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. SNAPPA

    Wow, is Mit Romney really this stupid? President Obama had absoulutly no choice in stopping the Iraq war. Why? Because George W. Bush signed a law setting the withdrawl date before Obama was even elected president.

    September 2, 2012 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  2. SNAPPA

    With billions of dollars missing in Iraq, probably in the accounts of Haliburton or Dick Cheney. Its no wonder the Republicans want wars they are very profitable and thin out the low to middle income citizens since I'm sure none of Romneys 5 boys will be going to war.

    September 2, 2012 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  3. Bayley0402

    Gee, is anybody really surprised at this news. The republicans are counting on a Romney win. They already have the war planned. George Bush told lies to start a war with Iraq and then said "mission accomplished." The only thing that was accomplished was 4500+ service men and women killed and untold thousands of civilians killed, too. If this is what you want again, vote for Romney.

    September 2, 2012 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  4. 3511danny

    There is something wrong with Biden. Maybe he thinks of chains too much.

    September 2, 2012 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  5. Sam

    Wars create jobs for the poor, keeps the middle-class distracted, reduces demand for college education, stimulate the economy and make the Defense Companies wealthier...Duh!

    September 2, 2012 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  6. Dennis

    If you believe anything Biden says your a class A IDIOT! That clown has no brain and needs to go to the wizard!

    September 2, 2012 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  7. tonyl

    All GOP Presidents loves wars and start new wars. It's extremely profitable for the war industry. The GOP friends.

    September 2, 2012 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  8. Dave IL

    As Clint Eastwood said, Joe S,.t for Brains Biden is the intellect of the Democrat Party.

    September 2, 2012 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  9. mk1

    There is no question in my opinion that Romney would take us to war with Iran if elected. Considering most of his principal advisers are holdovers from the Bush administration this totally makes sense. He also has to prove his manhood to the ultra right wing nuts for one thing since he nor his healthy sons ever truly served their country. As a vet myself with a son currently on active duty this scares me greatly.

    September 2, 2012 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  10. Tega

    Kevin Liptak is this a reporting of Biden's speak? or Making sense of Romney's Foreign policy position? Good try!

    September 2, 2012 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  11. kristi

    yea and a never ending war in afganistan, war with iraq.

    September 2, 2012 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  12. Olive

    I just finished watching the 2016: Obama's America. Very awakening movie, a must see movie before you cast your vote to re-elect Obama. You see it first and open your mind wide and decide if this is what you want to lead America.

    September 2, 2012 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  13. Ed

    If Romney wants war with Iran, what about Biden? He wants Nuclear from Iran. I think none of them is good but in my opinion, I think that a war with Iran would be best instead of let Iran to have nuclear weapons. I hope that Romney does ask Biden what he wants to do with Iran?

    September 2, 2012 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  14. Alan

    Would someone please put Biden back in his cage..and you libs stop trying to scare people. You are sick!

    September 2, 2012 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  15. Arab American

    I like Obama and voted for him the first time and will likely vote for him again. The question is as follows: What's wrong with a short US air campaign in Syria that will tip the balance of power ? We need to support the revolution and end the bloodshed. If we fear Iran, then we are motivated by fear and Iran will eventually get the better of us. We should be motivated by Love and our Love for the Syrian people, should compel us for a short air campaign (no US soldiers will die), to help defeat Assad and end the daily bloodshed. If Iran attacks US naval ships in the gulf because of a NATO campaign in Syria, then Iran is basically committing suicide and they are too smart to not do that, so don't listen to their threats (about out involvement in Syria). It will be as smooth or even smoother than Libya.

    September 2, 2012 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  16. MikeAlbany

    Waging war while cutting taxes is what got us into the economic mess we are in. If Romney repeats Bush's mistake, it will be America's swan song on the world stage - our economy would never recover from it.

    September 2, 2012 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  17. Diana Manwaring

    You have to be kidding me! With all due respect to President Obama and VP Biden, they just don't understand this fact: the Administration's foreign policy is a complete failure. Especially with respect to the brewing war between Syria, Iran and Israel.

