October 9th, 2012
09:43 PM ET
2 years ago

On Iran, Romney says he sees eye to eye with Netanyahu

(CNN) – Mitt Romney on Tuesday said that he would use the same test to evaluate Iran over its suspected nuclear weapons program as would Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

In a wide-ranging interview on CNN's "The Situation Room," the Republican presidential nominee also defended his proposed U.S. tax model and shed light on how he would handle the civil war in Syria.

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Romney told CNN's Wolf Blitzer that there should be "no daylight between the United States and Israel," and emphasized that military action against Iran would not be imminent.

"We share values, and we're both absolutely committed to preventing Iran from having a nuclear weapon," Romney said. "My own test is that Iran should not have the capability of producing a nuclear weapon. I think that's the same test that Benjamin Netanyahu would also apply."

Last month, Netanyahu asked the United Nations General Assembly to draw a "clear red line" to stop Iran from developing nuclear weapons.

Holding up a picture of a bomb and drawing a line below the fuse, the Israeli prime minister said, "a red line should be drawn right here, before Iran completes a second stage of nuclear enrichment necessary to make a bomb, before Iran gets to a point where it's a few months away or a few weeks away from amassing enough enriched uranium to make a nuclear weapon."

Iran's ambassador to the United Nations has called Netanyahu's remarks "entirely baseless."

On Tuesday, Romney said "there's great hope and real prospects for dissuading Iran from taking a path that leads into a nuclear setting."

"Let's also recognize that we have a long way to go before military action may be necessary," Romney said. "And hopefully it's never necessary. Hopefully, through extremely tight sanctions, as well as diplomatic action, we can prevent Iran from taking a course which would lead to them crossing that line."

But should military action be necessary, he said "the actions of Israel would not come as a surprise to me," because he and the country's leaders would be in close touch.

Elsewhere in the region, Romney explained how he would handle the civil war in Syria: by working with allies in the region, particularly Turkey and Saudi Arabia, and identifying "voices within Syria that are reasonable voices, that are moderate voices, that are not al Qaeda or any jihadist-type group."

"We try to coalesce those groups together, provide them perhaps with funding," Romney said, also suggesting coordinating with those allies to arm the groups.

"But the key thing here is not just to sit back and hope things work out well, but to recognize that Iran is playing a major role in Syria, and we through our friends in the region must also be playing a role to ensure what's happening there and make sure we rid ourselves of Mr. Assad and don't have in his place chaos or some kind of organization which is as bad as he is or even worse take his place," he explained.

Domestically, Romney addressed Democratic criticism of his tax model, which he described as "inaccurate and wrong."

President Barack Obama charged at last Wednesday's debate that Romney's proposal to reduce rates would cost $5 trillion dollars, while Romney countered that he would not support a tax plan that would add to the federal deficit.

"The combination of limiting deductions and credits and exemptions as well as growth in our economy will make up for the reduction in rate," Romney told CNN Tuesday.

Pressed by Blitzer, Romney did not specify what credits and exemptions he would reduce, but he suggested two possible routes: to either limit the total amount in tax credits which could be claimed on a return, or put a ceiling on how much one could claim from a specific credit. The final plan, he said, would be worked out with Congress and follow four basic guidelines.

"I've made it pretty clear that my principles are: number one, simplify the code; number two, create incentives for small businesses and large businesses to grow; number three, don't reduce the burden on high-income taxpayers; and number four, remove the burden somewhat for middle-income people," he said. "So I don't want to raise taxes on any group of Americans."

Romney spoke to CNN shortly before holding a rally with supporters in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio.

Watch The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer weekdays at 4pm to 6pm ET and Saturdays at 6pm ET. For the latest from The Situation Room click here.


Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • TV-The Situation Room
soundoff (98 Responses)
  1. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    So, Romney is forcing Netanyahu to get involved in the presidential race when BB said that he didn't want to be. Isn't that so nice of that friend to do that; force his friend's hand.

    As for for the tax question, Romney is expecting growth when it can't be relied on. That doesn't happen. He is planning on something that is erratic all the time.

    October 9, 2012 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm |
  2. Americanvoice

    Romney should run for election in Israel not in America. Bloody traitor and pim,p of isreali lobby. obama 2012

    October 9, 2012 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  3. BCInNV

    Wolf, please ask Romney why he so strongly supports Israel; what is it Israel provides the US that other countries don't? That he would so boldly risk others lives for. Also, if it did come to stand up for this country, ask this man if he would be standing on the front line with the men, or in the back, hiding under rank. The difference between Obama and Romney, is that in a War, I believe Obama would stand by my side.

    October 9, 2012 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm |
  4. Craig RB

    Romney knows nothing about foreign policy. He can't even find Iran or Israel on a map.

    October 9, 2012 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  5. SafeJourney

    Does anyone really believe a word that Mitt says? Mitt has Lied and flip flopped so much who in the hell knows what he believes or whether he is telling the truth. Mitt is a Liar and so is Lyin Ryan. No thank you. President Obama has my vote.

    October 9, 2012 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm |
  6. Name

    to see this man so close to being president of the usa is frightening god help us if he wins

    October 9, 2012 11:21 pm at 11:21 pm |
  7. TheTraveler

    Ah, that's our Mitt, kissing up to Israel ... nice job. Romney will get us into another war one way or the other ...

    October 9, 2012 11:23 pm at 11:23 pm |
  8. MaryM

    Mitt is running as fast as he can away from Mitt.

    October 9, 2012 11:25 pm at 11:25 pm |
  9. Ms Edyeluv

    Wow! Satan the Mormon Cultist thinks he the POTUS. Robme stick to what you know and do best "Presidense of the Lying United States".

