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. jonny

    Like Biden is an expert at anything...he can't remember what state he is in half the time

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

    Biden....what a joke! Obama and Biden...taking the USA down to third world status! Thanks, OblameO!

    September 2, 2012 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  3. Carl

    I don't know that Romney specifically wants a war with Iran, because Iran would be much tougher foe than Iraq. But the Republican Party and some Democrats in districts with a lot of military spending will be desperate to maintain military spending as the Afghanistan war winds down. That will require a war somewhere. Can't upset those wealthy friends in the Military Industrial Complex. I cannot help being cynical after the proven lies and misinformation that got us into our disastrous war in Iraq. Money speaks very loudly, and after all money is free speech. If only it was free!

    September 2, 2012 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  4. Alice Bowie

    All that they're say'n ... is give war a chance.

    It's the Israeli lobby in america running the show on this.

    You can count on war with Iran.

    September 2, 2012 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  5. Sam Sum

    Joe Biden, the intelectual of the Democratic party has spoken. Now believe and do the opposite of what he says.

    September 2, 2012 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  6. Dave

    Ahahahahahahahaha!!!! Wonderful comments!!!!!! Milk was coming out of my nose!

    You people really DO believe that babble you spew, don't you? Ahahahahahahaha!!!!! Thanks for the great laughs!!!! Oh man! *wiping eyes*

    Do the "War on Women" one now!

    September 2, 2012 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  7. Anonymous

    I see that CNN publishes comments only pleasing to the Obama Adminstration, with maybe just one or two exceptions to throw his opponents off. So much for freedom of speech! You're as bad as NBC, the Official Network of the Obama Administration!

    September 2, 2012 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  8. Raka

    Yes and Biden wants to relocate the moon to tennessee. See how this works Biden, anyone can make stuff up. Albeit liberals do this professionally.

    September 2, 2012 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  9. ED FL

    the elite draft dodger and his 5 sons,along with the other GOP draft dodging LYING RYAN will always be ready to send other peoples kids to war while they sit around the world counting their fathers wealth that he keeps overseas so he doesn't have to pay US taxes. Doesn't that sound pretty neat for someone who wants to be President of the US.

    September 2, 2012 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  10. Sue

    We would be in better shape economically of the republicans in Congress would be willing to work for the good of the country instead for the good of their party. They said in the beginning that they would do ANYTHING to limit President Obama to one term and that's exactly what they've done. And now that want to point fingers and say that he hasn't kept his promises. Now they have their own little millionaire puppet, who has spent 5 years and has people willing to spend $100 million dollars to buy his way into the White House. That is just plain wrong! Send Mittens home and have his do-nothing republican friends with him. None of them deserve their jobs.

    September 2, 2012 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  11. Guest 1

    put all y'all back in chains Joe....think about it....nobody wants war you idiot

    September 2, 2012 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  12. kw

    Ummm Obama has been president for four years and the unemployment is the highest it has ever been. If Iran goes nuclear, they have stated Israel will be blown off the face of the Earth. If they truly are developing these weapons, we must stop them

    September 2, 2012 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  13. Dan

    Unfortunately, if Israel attacks Iran, it will probably lead to a larger regional conflict. What the region reallly needs is for one of the larger countries like Egypt or Russia or someone to just come out and say "If Israel strikes Iran, we will strike Israel". That is the kind of deterent that can prevent Israel from starting a larger war (a war which could also draw the U.S., even though it has nothing to do with "defending America").

    September 2, 2012 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  14. Stew

    What if they moved the "weapons of mass destruction" before we found them... Buried, sold, dismantled, whatever. We as average national citizens have no better source of information besides the media, and the media is manipulated. We as normal citizens aren't able to access enough truthful information to make even the slightest justified opinions on these things.

    September 2, 2012 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  15. petena

    Will his four boys enlist to serve the country? I bet not – he will send to to hide in Europe.

    September 2, 2012 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  16. STeven Cook

    Whaaat? CNN has taken ALL of this out of context. WHERE does Romney (let alon blowhard Joe) say ANYTHING about Iran and Syria??? What CR*APPY journalism!!!

    September 2, 2012 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  17. Bill

    Sounds like Harry Reid is writing Joe',s speeches. Biden critizes Romney's economic plan? The great Obama plan has reduced our unemployment rate to 8.2%. I guess if we don't build more roads and bridges we won't have any new risk takers to start their own business.

    September 2, 2012 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  18. samuel

    You beat if R/R are elected we ill be flexing our might....they dont care about military. They see us as numbers...the rich and money is what R/R are concerned about. And at the age of 41 Ryan has already been in congress for 14 years.

    They remind me of some of those unqual rich officers I had to train in the Navy. Think about you vote. That a good look at them....rtn to the same policies that got us here is not new. And they seems so faults....

    September 2, 2012 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  19. gary

    No more wars! Trillions of $ wasted ... thousands dead, Many times more wounded for life. No more war!

    September 2, 2012 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  20. Retired SMSgt

    Dear Dennis,

    If you study history you would see that Dems led u sinto WW II, Korea, Vietnam and Somalia and the little sawed off Dem – Truman antagonized Russia at the end of WW II to help launch the Cold War.

    September 2, 2012 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  21. Bob the Janitor

    Biden is starting to sound more and more like Jimmy Carter!!!

    His accusations have more twists than a rocky mountain road...

    September 2, 2012 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  22. David Pratt

    Ann Romney is Govenor Romney's greatest asset. His second greatest asset to help his campaign is Joe Biden.

    September 2, 2012 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  23. DkCheney

    I think we should invade Mexico and Canada 1st. I ask you, who is more dangerous: a bunch of radical religous id!ots; or our neighbors that share a border? Might as well invade Alaska too, while we're up there.

    September 2, 2012 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  24. Mark G

    Is anyone going to take this man and this news organization seriously? Please. Let's use common sense people. It's Joe Biden for goodness sake.

    September 2, 2012 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  25. mjw

    Romney wants another war influenced by the neocons of his party and he does not have guts to stand up to them. Yet not one of his sons have served in the military.This is why America love the Kennedys...they sacrificed ....even so they could have deferred like so many had done. Romney and his sons sacrificed nothing and when the country needed finances most he decided it is better to stash it overseas to avoid paying taxes ....a sign he does not have faith in the resiliency of the American economy. Now he stands there and lies constantly and expect people to trust him, while he refuses to show his taxes.....what is he hiding? If he does not have confidence in the American people to make the decision on his taxes, the American people will not have confidence in him to lead this country....there are 3 strikes against him....hiding himself and sons from military service, hiding money overseas and hiding his taxes. We should not trust him.

    September 2, 2012 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
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