Whatever President Obama does, he'll do the opposite. What kind of policy it that?!

    June 17, 2012 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  13. Smeagel4T

    Typical Wall Street Mitt. When asked what he'd do differently, he has no answer. If it doesn't involving driving up the deficit by $5T in order to give even more tax breaks to the wealthy and increase spending to the corporate-welfare queens sucking on the teat of the Pentagon, Wall Street Mitt has no answer.

    Wouldn't it be more appropriate for Wall Street Mitt to simply say "I'll stop Iran from making nukes by increasing the tax breaks for billionaires."

    June 17, 2012 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  14. green collar worker

    "I think by and large you can just look at the things the president's done and do the opposite."

    This is Romney's entire approach to campaigning. He's full of crap and most intelligent people know it.

    President Obama's efforts in non and counter proliferation have been vastly better and far more effective than those of his predecessor. Obviously, nobody wants Israel to launch a military strike against Iran's nuke facilities; it would set relations in the Middle East back by decades. But so would allowing Iran to have nuclear weapons. Hence, the cyber attack on Iran's nuclear facilities, which set their program back by years, every bit as surely as a bombing strike would have, but with no collateral damage and negligent poltical fallout.

    Keep doing what you're doing, Mr. President!

    June 17, 2012 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  15. ED FL

    Seems funny to hear a draft dodging GOP'er calling a fellow Democrat draft dodger President Obama weak. UInless it is counting ill gained money President Obama is head and shoulders more qualified to run the country in a military matter or any matter than Robme.

    June 17, 2012 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |
  16. Dan5404

    War-momgerimng GOP leaders want to start another unfunded war. OK, when they volunteer to be the first ground troops in,let's see how votes would change.

    June 17, 2012 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  17. w l jones

    We all should consern about atomic war epecially in that area the world were destroyed by a nuk. war in our distant past and that area about two billion years ago.

    June 17, 2012 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  18. abe

    Romney for starters has to learn world politics 101 and then he can talk.

    June 17, 2012 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  19. India

    Romney needs to find another talk point

    June 17, 2012 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |
  20. Peter

    So what is Romney proposing? "The opposite of Obama" is a cute phrase, but does this mean that Romney wants a US pre-emptive strike against Iran?

    Everyone OK with that?

    June 17, 2012 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  21. CBR

    Governor Romney makes these statements and then states as some say. Who are these people and why is he quoting other people. Israel is our ally and that is that. What discussion the President has with the Israelis and others in the region are not going to be report in the news. What exactly is Romney trying to say here? Just another day of criticizing without giving his plan or his goals. Just he will do the opposite of what President Obama is doing. Now that makes very little sense and does not instill a sense of comfort about Mr. Romney's actions once he is elected.

    June 17, 2012 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  22. Donkey Party

    Does Willard Romney think he's scoring points with America by pandering so blatantly to the far right-wing Israeli government? Is Romney ready to trigger a conflict with Iran that would imperil Israel? Does Romney think before he speaks? What a complete ignorant fool. Go ahead America, vote for Romney, send your kids to go fight and die in more meaningless wars.

    June 17, 2012 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  23. Joyce

    Does he really know what he is talkiong about. If this man ever gets in the WH USA will be in war in Iran and Syria. The GOPs love war, negating problems at home

    June 17, 2012 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  24. Colorado Sanity

    Romney thinks that the Soviet Union is our Number One foreign threat. Really America. Your short term memory can't be that bad.

    June 17, 2012 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  25. Larry L

    Romney is a ridiculous "chicken-hawk" who could never, ever do the magnificent job of Commander-In-Chief President Obama has delivered. Terrorists fear the sound of President Obama's name – at least those left alive. He manages foreign policy with maturity, wisdom and finesse. Romney would be another Dubya – "Mission Accomplished!".

    June 17, 2012 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
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