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. SCARRY

    The thought of a Romney presidency in the white house for ALL the foreign policy challenges America faces is scary.....truly. Judging from his trip overseas and his convention speech. America is in trouble with a Romney presidency. Because, if he is so uinformed on foreign policy, there is a vacuum for Cheny x 10 to swoop in and advice him..........which is doubly catastrophic. Please vote wisely. I know domestic policy is important but the value of domestic policy intersects foreign policy at critical points that will impact things at home.

    September 2, 2012 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm |
  2. ludvig

    Maybe we could find a reason to go to war with Grenada again. I think they would be easier to beat than Iran.

    September 2, 2012 11:22 pm at 11:22 pm |
  3. jonathan

    the world is fading and so is its desire

    as for super pacs all the worlds or nations political interests pay both sides with huge sums of cash

    it is called doubling down

    see if VA can pass GMO labeling – it will not

    donkey or elephant = the same interests met one of two forms different form

    in the end the world is governed by satan and jesus is coming with a sword

    the harvest is great but the workers are few

    knock knock -have heart

    the true kingdom is imminent and passage is dependent on heart condition not haughtyness or big headed stances concerning nothing

    September 2, 2012 11:22 pm at 11:22 pm |
  4. Steve

    Not a pot that should be stirred to make people angry.

    September 2, 2012 11:29 pm at 11:29 pm |
  5. scottthommyB

    Commanderes on the ground are, no offense, like ants looking at the militray, tactical perspective - in other words, they want to win. Good for them; however, military generals during Vietnam als wanted to win and bombed the heck out of the Vietnamese. Obama has learned the lessons of stupid wars - no army has successfuly, long-term invaded a middle eastern country. Obama gets it. Romney? Listen to the generals. Doesnlt that sound like a Commander in Chief who abdicates responsibility?

    September 2, 2012 11:36 pm at 11:36 pm |
  6. Steve

    ita sad when our wounded vets cant get the help thay need when thay gave so much for this country

    September 2, 2012 11:39 pm at 11:39 pm |
  7. Mary

    His Super PAC from the defense and oil industries want war. War is a big business for them. After all, it is not their sons and daughters go to war, get harmed mentally and physically or altogether killed. Find out how much Halliburton made in Iraq war. That is ONE HUGE reason that I won't for Romney.

    September 2, 2012 11:40 pm at 11:40 pm |
  8. Al

    WOW, sounds like Joe has been really hitting the bottle, after all he might as well hit it now that the Tax payers are paying, for in 6 months he's on his way out too. No one wants another war. Even Obama has held off on bring our troops home, for he knows that once they hit U.S. soil they will be without work and the Military will be putting them out, and with that happening he can't afford to bring them home during the elections period, it would really him for what he is. Mark my words, our troops will be put out when they finally get back home, the writing is on the walls and on the bills.

    September 2, 2012 11:41 pm at 11:41 pm |
  9. Liberty

    And yet, neither the Donkeys nor the fat Elephants care to just end it all, and bring our troops home. Seriously, Albert Einstein defined insanity as the act of doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting different results... that is what happens when we keep playing the 2 party system.

    September 2, 2012 11:41 pm at 11:41 pm |
  10. Marty

    Joe the Biden is the democratic partys worst enemy.

    September 2, 2012 11:49 pm at 11:49 pm |
  11. Ralph M

    It is because the GOP donors didn't get the payout they thought they would get last election. That and the GOP needs a "boogey man" for their war machine.

    September 2, 2012 11:51 pm at 11:51 pm |
  12. going76

    They are ALL the same. They will continue to leave this nation's borders unprotected as long as it benefits their seats of power and their wealth. And just what wars have the Democrats forestalled or stopped? War profiteering will go on as long as it benefits the rich and powerful. And we continue to put them in a position to rule over us like a herd of fatted calf, never protesting, never demanding change.

    September 2, 2012 11:56 pm at 11:56 pm |
  13. hate from the left but mostly lies

    In case you havn't noticed, the Assad regime has killed over 10,000 peaceful protesters without a second thought. And Iran would be a happier place if Isreal and America were blown off the face of the earth. Windows! Flipping use them!

    September 2, 2012 11:57 pm at 11:57 pm |
  14. Mike in SA

    Biden – You're a liar.

