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. Expat American

    It was clear in his speech that Romney wants to revisit the failed policies of the Bush Administration. It’s no mystery why Bush wasn’t invited and/or did not attend the RNC convention. The Republicans didn’t want to connect Romney’s recycled platform to a face.

    Yes, Romney will send American soldiers into new Republican wars. And Romney/Ryan will lie to the American people, they will lie to our allies and they will lie to the United Nations just like the last Republican Administration.

    September 2, 2012 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  2. ch

    @liz so the democrates did not vote for the wars at all? How far in sand is your head ?

    September 2, 2012 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  3. Dnick47

    Repubs love war so long as some one else does the paying, the bleeding, the dying, the grieving, is left with the mental and physical, and spiritual consequences and their brats can be put somewhere safe away from harm so the tradition of fire breathing chicken-hawk can continue. Romney has show time and again he's a coward.

    September 2, 2012 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  4. Mike Jones

    Coming from the guy that made the "chains" comment. If Romney or Ryan said that all of you would be crying racism.

    September 2, 2012 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  5. tcaros

    Of course he wants wars... that's how the Republican party empties the treasury into peoples' pockets.

    September 2, 2012 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  6. Anne S.

    That's what Biden claims. Probably will say anything to stay in office. We the people need to get our country back to where it was, before this big debt come along that has put our grandchildren into ruins. And it's time to give someone else a chance to straighten it out. Do what you think best come election day.

    September 2, 2012 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  7. Obama's true face is revealed.. a coward and a liar

    Obama is scraed knowing he will loose the elections if iIrael is forced to attack Iran by herself and he tries to tops them or hide like a coward and break his promise and not come to their aid.

    The only way to stop Iran is to bomb the facillities completely.. and hope all the scientists are inside..

    Waiting for the sanctions is a joke.. look how long it takes the opposition in Syria how many died and were tortured and stil no result... but even if it is to happen, the opponents in Iran declared that they want nuclear bombs as well.. so whats the point???

    And the claims regarding the economy are complete BS.. wars are great for the economy.. many manufacturing jobs and contracting jobs... and a major increase in productivity... The US became a super power stricltly for one reason.. during World war two it created many factories that supported the military... cars, tanks, bombs, bullets, hi-tech devices, airplanes, submarines, ships, jet carriers, amphibian vehicles and a gazzilion more things were manufactured all in te US... But what does Obama know about economy or business.. he thinks that doing nothing and printing money and praying is the way.... as Clint said,... we don't need a lawyer in the white house... not now,,, not ever...

    September 2, 2012 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  8. reuben banyemaa

    if the other power refuse the no fly zone we need quickly us with the allies to over throw assad.

    September 2, 2012 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  9. Keith

    It's interesting how little people posting on this blog really know about history, and frankley, act like a bunch of lemming, jumping off the cliff when, of all people, Joe Biden proclaim's something. So, Republicans start wars, and democrates "cleam them up"... Ok, Aks yourself this... Who was in office when the following wars were offically entered by the US? WWI, WWII, Korean, Vietnam? Your answer is.... It doesn't matter. Sometimes natsy things happen on the global stage, and sometime we are called into war, like it or not, by both parties. War's suck, and NOONE wants them, and it's just another example of how unstable Joe Biden is... First, he says we're going to put the blacks of america back into chains, and now this... Don't be a Lemming!

    September 2, 2012 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  10. Francis

    Romney wants war, Obama wants peace and stability. America! Make a choice bewteen war and peace. Period!

    September 2, 2012 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  11. Abdul Rasheed

    When the war starts that Romney wants, he and his cronies will be basking in the sun somewhere safe and sound. The middle East will be the start of the rapture, millions will die, not only military but civilians in America. so go ahead MItt, who will be left to slave for you and your kind then? your preppy sons and daughters?

