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. NoTags

    Biden is correct, Romney would like to get us in a war with Iran. Equally disturbing is the fact that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad would like to get Iran in a war with the U.S.

    Romney wants the war to provide more money for the military industrial complex and Ahmadinejad wants a war because he believes a war will bring forth the savior of Islam the 12th Imam (Muhammad ibn al-Hasan al-Mahdī).

    September 2, 2012 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  2. Bob

    Fox News pushed for war with Iraq harder than anyone and even perpetuated the myth of WMDs long after Bush admitted there were none. Now they constantly have stories about why we should go to war with Iran. Ever wonder why? Well the number two shareholder in Fox News is a Saudi Royal prince. Who was Saudi Arabia's number one oil rival? Iraq. Who is their current oil rival? Iran. Self-described "patriots" who say "I only watch Fox News" are getting the (mis)information from the only 100% foreign-owned news channel broadcast in the U.S. If they're Tea Party members then they belong to the only 100% foreign-created political party. No wonder Fox tells them "don't trust science or the internet" because if they look outside the Murdoch-Saudi universe, they'll see how they've been played for idiots.

    September 2, 2012 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  3. Anonymous

    I've said it before, and I'll say it again. The Repugnant Party needs to lay back and punt in the November election, if they're smart. The decision to invade Iraq and Afghanistan was a misbegotten adventure from the beginning, fueled by a Bush admininstration driven by its own blind arrogance and sense of self-importance. Whoever happens to be in the White House at the time, not the blind fools who stampeded us to war in the first place, will be held to blame when the situation blows up in those countries following the departure of the last U.S. troops. Unfortunately, the Repugs learned nothing from the Bush fiasco. The fact that they invited "Miss Yellowcakes" herself to speak at their convention shows us clearly what their mindset is.

    September 2, 2012 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  4. guest

    You can bet you bippy neither Romney's nor Ryan's kids or grandkids will ever serve. If either of these chicken-hawks wants to embroil us in another war, let them be the first to suit up.

    September 2, 2012 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  5. ricardo1968

    Biden needs to sit down and shut up. He's the campaign's biggest liability.

    September 2, 2012 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  6. Bootstomper

    He could ride Ann's horse in to battle really show Cheney how tough he is.

    September 2, 2012 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  7. SGT. Jarrett Portwood

    We do not need another war!!! If they want to fix America then they need to concentrate on our country and only our country! The problem is simple, our economy is in shambles due to inflation. This is why current working American wages cant keep up with the costs of living. The main root of the problem is circulation. We need to focus on bringing jobs back and businesses back to the U.S. We need to impose strict penalties and boycotts on companies wanting to move their factories overseas just to get richer. We also need a huge campaign deidcated to 100% American made products! We as consumers need to be able to identify these products. You can always find labels visible on foreign made products stating which country they are made in. Not so much on products made in the U.S.A. We need something like possibly a red,white, and blue crest or shield for products made in the U.S.A. to post on OUR products!!! It should read in big letters "MADE IN AMERICA" Yes, Iran can and will be a problem in the future!!! They are however not the main problem that needs to be addressed at this time......Our beautiful country and its people are.

    September 2, 2012 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  8. me

    I understand Mitt was passing out religious literature in Europe while US soldiers were fighting a war.

    September 2, 2012 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  9. Beavis

    LOL Obama already has a proxy war in Syria. This is hilarious

    September 2, 2012 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  10. yogi

    The republicans glorify wars, it is complete lunacy. It is also very rare that they produce statesmen with vision because it requiers longterm planning, diplomacy and deep understanding of situations. Just "smoke 'm out", is their motto, they never learn.
    What a difference with President Obama who has excellent skills in diplomacy and a deep understanding of international affairs.
    Obama, four more years please.

    September 2, 2012 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  11. alan_turing

    Joe is always given to hyperbole. Hard to imagine he said that. That would be CRAZY for Willard to want that.

