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. davidasleep

    This is why I will vote for Obama again.I was very depressed with Obama's performance. It was in my mind awful.. But I don't want war in Iran. So he has my vote.

    September 2, 2012 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  2. nopension

    Of course Romney wants to bomb Iran. This is what Adelson is paying him to do.

    September 2, 2012 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  3. Bob

    Biden needs to adjust his aluminum foil hat just a bit. His signals are getting mixed up. It was HIS boss that is saber rattling.

    September 2, 2012 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  4. Tizzy

    Biden always tells the truth

    September 2, 2012 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  5. southernwonder

    romney expresses his foreign policy using bus language. thus, romney will sit in israel's bus. obama drives his own bus.
    the israel bus that romney will use is a gift to israel from the casino money of las vegas.

    September 2, 2012 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  6. tato aplanao

    Do not vote for romney aka doesnt give dam about us!! Seriouslt gov need to stop making excuses to go to war,wat next?? An alien invasion??

    September 2, 2012 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  7. buddy

    Biden is nothing but a clown. He never knows what is coming out of his mouth when he opens it.

    September 2, 2012 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  8. Peter Wolfe

    Think about it people that Romney is pivoting to his base e.g. military soldiers and administratration officers not the typical American. Read The Real Romney by Boston Globe 2011 that illustrates that Mitt's 2008 strategy will fail to succeedd like 12 as well. Essentially Mr Romney being an MBA and lawyer is willing to do anything once in office just empty promises from a broken record. Neither candidate is worth two hoots, however, Obama appears to more practical. Neither one of them can promise you anything because deficiet reduction will drag down the economic recovery and without reforms to taxes, energy independence and educational reforms that this country isn't going forward anytime soon. Ironically I voted for John Mccain being a middle class voter this year that I'm voting for the opposite side this year not failed vodoo economics and false promises.

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

    Well, we all know (and we thank you for letting us know, Clint) that "Biden is the intellect of the Democratic party' so if he sez that Romney wants war, well, geepers, he must be right, huh. 🙂

    September 2, 2012 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  10. John

    I have served this country for 23 years from Vietnam to Iraq. Seems to me the real draft dodger was named bill. I served under both democratic and republican, and as far as notional security goes I would always prefer a republican in office. I wish everybody in the country had to serve before they were given the right to vote.

    September 2, 2012 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  11. tato aplanao

    Nooo Mr Biden!! You was the miztake n first place

    September 2, 2012 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  12. TanteWaileka

    We all know that 'Bi den is the intell ect of the demo cratic party' so if he says that Rom ney wants war it must be so, huh. (nice try d is cu z) but I've been in tech nology for 54 years now, and well, you don't know how to 'apply filters'.Thanks to Cl int for talking to the em pty cha ir.

    September 2, 2012 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  13. Dan

    Will his sons go fight,you know the answer.All the money they will make on another war or two and it will be poor sons and daughters paying the price.

    September 2, 2012 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  14. mike

    War is all the Republicans know, "might over right". The Republicans cannot be allowed to fulfill the vision of global hegemony, for they will be the one world government so many have warned of.

    September 2, 2012 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  15. San Jose, CA

    Already at war with Assad

    September 2, 2012 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  16. Xmun1

    Well Mr Biden i think you talk from your Patata You have been too long in Washington,its time for you to hit the track Sir!!.
    As usual you tactic is to scare the American people, sorry but i think this Adm has the worst foreign policy, if you cannot do the job in 4 years why you need to get four more.
    My stomach start turning when i hear you speak, you need to move on and let others have a chance you loser!

    September 2, 2012 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  17. Ruby

    Of course it doesn't really matter what Romney thinks or wants, the President is handling the situation and who cares about the plans of a defeated also ran? Hope we can get the house back too!

    September 2, 2012 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  18. Larry would seem even the author noted that Romney is not in favor or war....I guess the posters on here know better

    September 2, 2012 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  19. Harvey

    The only problem with Biden is he is only a heart attack away from being president

    September 2, 2012 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  20. Clint, Wa.

    put his sons at the front of the line,that will end that.

    September 2, 2012 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  21. hvtgeorgia

    We're too broke to help our sick, our poor, our unemployed. No money for infrastructure upgrades. Yet, their plan is to again lower taxes AND start two new wars. Instead of asking yourself if you were better off than you were 4 years ago, ask yourself if you are better off than you were 12 years ago. Romney's 4 sound just like Bush's 8...we can't afford that! The decision is clear for those of us who know how to look past the last 24 hr. news cycle! Obama 2012!

    September 2, 2012 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  22. Bushy Mustache

    The GOP wants war so that the rich GOP corporate interest can make a killing. Ofcourse only the sons oand daughters of the middle class and lower class will fight the wars.

    September 2, 2012 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  23. Sharkmann

    Am I the only one that remembers that Bush was the guy who signed the treaty to get out troops out of Iran? The republicans tell so many lies that they would have to mis-speak for any truth to come out of their mouths. It is bad to go to war and we do not go to war when we should. Is their no pleasing these republicans? Of course not, not when your whole platform is based on making Obama a one term president.

    September 2, 2012 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  24. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    We need to understand what is going on in Syria before going in there with military forces. We didn't do that with Iraq and spent too much money and lost too many lives totally or partially with those members of the military that are suffering physical or mental injuries (or both). At this point, I don't think that we should be sening weapons there. I say that we should be droping food, medical supplies and advanced communication equipment. It would also be nice to to drop other "fun things."

    September 2, 2012 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  25. Sharkmann

    Troops out of Iraq , sorry.....

    September 2, 2012 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
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