    September 2, 2012 11:58 pm at 11:58 pm |
  15. Rob

    "our great commander in chief"....are we talking about Barack Obama or Kim Jong Un? Nut job. Sure, he did execute the orders for the mission to take place...but make no mistake about it.....It was the SEALS who made it happen..so if you must praise someone, praise them. Get the full unmanipulated story (which comes out on Tuesday) I guess it escapes you that even those very SEALS, who along with countless officers and enlisted men, spurn him as a quality leader. If that doesn't scare you, I don't know what could. And apparently you have continued the close-minded methods of Liberals everywhere and have not kept track of the foreign policy of, other than blind following the subject matter of news reports...which in this case spotlight Joe Biden's claims of Romney's intentions ("claims" being the key word....note the headline). Had you investigated both sides as opposed to letting MSBNC and Reuters formulate your opinions for you, you would have learned that of all the things these two sides disagree on, the irony is that the one thing they see eye to eye on is that they both want strict sanctions put on Iran, not war...at least not until Iran has become an imminent nuclear threat. Please stop drinking the Kool Aid....You're allowing yourself to be brainwashed and it is grossly unhealthy.

    September 3, 2012 12:04 am at 12:04 am |
  16. Martin

    Since when has Biden ever said anything that made any sense? Obama's gotta be bummed he has this blowhard running with him.

    September 3, 2012 12:05 am at 12:05 am |
  17. truth1111

    You leftists dummies are pathetic... WE DO NOT WANT WAR!!! The war has been brought to us.. How dumb are you people/???

    September 3, 2012 12:06 am at 12:06 am |
  18. tadesse

    Yes he wants to spend more tax money taken from the middle class, want to send someone childrens and not his own.

    September 3, 2012 12:07 am at 12:07 am |
  19. aaron

    Those evil republicans trying to help the people being slaughtered by a ruthless dictator in Syria, huh? And on top of that, trying to help our allies Israel by preventing a nuclear Iran? Sush bloodthirsty imperialsts they are!

    September 3, 2012 12:09 am at 12:09 am |
  20. dm nash

    ....and all these Repub wars have taken generations of payees out of social security that would've lived long lives and contributed to the programs viability, instead SS pays out early to their families (as it should). SS lifeline hardly makes up for the familys loss and children w/o parents or what assets they may have contributed to our society. Obama has done more for Veterans and their families in 3 1/2 years than was even done Iran Contra or Iraq invasion & he took out Osama too. Neither Sadam nor Osama bin Laden would've had the power or weapons or cause for US hate had it not been for Reagan/Bush & Bush.
    We've had our tax dollars spent rebuilding our enemies infrastructures and Repubs block spending on it's own citizens & infrustructures while the begin to crumble and decline. We've paid on millions/billions paying their citizens "to be nicer" like that's ever gonna happen when we continue to occupy and push our ways on another culture.
    The billionaires have had 12 years of tax breaks that suppossedy create jobs – so where are they??? Why do it again when it does NOT change anything for the rest of us? Like Bain & Co. they pay themselves first with CEO's taking salaries & severance packages greater than the amount paid to employees of the ENTIRE corporation and of course, stock holders before employees too.

    September 3, 2012 12:17 am at 12:17 am |
  21. ronjayaz

    Mr. Romney is a chicken hawk with 5 chicken hawk sons. None of the R&R have seen any wars except convention wars.

    September 3, 2012 12:17 am at 12:17 am |
  22. iHateTheStupids

    Biden knows how stupid the voters are in his party, which is why he can make up an unsubstantiated claim as he has and have all the nitwits parrot what he says "da repugs wahn't too goe to Warz!" Liberal idiots.

    September 3, 2012 12:17 am at 12:17 am |
  23. Jim

    No "war" needs to occur.

    BUT.....
    The area around the nuclear facilites in Iran should be smoldering scorched earth right now.
    It is a frightening fact that it isn't yet.

    September 3, 2012 12:21 am at 12:21 am |
  24. BostonianNTheWoodlandsTX

    Don't forget Russia and China.

    The funny thing is the people who support and clamore behind them,then turn around and complain about the defict !

    What ? You think war is free ? Astounding.........

    September 3, 2012 12:25 am at 12:25 am |
  25. ronjayaz

    The USA is the world's biggest arms seller and its population has the most guns per capita. Need I say more?

    September 3, 2012 12:26 am at 12:26 am |
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