Biden claims Romney wants war with Iran and Syria
September 2nd, 2012
04:34 PM ET
2 years ago

Biden claims Romney wants war with Iran and Syria

(CNN) - Vice President Joe Biden claimed Sunday that Mitt Romney, the Republican presidential nominee, might engage in war with Syria and Iran if elected president in November.

"He said it was a mistake to end the war in Iraq and bring all of our warriors home," Biden said at a campaign stop in Pennsylvania. "He said it was a mistake to set an end date for our warriors in Afghanistan and bring them home. He implies by the speech that he's ready to go to war in Syria and Iran."

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While Romney supports President Barack Obama's deadline of September 2014 for withdrawing all troops from Afghanistan, he says timelines like Obama's cause allies to question America's commitment to helping countries recover from war. The Iraq withdrawal, completed at the end of last year, drew criticism from Romney, who characterized the move as either inept or driven by political motives.

"I believe that you listen to the commanders on the ground and understand from them what the timetable is to transition entirely to the Iraqi military," Romney said in October.

On Iran, Romney has sought to adopt a tougher tone than Obama on preventing the country from developing nuclear weapons, though in terms of policy Romney has not offered anything markedly different from what Obama currently has in place. He has not, as Biden suggested, said that he would wage outright war with Iran.

Romney acknowledged the similarity between his own viewpoint on Iran and Obama's position in an interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer in July, saying "our president has said and I have said that it is unacceptable for Iran to become nuclear."

If all else fails, Romney said, "A military option is one which would be available to the president of the United States."

On Syria, Romney has accused Obama and his administration of being similarly weak in dealing with President Bashar al-Assad, and has called for the United States and allies to arm Syrian rebels.

The White House has avoided taking that step, saying the U.S. doesn't know enough about the opposition fighters to offer weapons.

In an interview with CNN's Christiane Amanpour in July, Romney foreign policy adviser Richard Williamson said the candidate thinks "we should have people working with the opposition, trying to identify the moderate forces and help them unify."

But when Amanpour pressed Williamson on other options to try and weaken al-Assad, he said Romney was more reluctant than members of his own party to take additional steps.

"He won't join his friend John McCain and others who are calling for no-fly zones and safe havens," Williamson said, adding those measures were "not something you can put off the table."

Foreign policy has not been at the forefront of the 2012 presidential campaign as Americans struggle with high unemployment and stagnant wages. The economy and jobs are generally ranked higher in polls of voters' top issues.

With that in mind, Biden stuck mainly to the economy at his Pennsylvania stop, using harsh attack lines to criticize the economic plans offered by his rivals.

"There's nothing new about this plan," Biden said. "It's not only not new, it's not fair and it's not right. It won't grow the economy, it didn't do it before. Folks we seen this movie before and we know how it ends."

Romney's campaign responded by pointing back to the economic policies from Obama and Biden, saying the current jobs situation spoke for itself.

"It's clear that we need to move in a different direction, but Vice President Biden only brought the same failed policies and tired attacks to Pennsylvania that have not turned around our economy or helped the middle class," Romney spokeswoman Amanda Henneberg wrote.


Filed under: Iran • Joe Biden • Syria
soundoff (306 Responses)
  1. Liz the First

    Of course RMoney wants war, that's what repugs do, they start wars and recessions. when are folks going to wise up to the fact that whenever repugs are in power, things go downhill in a hurry and then we Dems have to come in and clean up their messes. STOP LETTING THEM MAKE THESE MESSES!

    September 2, 2012 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  2. g

    his super pacs want war

    September 2, 2012 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  3. Dennis

    Liar and Rmoney want to send our children off to more wars, more debt, more sacrifice... for what?? More $$$ for the rich? and this from the draft-dodger and his toyboy!! Remember our great commander in chief... you know the one who made all of us safer by leading the mission to rid the world of Osama! Don't send more of our innocent children to fight in thier wars! Vote Obama

    September 2, 2012 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  4. Vumba

    Keep talking Joe, keep tallking...Romney gets closer every time you open your trap. What an embarrassment to the American people.

    September 2, 2012 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  5. bumpnrun

    Just another reason Biden and and Obama need to go. It's not only their reading comprehension that's bad, they just don't listen either!!

    September 2, 2012 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  6. Jay

    Romney and Ryan are typical republican politicians. They will create a war and keep their kids safe from having to serve while the 99%ers' children must go to war and die. OBAMA/BIDEN 2012!!!!!

    September 2, 2012 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  7. thehasbeen

    what amazes me is this guy and his running mate are able to breath on their own. they are both so stupid i'm surprised they aren't in "iron lungs".
    only "yo-momma" wants a war in the middle east they are his people after all and war is there thing.

    September 2, 2012 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  8. gt

    poor old crazy uncle joe.....will this guy ever stop acting like a fool and saying stupid remarks.........nope......bfd joe is in his own little world...