    What about the President's failure to fully support Israel? Why is it that Israel has been asked to make concessions to its enemies continually, but the Palestinian & Iranian governments do whatever they want? Why is Hamas & Hezbollah allowed to run amok? How much longer does our President want to use "sanctions" and "diplomacy?" They just do NOT work.

    President Obama has proved his disdain for PM Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel on more than one occasion. He and former French President Sarkozy were caught making rude remarks about the Prime Minister during a "hot mic moment. Don't forget about the time that Netanyahu was forced to wait downstairs in the White House in an attempt to hammer out a peace agreement while President Obama went to the private residence for dinner.

    Imo, the President would have gone a long way towards healing his broken relationship with Netanyahu by inviting the PM and his team upstairs for supper. What a pity he let this opportunity slip away.

    How much time does President Obama want to give Iran to develop nukes? The more he stalls by insisting on sanctions and diplomacy, the more time Iran will have to develop these weapons. And not only that, Iran clearly has its hands involved in the Syrian civil war. I'd bet that Ahmadinejad would like nothing more than for Syria to attack the rebels and Israel with WMD's, drawing Israel into the chaos that Ahmadinejad believes will bring back his version of Christ called the "mahdi."

    No one wants war, including myself. But I believe it is inevitable, esp. given the fact that Ahmadinejad has sworn to wipe Israel off the map. Why won't Obama understand just how dangerous Assad and Ahmadinejad is????? When will he get it – if the US. is attacked again (like on 9/11)? By then it will be too late.

    Stop insisting on sanctions and diplomacy, Mr. President. Allow Israel, a sovereign nation, to defend itself. You needn't send troops. You needn't say you approve.

    Just stand out of the way.

    God bless and protect Israel!

    September 2, 2012 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  18. Bill Duke

    Joe Biden is truly the dumbest politician this country has ever produced. He's even dumber than Dan Quayle.

    September 2, 2012 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  19. Jamie

    Without a change in leadership, why would anyone think the next four years are going to be different than the last for years?

    September 2, 2012 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  20. RoadRunner, Albuquerque, NM

    Have you ever noticed how a known draft-dodger is always so eager to send other peoples sons and daughters into war, but not their own? Romney is a case in point. He evaded the draft or military service during Vietnam, and yet he was just recently "visiting" Israel's Netanyahu, with whom he was without a doubt reassuring him that he would support war, even a thermonuclear war, against Iran, in return for the conservative vote her in the U.S. Have any of his darling sons ever served thier nation in the U.S. Armed Forces? Of course not, and they never will. That's how draft dodgers always behave, and this time is lining up to be no different. Only if the sheeple hold their feet to the fire, and tell them that if they start a war, then they and their sons will have to fight it on the front lines. OOOH my! How fast they retreat!

    September 2, 2012 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  21. Bill Duke

    "Don't send more of our innocent children to fight in thier wars! Vote Obama"

    Your comment is a joke.

    LOL! Obama sent our troops to Yemen. Obama sent troops and bombs to Libya. Obama sent troops to 3 other African countries. Right now he has plans for troops in Syria. Just because he has a "D" after his name doesn't mean he's a good guy. He's just another liar.

    September 2, 2012 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  22. Xico_Doce_II

    I hope he send his sons, he has 5 I'm sure he can spare2 or 3

    September 2, 2012 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  23. john

    I totally agree with Biden. Super PACs and their rich supporters definitely want more wars to keep oil prices high, push the demand for weapons of wars, and eventually make them much richer.

    September 2, 2012 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  24. r00t4rd3d

    War is stupid. People who authorize wars are stupid. Its time to grow up and value life. Any president who wants war should have to be on the front lines themselves.

    September 2, 2012 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  25. Mike N

    All you sheep believe what that clown/cartoon character Biden says? Biden is a BOZO!!!!!

    September 2, 2012 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
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