    September 2, 2012 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  12. Dick

    Nobody wants war and neither does Mitt Romney. What you softies don't understand about acheiving peace is that you use rhetoric and a position of strength to squash violent directed regimes like Ahmadnedijad. This is peace thru power. Reference the cold war. This is a pee-on country intimidating America. Who do you think will blink if push comes to shove? If its up to Obama, America will blink and thats a scary thought

    September 2, 2012 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  13. indie voter

    Why do republicans love war so much? Why do republicans think its ok letting someone die because of a lack of healthcare? Why do republicans think its ok not to help the needy? Why do republicans love guns so much? Why do republicans hate anyone who doesn't look or think like them? Why do republicans call themselves christians?

    September 2, 2012 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  14. minpins

    I surprised Biden (Uncle Drunken) sobered up long enough for someone to tell him to say that. The Dems got us out of Iraq and started the Afghan war. So what's the difference? If the Dems are so anti war why are we still there. Wake Up!

    September 2, 2012 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  15. alien

    What does Romneys increase in defense budget mean if he gets elected? America is going to war again!!

    September 2, 2012 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  16. Obama's true face is revealed.. he will let Iran get nuclear bombs period

    Obama will let Iran get Nuclear weapons.. as he is letting thousands die and get tortured in the worst of ways in Syria and throughout the years in Darfur....
    He will toss israel under the wheels of a tank.. all he cares about is staying a president and continue to say one thing yet support the biggest terrorist nation – Iran.

    One last thing Mr Byden.. who said war is bad for the economy.. look how it made the US become the world leader after WWII???? that war made the US what it was for 50 years after– the dominant super power.... The Dems (Carter) put the Aiathollas in power and caused the mess we are seeing today.. including the world trade center and many other terror attacks sponsored by that regime world-wide.. I hope we let the republicans try and fix this mess....

    September 2, 2012 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  17. Singh

    There goes crazy grandpa Biden at it again. Can you imagine how screwed the country would be if, God forbid, he ever became president. Biden is a total nutbar.

    September 2, 2012 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  18. Repug

    OMG! The sky is falling! Romney will DESTROY America and give the ashes to his rich puppet masters! Only Obama can offer salvation to us all!!!

    September 2, 2012 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  19. ArizonaYankee

    Biden, like Obama, Holder and Napolitano continue to be unabashed, out of control LIARS, What a disgrace to the Democratic Party and the Nation, and insulting to the American Public...

    September 2, 2012 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  20. We now know that Obama will let Iran get nuclear bombs.

    If we had a little faith in Obama it is now lost.... We now know for sure Obama will let Iran get Nuclear weapons. He is letting thousands die and get tortured in Syria as he did in Darfur....

    He will toss a great ally like Israel under the wheels of a bus.. all he cares about is staying a president. He will not keep his word as he didn't in the past and everything he says are poor excuses.

    One last thing Mr Byden.. war is bad for the economy? .World war II made the US a super power for 50 or 60 years... what are you talking about?????

    September 2, 2012 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  21. abbydelabbey

    Actually, I think Adelson (a very pro-Israel casino-mogul) wants America to go after Iran, and since he's willing to spend $100 million of his own money to get Romney elected, what do you think Adelson will want from Romney for that $100 million?

    September 2, 2012 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  22. amarjeet

    GOP policy of anti abortion will not be able to produce healthy soldiers for wars without healthcare, as GOP & Tea Party are are going to repeal.

    September 2, 2012 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  23. Robert Figueroa

    Biden you are the biggest goon to ever hold office. The thought of you being a president stuns the mind. When you lose the election please just go away and shut up!

    September 2, 2012 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  24. innocenttruth

    Obama is doing everything possible to avoid war with Iran (not justified) or any countries of the world. The republicans won't stop their rethoric attacks about war on Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, e.t.c. Romney have never been to war, none of his 5 five boys in the military. He (Romney )is more of a big guy who let others do the dirty works. G.W.Bush caused recession, started war but he is not enjoying life in his villa with the Iraq oil money, yet no one critized him. If Romney want war with Iran, he can take his boys, join the rebels, and go die for demo-crazy in Syria or Iran. It is allowed!

    September 2, 2012 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  25. mark

    This line of talking points by our drunk uncle shows that he has now business playing the role of Vice President.

    September 2, 2012 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
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