    September 2, 2012 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  9. Milt

    Unemployment above 8 percent, 8.2 million people working part-time who want full-time work, a record 88 million Americans not in the labor force, 1.5 percent GDP growth in the past quarter, more bad GDP numbers expected tomorrow, a stagnant housing market, $5 trillion in new debt, the downgrading of the U.S. credit rating, 38 percent of Americans living paycheck to paycheck, 45 million Americans on food stamps, food prices continuing to increase dramatically, the poverty level likely to rise to the highest level in nearly fifty years… … and this means the plan “worked”?!?
    Time for Obama and Plugs to go away

    September 2, 2012 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  10. w l jones

    Never never under estimate our Generals. They give the commander in chief best advice in real time the state of the world.

    September 2, 2012 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  11. difoderit

    Of course he does – how do you think Mittens was planning on how to create these 12 million jobs he spoke so highly of – probably about the right # of additional soldiers he's going to need to to attack Iran, Russia, Syria etc...

    September 2, 2012 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  12. Mark

    Biden is right, Romney will start 2 new wars, create trillions in debt. Romney cannot delivery on 12 millions jobs and fix the economy, so he will need an excuse. WAR. Romney keeps telling us lies, but has not told us how he creates jobs. He is dreaming.

    September 2, 2012 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  13. NateFromIndiana

    I don't believe that Romney personally wants war, but as with any of his other views, what he wants doesn't matter as long as he's dependent on the support of a mob of hawks and armageddon groupies.

    September 2, 2012 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  14. carlos

    and if he wants war, he should send first his 5 darlings, hiding behind their momonic cult, typical. UGH

    September 2, 2012 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  15. Craig

    and this is based on what? remember Biden is a plageriser and was censored for this in congress need you all forget about that one eh? this guy is stirring the pot for political reasons.....our country is broke and gas has more then doubled sine Obozo too office and you all love him for that geesh.....

    September 2, 2012 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  16. Steven

    Pleased that CNN reports =hopefully accurately that Romney and Obama have the same opinion about Iran, just wish the people who want to besmirch their President and challenger realize how the rest of the world looks at your childish actions. You have a great country, try to work together to make it even more so.

    September 2, 2012 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  17. Math Prof

    This next election is a no-brainer, therefore it should make for an easy decision for Republicans.

    September 2, 2012 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  18. Nuance

    Of course they (GOP) want war...provided that none of their kids are out on the front lines in harm's way...remember Willard's response when asked why none of sons served in the armed forces? However, they are quick to send someone else's kid(s) off to die and have absolutely no qualms about it. The fact that some of these recent wars were unnecessary makes this even more tragic and irresponsible.

    T o digress for a moment, I have to say all these wars do nothing but burden and stress the American economy. They have played a large in the fact that our economy has went to "hell in a hand basket"....I don't recall anyone explaining how these recent wars started by Bush would be paid for. Where were all the Republican deficit-hawks at then with all their cries of "stop the spending"? That was the critical point in time where they should have stood up and said something, but of course they didn't. The fact they are doing it now all of a sudden only reeks of hypocrisy.

    None of this surprises me....I expect no less though from the GOP....the party of war-mongering.

    September 2, 2012 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  19. Doug Eberhardt

    What happened to Obama's campaign promise to bring our troops home the first week he's in office? Who sent more troops to die in Afghanistan? Who is dropping 100's of drone bombs on Pakistan? Where is this "change" democrats? The Republicans fare no better as they have been taken over by these foolish neo-conservatives.

    Whether it's neo-conservative or neo-liberal, stop blaming each other when both lust for war. You reap what you sow...unless you stop electing war lovers who only benefit the military industrial complex at the expense of who our soldiers and the innocent.

    Meanwhile, China, who loans us money to pay for the wars, sits back and laughs at our inexperience.
    Romney or Obama will go down as a failure the next four years. It's simple math. The good news is, the Federal Reserve, that allows our leaders to go into debt will fail too. Maybe then we can get back to trading with our neighbors rather than bombing them.

    September 2, 2012 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  20. Nick San Diego

    What Biden sez is a sure bet. Romney's trip to Israel underscored that message

    September 2, 2012 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  21. Jim Marler

    I am a democrate but I have to say Biden should not be on the next ticket with Obama, Obama is the one with the smarts certainly not like all the hangs on GOP & Dems who never leave Washington.

    New blood is needed that also goes for Ryan,,all just looking for a good pay check with great benefits. HOT AIR IS WHAT MOPST ARE.

    September 2, 2012 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  22. Loretta

    It is terrifying how inept Romney is when it comes to foreign policy. Regarding his economic policies, there are more than a few nonpartisan reports that show they are practically identical to l'il Bush's. As someone at the bottom I can attest to the fact that trickle down economics don't work, the only thing rolling downhill is brown & smells bad. The problem is thatthe people who havethe money have no interest in sharing it with the rest of us, they hoard it like an old lady with her cats.

    September 2, 2012 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  23. Griff.

    "And why not! Bidi Bidi! Or are you also turning into a Muslim?? The USA can't trust Iran no more than it can trust itself, while the Alien Obama is in Government."

    September 2, 2012 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  24. Squigman

    Keep those dollars rolling toward the industrial war machine. Keep the forward momentum, for war profit.

    September 2, 2012 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  25. wes

    yea and a never ending war in afganistan, war with iraq. and as a BIG BONUS we get to start a cold war with russia and have a new arms race. and the poor and middle get to pay for it all. and all this comes from a vietnam draft dodger who fled to france.

    September 2, 2012 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
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