    October 9, 2012 11:31 pm at 11:31 pm |
  10. Peter Vaguely

    Perhaps Romney would like to run for President of Israel! ANother Republican running for for War Monger,

    October 9, 2012 11:35 pm at 11:35 pm |
  11. CarolO

    Romney said everything Obama has been saying for 4 years. Tighten up sanctions to Iran. Work to bring peace in other areas. Same thing Obama says. Romney wants to ramp up Defense spending that is already higher than it's ever been and not what the Commanders want. Romney also said Obama has passed no Trade Bills in 4 years and Obama has passed 3. Romney would lie and say it was bitch dark outside if the sun was shining.

    October 9, 2012 11:37 pm at 11:37 pm |
  12. Bootstomper

    This guy really scares me.

    October 9, 2012 11:48 pm at 11:48 pm |
  13. quinterius

    Romney doesn't see eye to eye with Netanyau since Romney doesn't have any eyes. He just listens to what Netanyahu tells him and he follows it blindly.

    October 9, 2012 11:51 pm at 11:51 pm |
  14. Taking care of our Friends

    Since Obama won't stand by Israel, it is refreshing to at least see Romney take a stand to support our vital relationship with Israel.

    October 9, 2012 11:52 pm at 11:52 pm |
  15. Erick

    Romney said he won't raise tax on any group of Americans. it is obviously he will help rich gets richer. No question.

    October 9, 2012 11:57 pm at 11:57 pm |
  16. AZ Woman

    When will people realize that only country Israel cares about is Israel?

    October 9, 2012 11:59 pm at 11:59 pm |
  17. wake up america

    Romney STILL says the war in Iraq was a good idea even after 4500 US soldiers died..STILL!!! That by itself should not qualify him to be dog catcher much less president. Romney is a typical draft dodging chicken hawk who wouldn't talk so tough if his 5 sons were enlisted in the army.... .. WAKE UP AMERICA...

    October 10, 2012 12:03 am at 12:03 am |
  18. Patches

    FUNDING TO SYRIA??? So you're cutting PBS and giving my tax dollars to a revolution... Thanks Rom. It's good that my tax dollars are, well, having nothing to do with this nation at all.

    October 10, 2012 12:03 am at 12:03 am |
  19. Fdavidm

    It's east for mitt Romney to chest thump and proclaim that he'll be tougher on Iran than Obama but how will he be more tough. He indicated that he'd impose stringent sanctions on Iran but that's what Obama's already doing. He's also chest thumping about Syria and Libya. Romney's a performance artist but he's not presidential. To be presidential, one has to stop chest thumping and make tough, decisive decisions. Obama has passed that test with the killing of Bin Laden and the annihilation of Al Quaeda. Romney is an amateur desperate to say anything to win.

    October 10, 2012 12:08 am at 12:08 am |
  20. c s

    Red Line Romney wants to make sure that he gets a chance to prove his manhood by starting a war with Iran. Then after trillions of dollars and thousands of dead Americans are wasted, it will be discovered that it was a big sham. That Iran was just like Iraq had nothing but a blow hard President. So vote for Romney and you will get another wasteful war that causes the deficit to explode and the economy to be shredded. Oh well, wars are such great fun especially if you do not have to shed the blood or pay for them.

    Republican Ron Paul wants to bring home American troops and save trillions of dollars. The US spends between $200 and $300 billion defending the Persian gulf so that oil can be shipped to Asia and Europe. Very little of the oil from the Persian Gulf is sent to the US because the transportation cost is too high. The US has over 700 foreign military bases in over 100 foreign countries. The US has been in a wartime economy since 1940 and desperately needs to return to a peacetime economy. The time of the US being the world cop must end sooner or later, better sooner. Bring our troops home now. Let someone else die for the oil in the Persian gulf.

    October 10, 2012 12:14 am at 12:14 am |
  21. Collins

    We find it easy to suggest war but it would make a difference if our child is gona be on front to be killed. ny city

    October 10, 2012 12:17 am at 12:17 am |
  22. Planespoken

    Four weeks ago, Obama supporters were calling Mitt Romney ignorant and/or reckless because of his response to the murder of Ambassador Chris Stevens. While the President was apologizing and sucking up to Muslim extremists, Romney showed backbone. As that situation played out, we saw yet another example of Romney leadership that is lacking in Obama.

    The week prior to that murder and the widespread riots in the Middle East, during the Democratic national convention, the Dems bickered about their party platform regarding Isreal. America doesn't need a hip dude as president, we need a strong leader.

    The Al-Queda terrorists don’t respect Obama. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu doesn’t. Neither does Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. None of the leaders in the Middle East do. Keep going around the world. For instance, Russia’s Vladimir Putin and North Korea’s Kim Jung Un don't either. The list is long and it is growing longer. Obama will go down in American history as another Jimmy Carter.

    October 10, 2012 12:20 am at 12:20 am |
  23. Woman in New York

    Send in you sons first to defend your friend. You are a liar and I will not wait until you are elected to find out what loopholes you wil close when you sit down with the dems and reps in Congress (which will never happen) to fine out what loopholes you will close. I am part of the 47% and I DID NOT FORGET WHAT YOU SAID. .....Obama/Biden 2012.

    October 10, 2012 12:37 am at 12:37 am |
  24. Leroy

    There's going to be plenty of daylight between Mitt Romney and the White House on November 6th 'cause he's gonna lose....

    October 10, 2012 12:49 am at 12:49 am |
  25. Obama2012

    Sorry to break it to you Romney, but YOU WILL NEVER BE POTUS.

    October 10, 2012 01:03 am at 1:03 am |
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