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. The Realist

    Can there be any doubt?

    Mitt Romney and his fascist Republican cohorts will gladly do Israel's dirty-work.

    September 2, 2012 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  2. g

    if he was to start a war ,the romney clan would head for france or mexico and put ryan in charge

    September 2, 2012 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  3. us_1776

    GOP will lead us right into the next war as fast as possible so that people will forget about how the GOP is continually raping the country through misdirection and smoke and mirrors.

    Hey you guys, look over there !!

    Yeah, right, GOP. You pulled that stuff one too many times.

    .

    September 2, 2012 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  4. Phattee

    Romney has been on every side of every issue. No one knows what he wants.

    September 2, 2012 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  5. tim

    Mitt BombMe will attack iran.

    September 2, 2012 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  6. DJESQ

    If you plan to vote for BO & JOE ... you are part of the problem ...
    .
    we are approaching $16.4Trillion in debt and counting ... and you don't care ...

    your grandkids will not sing your praises ...

    September 2, 2012 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  7. Gary

    Liz – you really need to read up on history. For sure we do no need to worry about Obama sending someone to war. Read about WW2 before US became involved.

    WW1 – Woodrow Wilson was a Democrat, and based much of his ideology on liberal theory
    WW2 – Franklin Roosevelt .... A liberal and a Democrat
    Korean War – Harry Truman was President when it began in 1950 and was a Democrat
    Vietnam War
    1. Dwight Eisenhower (sent advisers 1955-61)
    2. John F. Kennedy (increased involvement of CIA and US ambassadors)
    3. Lyndon Johnson (after Tonkin Gulf incident, sent US combat troops 1964)A DEMOCRAT
    4. Richard Nixon (negotiated treaty 1973, withdrew troops, allowing collapse of the South) A DEMOCRAT
    5. Gerald Ford (with funds cut off, declared the US war ended April 23, 1975)

    September 2, 2012 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  8. Excoe

    Every circus needs a sideshow. Joe is the bearded lady.

    September 2, 2012 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  9. James

    This guy has five sons and not one of them has volunteered for military service or any public service. Too rich to service I guess.

    September 2, 2012 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  10. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Romney wants to send your children to war while his children profit from the blood of honorable Americans. Romney should be the last person beating the war drums until he can explain why his children have chosen not to serve, they are not better than my five (5) brothers who served.

    September 2, 2012 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  11. JM

    Thr Romney plan is that he has no plan right now, but he will tell us when he's in office.

    September 2, 2012 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  12. wesley

    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. its funny how romney was a draft dodger who fled to france when he was drafted

    September 2, 2012 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  13. wayne

    scare tactics. they have no ideas, no plan, no reason to stay in power, all they got is scare tactics. its really very pathetic

    September 2, 2012 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  14. Dave

    Did any of you watch the GOP convention? Condolezza Rice knows more on foreign policy than Biden and Obama combined. Her speech was more presidential than anything I've heard since I could vote (10 years ago). Knowing that Romney will use her as a resource while in office is comforting. Innocent people are dying in Syria and Biden is worried about losing his job. If no one will protect freedom in another country, sometimes America has to do it. War shouldn't be on America's agenda, but it wouldn't surprise me if we went to Syria to save a genocide under a Romney administration. America is behind Israel, but I think the American publlic realizes they are determined to defend themselves from Iran. Biden appears to really be losing his marbles this election cycle. It wouldn't surprise me if Obama replaces him at the DNC.

    September 2, 2012 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  15. Sirned

    Why else is Adleson giving those 10 of millions to Romney. Adleson has admitted Isreal is his cause more than this country...Romney raising money on a yacht with a Cayman Island flag... What's a patriot anymore? Certainly not any politician taking money from big special interests...

    September 2, 2012 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  16. TheTraveler

    "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."

    Well, actually I think it just shows Mitt Romney is totally clueless, and that's just as dangerous. Last time we elected a clueless President, in 2000 it was, we ended up in multiple wars in which we're still engaged and paying for. I fear Mitt Romney's grasp of foreign relations is as abysmal as his military service record ... non existent.

    September 2, 2012 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  17. amy

    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.

    September 2, 2012 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  18. Frank in pa

    Just a suggestion to those Who need to post,regardless of party, idiocy as expres sed in your comments is only surpassed as spoken by some of our leaders IIN BOTH PARTIES! For BidenTo suggest that Romney wants war clearly demonstrates who is SENILE! And I might add a disgrace to the.place he calls his birthplace...Penna. Eastwood was right.....time has shown that Obama and crew have moved us backward NOT FORWARD.....TIME IS OVERDUE FOR A CHANGE!!!!!

    September 2, 2012 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  19. Beezy

    If Gov Romney wants war that is to bad for you blind koolaid drinking sheeple. obama is done. Gov Romney will be the President of the United States come November.

    September 2, 2012 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  20. Anonymous

    Hey Liz, sorry economic fluctuations put a cramp you're lifestyle...it may surprise you, but we're all in the same boat. It's also always interesting to see people predicting the future, so please, keep that crystal ball polished so I can get some lottery numbers from ya...

    September 2, 2012 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  21. t1349htt

    Vice President Joe Biden, what can you said?? He just been Biden....
    These are some of Biden profound statements:
    – One cannot enter a 7-Eleven or Dunkin’ Donuts in Delaware without a “slight Indian accent“
    – To his boss “the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy.”

    Joe just been Joe.... ;-)

    September 2, 2012 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  22. Joe

    For once I think Biden has it right, which is why I will probably vote for O in 12. War with Iran must be avoided at all costs. The ensuing war that will follow will be unstoppable.

    September 2, 2012 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  23. Stephan

    The only people who want war are Obozzo and his minions. They see it as the only chance that they have for reelection!

    September 2, 2012 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  24. gg 3.0

    everyone knows rob me is the puppet of the pig jews and everyone knows the pig jews are hoping rob me would get the white house so they can send the US into another war with iran. Rob me has promised the pig jews if he win he not onyl increase the budget for the pig jews but he would declare war to Iran Rob me is not only betrays the US with outsourcing and cheating taxes but he betryas america by spending our money on the pig jews war. Let the pig jews fight their own war, Let the pig jews spend their own money.Everyone knows the pig jews are greedy and bloody murders.
    Hitler the world misses your excellent work XD

    September 2, 2012 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  25. liberal disease

    Biden is mentally ill

    September 2, 2012 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
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