October 19th, 2009
06:57 PM ET
13 years ago

Romney hammers Obama on Iran negotiations

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/10/09/art.romney.gi.jpg caption="Romney spoke at an AIPAC summit in California on Monday."]WASHINGTON (CNN) - Mitt Romney has a message for the Obama administration: Stop talking to Iran. Period.

"The Iranian leadership is the greatest immediate threat to the world since the fall of the Soviet Union, and before that, Nazi Germany," Romney said in a speech Monday to the pro-Israel group AIPAC at their national summit in San Diego, according to excerpts provided to CNN.

"The Iranian regime is unalloyed evil, run by people who are at once ruthless and fanatical," Romney said. "Stop thinking that a charm offensive will talk the Iranians out of their pursuit of nuclear weapons. It will not. And agreements, unenforceable and unverifiable, will have no greater impact here than they did in North Korea. Once an outstretched hand is met with a clenched fist, it becomes a symbol of weakness and impotence."

Romney - who has used a series of high-profile speeches to bolster his foreign policy profile in advance of a possible 2012 presidential bid - called on the United States to enact "comprehensive, withering sanctions" coupled with support for "the forces of freedom within Iran." He demanded that a "credible" military threat must remain on the table if Iranian leadership insists on threatening Israel with annihilation.

The former Massachusetts governor also blasted Obama for doing to much to accomodate Palestinian leadership in the pursuit of a peace process, while also placing an undue burden on Israel, "America's most ardent ally in the Middle East."

"The notion that Hamas and violent jihadists are motivated by 'shared interests' and 'common goals' is naïve in the extreme and dangerous to the entire free world," Romney said.

Filed under: Iran • Mitt Romney • Popular Posts • President Obama
soundoff (299 Responses)
  1. Gerry

    What Romney doesn't understand is for sanctions to work on Iran, the west needs the support of both China and Russia-or the sanctions are a waste of time.

    In addition, his rhetoric of supporting "the forces of freedom" inside Iran is exactly what the current Iranian regime want to hear and it now becomes their latest propaganda piece.

    That combined with his obvious "down on my knee begging to The Israels is exactly what Bush tried for 8 years and it didn't work.

    All Romney did in this speech is prove what an idiot he is on national security issues. Put the man in a cage, please.

    October 19, 2009 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  2. Jersey Joe

    Obama and Iran are a lot alike each other. Both talk a lot, but do very little.

    October 19, 2009 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  3. Hank in Seattle

    Not talking to Iran is the policy of the past thirty years and it lead to the current situation. I fail to see how continuing that policy will change the status quo for the better. Using hyperbolic comparisons to Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union is a sign that we have no new ideas and pushes the Iranians further away from compromise or engagement.

    On the other hand, continuing to talk with the Iranians will slowly, but surely, make demonizing America and the West less and less useful and believable inside Iran – which is where the real struggle is taking place. Not talk to Iran – and abandon the Iranian opposition, Mr Romney? Oh ye of little faith...

    I suggest that we have a little confidence in ourselves and take the longer view that eventually the Iranian people will be able to get out from under the theocratic dictatorship on their own. We are just beginning to see that game unfold. Let's not be giving the regime any more ammunition, eh?

    October 19, 2009 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  4. John

    Mitt is a failure everywhere you look. Besides, he's not the President of the United States, President Obama is at the moment.

    Wait seven years, Mitt. People should know you better by then, and will probably wish Obama could run for a third term.

    At which point, you'll fail again.

    October 19, 2009 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  5. Eric

    Classic shoot first and ask questions later approach that Republicans have made famous.

    October 19, 2009 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  6. Dale

    Yes, by all means let's start another war. Idiot.

    October 19, 2009 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  7. Josh

    When will these GOP idiots realize that we already tried it their way for 8 years? Their way doesn't work. They need to come up with something new or go away forever.

    October 19, 2009 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  8. Kevin Schuder

    An outstretched hand is not necessarily a sign of weakness... are we supposed to 'punish' them by ignoring them, or should we launch a pre-emptive strike like we did in Iraq? Sanctions won't work, because they really don't need us to get by... they have enough trading partners.
    I don't want to live in Romney's world where might is always right, and allies are allies no matter how wrong or how many war crimes they commit. I like Obama because he addresses the higher possibilities while working in reality.
    Mankind cannot solve it's problems with Republican thinking... Out of touch with reality, and without ideals.

    October 19, 2009 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  9. disgusted

    So, he bashed the President and then didn't say much of substance? What's new from the Republican party?

    October 19, 2009 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  10. Victim of Democratic greed

    Why stop with Iran when there is so much more. Unemployment, the economy, Afghanistan, health care, record high deficit, transparency in government, line by line elimination or pork spending...............etc.

