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. Rudy Gonzales

    President Obama and Joe Biden both realize Americans are sick and tired of war! It's the leaders of the RNC who want war. They have a war with women, blacks, Hispanics, LGBT's, unions and others. This non-informed out-of-the-mainstream politician has no clue except that the Military Industrial Complex is pulling his strings!

    September 2, 2012 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  2. Lee Oates

    God help us if Romney and the Republicans win this election. They will drive the country into bankruptcy and war with six months, disenfranchise women and minorities, and install a Facist government.

    September 2, 2012 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  3. Steve

    Biden should talk. He was quoted in a video that we should take out Sadam Hussein before Bush went in. Biden talks through both sides of his mouth. Anything he says should be taken with a grain of salt.

    September 2, 2012 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  4. Cuervo Jones

    Biden could win this one working part time. You know the pres got real stuff to do,

    September 2, 2012 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  5. Anthony A

    Yep, time to spend another 2 trillion each in syria and Iran too. That's how you grow the economy and reduce the debt.

    September 2, 2012 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  6. chieftrainer

    Liz the First – Does Vietnam ring a bell?

    September 2, 2012 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  7. ranger

    Man, something is really wrong with you liberal nut jobs. Do you honestly think anyone wants to sacrifice a human life for money? Can anyone here in this left-wing chat please truthfully tell me one thing that Obama has done to help this country or the economy? Here is a hint since I know you guys are a little slow sometimes, the answer isn't the bailout or Obamacare. Please begin...

    September 2, 2012 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  8. Hadenuffyet

    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.

    Couldn't be that we wanted our people the hell out now could it...

    September 2, 2012 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  9. Lisa Schwartz

    Biden is so full of it. Romney does not want a war, but he sure as hell is not going to lay down and allow Iran to become nuclear and then threaten Israel and all of the west. Why is Obama content to allow that to happen? It will destabilize the entire Middle East? If we allow Iran to become that powerful, we will all rue the day. Obama wants America to be weak and then vulnerable.

    September 2, 2012 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  10. Sanity

    Biden's many acts of stupidity included voting against rescuing Kuwait from Saddam after Iraq invaded Kuwait in1990 and then voting to invade Iraq under GWB when all of the Dems said Iraq had WMDs, including Biden.

    September 2, 2012 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  11. Barrington

    When Bush got re-elected,the canadians called Americans Stupid. When Romney met with the Evil Dick Cheney they was talking about WAR AGAINST IRAN. To SECURED 8 YEARS in power, Dick Cheney and the GOP ( GANG OF POOP ) Lies to the whole world for WAR on IRAK and Afganistan. They didn't care or want the true by any means. They killed, Robbed the BLINDS, and mess up the world SECURITY. Romney will do the SAME TO STAY IN POWER FOR 8 YEARS BY GOING TO ANOTHER WAR JUST for the SAKE OF IT. The Republicans can never win an ELECTION by telling the TRUTH, helping the POOR and doing the RIGHT THING. They lied, Steal a Vote and talk TUFF. I really feel SORRY for people supporting this RAT RACE as BOB MARLEY was saying. You got a Dog RACE, you got a Horse RACE, BUT this is a RAT RACE DESTROYING OUR PLANET EARTH. THEY LIES ABOUT EVERYTHING.

    September 2, 2012 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  12. db

    Biden is about as lame with nonsince as a glass of 3 day old milk, and about as stale too. He should do what Bo does, stay in the background and keep quiet. Be happy that any bones get throw to him and be happy he is employeed in a nonproductive position. His productivity over the past 3.5 years may be in the negative numbers.

    September 2, 2012 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  13. db

    As a veteran I earned the right to be able to speak my mind. What have you youngsters done to earn the right besides being born in the USA which took no talent on your part.

    September 2, 2012 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  14. Anonymous

    Right Romney wants war, you all are nuts

    September 2, 2012 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  15. Mickey

    Joe wakes up in a new world every day. Reminds me of my drunken uncle.

    September 2, 2012 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  16. adam

    Why does Romney/Ryan want a War with IRAN ?

    Because they are backed by the Adelsons, who have always wanted the USA to fight a proxy War for Israel.

    Adelson backed Bush/Cheney and the neocons and in return, he got the Iraq War he wanted and immunity from prosecutions for money laundering by his casino empire. Adelson's casino empire is the biggest money launderer for drug dealers like Mexico's biggest drug Kingpin Zhenli Ye Gon, corporate crooks like Siddaqui, Asian mafia and corrupt Chinese govt. officials. Zhenli Ye Gon was busted by the DEA in 2007, staying at the Vegas Venetian when his Mexico's city hacienda was raided with over $210 Million in cash found on the premises. Zhenli YeGon laundered hundreds of millions of drug money at the Vegas Venetian but Adelson was protected by the then Bush/Cheney admin.

    Ryan, within 72 hours of joining the Romney ticket, jetted into Las Vegas to pay homage and kowtow to Adelson at the Venetian.

    Meanwhile, Adelson is being investigated by SEC, DOJ, FBI and Nevada gaming.

    September 2, 2012 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  17. Beavis

    As Obama already has a proxy war in Syria

    September 2, 2012 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  18. Sally Bergmoser

    What other lame brain words are going to come out of his mouth ? Nobody ever wants war !

    September 2, 2012 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  19. Rick

    Why else would Romney DOUBLE the size of our military. An unused weapon is a useless weapon.!

    September 2, 2012 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  20. JiminNM

    The U.S. Government Corporation wants war with Iran. It doesn't matter who the Corporation designates as President. Get it through your thick heads. The election is a charade. The Corporation controls the results. The Corporation wants to eliminate all sovereign nations and prevent nations from selling goods for gold, silver or other currency with real value. Kennedy was trying to print nearly $500 Billion in Treasury Notes to be backed by gold, replace the Federal Reserve Notes and eliminate the Federal Reserve. Do your homework. Don't bury your head in the sand and keep taking it up the chute.

    September 2, 2012 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  21. Will

    I'm not voting unless the candidate lives in a middle class neighborhood- held down a middle class job, lives like most of us... tired of politicians, religious leaders etc.. not working for their money, just taking ours on false promises, hopes and dreams. Get real jobs...

    September 2, 2012 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  22. GEdwards

    That's nothing compared to Obama wanting a war with fellow Americans, and being "proud" of it.

    September 2, 2012 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  23. ug

    We don't want war...we just don't want Iran dictating to us or anyone else in the region that they will use a nuke...biteme and the libs are soft little Romney this fall.

    September 2, 2012 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  24. Tizzy

    Time to put the boot down

    September 2, 2012 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  25. Craig from Pa.

    You'd be surprised how quick wars would go away if they re-instated the draft....when every mothers' son could be put in harms way...of course draft dodging is a hereditary thing in some circles!

    September 2, 2012 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
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