    September 2, 2012 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  12. pinkfloyd43

    We, the USA, does not need to get involved with still another war! We are still wiping the butts of Iraq and Afganistan and getting crapped on my Pakistan! No more of the places. If the Mittster wants war with Iran he will lose tons of votes!

    September 2, 2012 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  13. SGT. Jarrett Portwood

    This campaign needs billboards and posters similiar to the propaganda used to support World War 2 efforts. Instead of posters showing women in the factories building war machines, its needs everyday Americans building American products. Instead of war bonds, invest in %100 American companies, etc.

    September 2, 2012 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  14. roy

    Lets have another unfunded war which should completely ruin the economic stability of this country.

    September 2, 2012 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  15. skip

    This is what scares me the most about Romney if he is elected. He has already proven to be a tool for Israel.

    September 2, 2012 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  16. Bellsouth

    What a shame it is that America has to deal with someone as clueless as Joe Biden. The only people who can't see through this stupidity are those who cannot survive without getting a handout from the Obama-Biden socialism machine. It is amazing that this team has put more people out of work thatn any tandem in history, but the people like Cowles (does he really believe the trash he writes) and CNN will support them until EVERYONE is out of work.

    Have a nice day.

    September 2, 2012 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  17. ChrisG

    For all you people voting for Romney and Ryan., you better think really hard about your family and especially your children going off to war, again under the repubs. I guarantee if Romney is elected, America will be a war with Iran and possibly Russia.

    September 2, 2012 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  18. BIll

    Liberals want to look the other way while a fanatic Islamic state goes nuclear. And then when a radiological suitcase is left in Times Square, they'll somehow blame the republicans.

    September 2, 2012 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  19. more2bits

    It won't matter in a few months......Israel will set off some fireworks and the whole shebang worldwide will go off so will be at war with almost every Muslim nation by next spring.

    September 2, 2012 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  20. The Elephant in the Room

    Joe is correct. We`ve already had 1 Republican President that, in the 1st 10 months of his Presidency was being criticized for having no vision / no direction for the country. Just think back to what EVERYONE was saying about DUBYA in early 2001. I am convinced that Bush went to war to take the heat of himself politically for being weak, ineffective & lacking direction.

    Romney would repeat this process; he is a chickenhawk trying to prove how tough he is when neither he nor his VEEP candidate can spell foreign policy.

    Romney would have us in a Syrian or Iranian war because he lacks the respect as Comander-in-Chief that Barack commands worldwide.

    September 2, 2012 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  21. B

    Biden just keep on flapping those lips of yours. You are doing more good than you can imagine for those of us who need more of a foundation as to why NOT to vote for you and Obama!

    September 2, 2012 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  22. HJA

    Of course the Repubs want another war. The "Machine" is hungry. Repubs always want to feed the "Machine". If we make spending cuts to the DOD the "Machine" will starve. If the "Machine" starves it won't be able to kill people.

    September 2, 2012 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  23. Gaz

    More wars. Why not? if john mccain was president maybe but not draft dodging spineless willard with five healthy sons. The princes of england serve in the military. Is willard better than royalty? He thinks so. And guess what? We saw the queen of england's tax returns

    September 2, 2012 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  24. Michael Lee

    its not Romney that wants the war

    its his Sponsors that want to benefit from it....dont blame romney for that

    blame the organizations hammering him for one...because "he owes them"

    September 2, 2012 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  25. IDontBelieveIt

    Whoa! ROMNEY wants war with Iran? Is Biden going senile? Obama threatened Iran with war 4 MONTHS ago! And 2 WEEKS ago he also threatened Syria with military action – aka WAR

    Romney said anATTACK on Iran was an option. And he said last WEEK that HEfavored more crippling sanctions rather than war on Iran.

    So Biden can keep his lies and distortion of the facts, and explain to the American Nation why he won't defend Obama against the Republican challenge that people are NOT better off than they were 4 years ago? Because they CAN'T.

    Question – what was you 401K worth in 2008 and what's it worth today?...............................See what I mean?

    September 2, 2012 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
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