    October 19, 2009 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  11. hadelaide

    All Romney does is suck up; suck up to any crowd he stands before. An impotent man without a conscience, willing to say any stupid thing to appear credible. He's calling on the US to enact "comprehensive, withering sanctions" - what has sanctions done to Cuba? Did Cuba crawl to theh US and give up? No. Why does he think Iran would? Iran will have the backing of other MS states. Only a fool would think that unilateral actions will get results from Iran.

    October 19, 2009 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  12. Dave C - NJ

    Obama's plan may not work, but Mitt's DEFINITELY won't. And Obama's is cheaper.

    October 19, 2009 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  13. historian

    Oh come on Mitt, talk some sense. This is irresponsible talk. If you are running for 2012, you don't have my vote!!!!

    October 19, 2009 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  14. ej in Tacoma

    Thank God that Mitt Romney is not sitting in the white house with his arrogant disposition and phony smile. The Republican party is definitely doomed if he has the audacity to run again in 2012. He was such a disappointment when he went up against McCain, Huckabee, and Giuliani can you imagine a Romney/Jindal ticket or Palin/Romney what a laugh. Mitt needs to go back and study the integrity Joseph Smith (the first Mormon leader) had when he ran for President. Smith stood up for civil rights and religious freedoms that the first amendment offers for all. Even though he did not have a chance to win because of the peoples prejudice he gave hope to his people and a sense of pride.
    Mitt if you run in 2012 please don't be a hypocrite and be proud of who you really are not the media persona of yourself.
    E.J. in Tacoma

    October 19, 2009 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  15. Joseph B

    Would Romney prefer Iran get nuclear weaponry? Or would Romney like to start another war, this time with Iran? North Korea was very successful at getting nuclear weapons under Bush's watch.

    October 19, 2009 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  16. Arnie

    And I have a message for Mitt Romney, "Stop Talking"!

    October 19, 2009 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  17. D.

    On Iran, on Afghanistan, on Russia, on the entire middle east fiasco (letting rogue and dictatorial regimes believe US is against Israel), and on many other issues (acting against the CIA for internal politics, we said?) this administration is like a start-up of foreign policy, a custodian of our freedom that does not know what to do, that experiments with new directions without much understanding of the other players, and neglecting to provide support for maintaining the basic achievements of this nation!

    October 19, 2009 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  18. single mom

    I wish Romney had talked like this in the primaries!

    Who would be a good VP combo? Not Palin. I like her, but I think she needs a few years in the background. Not Huckabee. I don't know much about him, but Pawlenty is looking more and more like a decent VP pick. It's just something about the politicians coming out of Minnesota...

    October 19, 2009 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  19. Ryan

    I sure wish Romney was the president. Economy would be fixed. Spending would be down. Our enemies would fear us. Unfortunately, he wouldn't get the Nobel Peace Prize though.

    October 19, 2009 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  20. Mjj

    The right wing's behavior over the past 8 months on the issue of foreign policy is downright unpatriotic and un-American, and that behavior has only served to undermine the Commander in Chief in charge of prosecuting two wars. The right wings behavior only serves to give aid and comfort and to embolden the enemy. The right wing is right there with the terrorists in rooting for this president to fail.

    October 19, 2009 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  21. JBS

    Aother HAWK that will create War for our grandchildren to deal with.

    October 19, 2009 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  22. David in Houston

    Speaking to AIPAC, from Romney...I would expect nothing less.

    Mobilize the right-wing zealots 'cause there's an election coming up!

    ...in 2012.

    October 19, 2009 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  23. Rick in AZ

    Mitt and the rest of the GOP losers are upset Obama hasn't bombed anyone yet!

    October 19, 2009 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  24. Deb (long island)

    Sorry Mitt Romney you do not inspire confidence as a world leader. You may know some finance but not world policy. Previous heads of state have conceded that we must engage Iran. We can not continue the policies of old whereby we did not engage our enemies.

    October 19, 2009 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  25. johnnie w

    Thank God , Mitt Romney is confessing to what he is a (LOST CLOWN) for this no CLUE so called CANDIDATE for 2012, to tell the President not to TALK with Iran PERIOD,is why he will NEVER be President even to NOTHING at all PERIOD. To talk about a REGIME ,as being Ruthless and EVIL and FANATICAL, he must have forgotten what PARTY he is IN. Mitt Romney has NO CHARM, he is a STATUE of NO IDEAS , and is a JOKE to even be taken SERIOUSLY, i want to PASS this on to Mitt , no one in their RIGHT MIND,is paying ATTENTION to you.President Obama has brought Iran to the TABLE, what did you and BUSH and your GOP PARTY do ,for the last 8 Years, we SMART AMERICANS , know the Answer to that... (NOTHING). And Mitt Romney will NEVER get the Nomination from even his own PARTY for 2012. he is JEALOUS of President Obamas (CHARM) and SPEECHES,which are doing the JOB,just fine MITT. JOKES speak to JOKES, and that is MItt Romney only talking to his BASE the GOP.

    October 19, 2009 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
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