Biden claims Romney wants war with Iran and Syria
September 2nd, 2012
04:34 PM ET
6 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. pjc722

    SHUT UP ALREADY, Joe! Seriously! You do not do your President, your party, yourself or the American people any good by OPENING YOUR MOUTH! There was a time I liked you. A time when you would utter something profound or even ridiculous and I would laugh or be proud. Now, you just are sounding like a senile old man who just can't seem to stay quiet.

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

    I an a viet nam war veteran i saw how horrible war can be people have told me we lost ten thousand soiders killed only 3 thousans killed in irac they do not care

    September 2, 2012 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  3. Rancho Deluxe

    Who in his right mind would vote for Obama? He is destroying our Country, our credibility, our future....
    And if this weren't enough, Biden, Unstable Biden is just a heart beat away........

    September 2, 2012 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  4. jarmaine

    biden says the darndest things

    September 2, 2012 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  5. Pkduster

    If we listened to are commaders we would still be in vietnam go get em joe you have the guts to speck your mindand get away wit it love you joe

    September 2, 2012 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  6. Hiram3

    If Biden was simply not very bright, we could understand that, but to be vicious and stupid at the same time, is just too much for anyone to tolerate – particularly this November !!

    September 2, 2012 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  7. Tired of republican lies

    No doubt...gotta keep the industrial complex happy.

    September 2, 2012 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  8. Bob

    obama is such a dipstick – and he is the intellectual leader of the democrat party

    September 2, 2012 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  9. Hiram3

    What a match – a big-mouthed dunce and a Chicago political hack !! WOW – look what we're looking forward to for the next 4 years if Governor Romney and Congressman Ryan lose !!

    September 2, 2012 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  10. mikey

    Guys i do support ur comments,where was romney when george w bush threw americans into recession loss of billions of dollars,did he contribute to the revival of d country,obama came to inherit problems d republicans dumped,cleaning the messes pls republican bury ur faces in shame

    September 2, 2012 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  11. Peik

    Joe Biden wants to put OBL back where he found him?

    September 2, 2012 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  12. A Woman

    As soon as I realized Romney never mentioned the War, I knew he was making plans to send our Sons and Daughters to Iran. Lets get one thing straight Mr. Romney we are tired of you, Bush and Cheney sending our children to war, based on the welfare of Israel, not the interest of America! I believe the Morman sons who do their 2 year deal, trying to bring more Americans into the Mormon Flock, better take their black slacks and white shirts off and put on a Marine Green Uniform and sign up for Combat Duty! A Veteran's Mom

    September 2, 2012 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  13. THX1953

    There ya go Joe!!

    Ramp up the fear factor.

    Oh, yeah, hey Joe, what was it your boss said on Iran again??

    "Obama said he's not going to take "any option" off the table and will pressure Iran until it "takes a different course.""

    September 2, 2012 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  14. Romney/Ryan = Bought & Paid For All Along

    When Romney does start a war you can be certain his sons won't serve. They'll be needed at home working corporate deals with defense contractors and oil companies. They'll be "job creators" while the sons of the middle-class are "body bag fillers".

    You can also be certain we'd need to reinstate the military draft – because our forces are now consumed from the war started by the last Republican President. We do not need a draft-dodging chicken-hawk for Commander-In-Chief.

    September 2, 2012 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  15. Owl Creek Observer

    Biden has gone completely off the rails. Senility is an sad thing to behold.

    September 2, 2012 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  16. Name: caleb

    Whether Romney want war or not, let Obama leave that seat.

    September 2, 2012 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  17. works4me

    Make war... Not love.
    Vote Republican!

    September 2, 2012 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  18. tony

    Jesus and War are opposites. But then when has a US politician ever followed Jesus's and the Bibles teachings or even the commandments

    September 2, 2012 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  19. Hugo

    Obama deserves a second term

    September 2, 2012 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  20. NameMarieCA

    Romney who is zero in military background had the audiciity to ignite a war against Iran is completely juvenile. In what cost Mr. Romney? Did you even blink when you thought about sending our precious kids to another war? How about the fiscal responsibility to engage in another war?

    September 2, 2012 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  21. Scott

    You Obama kool- aid drinkers will lap up anything CNN and Biden spill out in front of you

    September 2, 2012 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  22. schoolsub

    Here you are, Joe and Barach, I'll give you the coordinates. All you have to do is give the order. Get a jump on Mitt.
    34 degrees, 53', 7.50" N; 50 degrees, 59', 51.40" E
    Let a bunker buster fly!

    September 2, 2012 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  23. ohreally

    I came away from his speech and McCain's thinking the exact same thing. If Romney is elected. We will be at war with Iran within two years and maybe sooner.

    September 2, 2012 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  24. Kareen

    Biden is right. Romney and the rest of the Repugs have itchy fingers, only their kids live the good life and wouldn't think of serving the country.

    September 2, 2012 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  25. 1nd3p3nd3nt

    i love how their foreign policy assumes there'll be 'good guys' we'll want to support.
    i'm sure there won't be any hard decisions to make between the devil you know and the devil you don't.
    oh I know, the 'rebels' will want to be associated with american money and influence, right?

    hiding behind generals is something a president can do in the beginning of a war to avoid time tables and hypothetical questions. a presidential candidate should not be hiding behind generals over a war that has already lasted a decade!

    this is the weakest national defense candidate that i can remember. romney's vision of the future is 50 years ago!

    September 2, 2012 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
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