Romney and Santorum hit Obama over Syria
August 18th, 2011
12:00 PM ET
12 years ago

Romney and Santorum hit Obama over Syria

(CNN) - Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney lambasted President Barack Obama's leadership Thursday saying his call for Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad to step down comes after too much blood has been shed in the country.

In a statement the former Massachusetts governor said the president took "far too long to speak out forcefully against Assad."

Read what Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann said here.

Read what Texas Gov. Rick Perry said here.

"America must show leadership on the world stage and work to move these developing nations toward modernity," Romney said. "This means using the bullhorn of the presidency and not remaining silent for too long while voices of freedom and dissent are under attack."

U.S. authorities resisted calling explicitly for Assad to step down from power until Thursday. The public statements from Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton were closely coordinated with European, Turkish and Arab allies, significantly ratcheting up international pressure against a regime that has been criticized for its harsh crackdown against anti-government protesters in recent months.

Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum said it is "shocking that it has taken President Obama this long to realize that Syria is a threat to not just the region, but to its own people."

"It is about time that the Obama Administration stepped to the plate and called for the long-awaited resignation of President Assad," the former Pennsylvania senator said in a statement.

Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • President Obama • Rick Santorum • Syria
soundoff (83 Responses)

    Anybody worth there merit in foreign policy knows that the U.S,A. propped assad up as leader in Syria, in exchange for intelligence and a free pass to fight terrorism...Mitt Romney is palying pure politics.....DAMN the GOP.....2012 is going to be a hell of a year.....I don't care if we double-dip i will still vote to re-elect Obama......these other guys are of the worst kind.

    August 18, 2011 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  2. Mitt Romney - He`ll Say ANYTHING To Get Elected

    Gee Mitt, I must have missed it when you showed the smarts, vision & leadership to call on Asad`s ouster last week, last month, last year, or last decade.

    You`ve got another chance though to display your foriegn affairs skills. Please tell me your plan for N. Korea & Iran. How about Somalia? What should we do about Pakistan & India?

    Pick one, any one and EARN the job you claim to be prepared for rather than just sitting back and expecting to inheiret [sp] it.

    August 18, 2011 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  3. Expat American

    Republicans lie and then commit Genocide. This is their foreign policy.

    August 18, 2011 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  4. Buy American or Drop Dead

    LOL. Hey Mitt, you do realize you can yell all you want, as often as you want, Bashar al-Assad doesn't care.

    August 18, 2011 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  5. Republican for President Obama

    What a joke. Does he have any real idea what is going on in the region? Does he have his own secretary of state or CIA briefing him? Nope!

    Getting in front of a camera to dictate policy is not a why to lead! Picking up the phone or meeting with people is.

    This is very typical: President Obama does "this" and they cry about it. President Obama does "that" and they cry about it. Syria was not in his vocabulary until our President did something.

    How is our President NOT leading by his action today? Does Mitt know what our Presdient has done minute-by-minute? No!

    The GOP is hypocritical – isolationism vs. getting in everyone else's business.

    Please leave foreign affairs to the mature people in our government – like our President.

    August 18, 2011 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  6. Republican for President Obama

    Let's remember corporations are people too!

    August 18, 2011 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  7. Rudy NYC

    FM wrote:

    Hey Romney you are following what Krauthammer said you should do by attacking the president. You are wrong, the man wants you to fail and he does not have any clue what it takes to emerge as a winner. Just continue what you are doing and in the end you will come to realise that I was right and Krauthammer is just talks and never will lead anyone to victory like Karl Rove!
    So why is it that Rove is not part of anyone's campaign? Are all of the GOTP candidates seriously flawed in ways that not even Rove could mask or fix? If that's the case, then consider this. Rove was able to push a candidate like GWB to the White House. That takes TALENT! I would conclude that the current GOTP field is beyond the talents of Mr. Rove.

    August 18, 2011 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  8. Lost in Texas FOREVER

    I bet Romney's minions probably told him that President Obama just took a stand on Syria so you need to go out and hit him on that as well. Let's be honest Mitt, with all the crap going on in our country today find me 3 people who really give a hoot about what is going on in Syria. The only reason Mitt attacks the president daily is because at this point Obama can not really come out and counter attack. Mitt and the other so-called 2012ers learned a page from Sarah Palin's playbook.....attack when your victim can not defend himself. You note Mitt won't go after Perry or Bachmann.

    August 18, 2011 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  9. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    A note to Mr. Romney: First of all Syria and Iran don't have a relationship with the U.S., You'd think Romney would have learned something from the Bush years of just jumping in without any thought. Big Mistake Romney, big mistake.

    August 18, 2011 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  10. Cyrus

    Mr. Romney:

    It is in our interest to appear passive, if not distant, in the on-going unrest in Syria. Syria is a close ally of the Iranian regime, with considerable influence over Hezbollah. Both Israel and Syria have been working towards a peace agreement, with mediation from Turkey and support from the U.S., since 2008. It is anticipated that both countries will be able to finalize such an agreement by the end of 2012, and the Obama administration has urged both nations to keep their focus on the on-going negotiations despite civil unrest in both Syria and Israel. A peace agreement between Syria and Israel may be leveraged later on to force Hezbollah to recognize Israel as a state, and isolate the Iranian regime from the political equation.

    Replacement of president Assad’s regime would simply restart the three-year long negotiations, and there is no guarantee or indication that the new pro-democracy government would necessarily be pro-peace and recognize Israel as a state. Furthermore, Syria is a majority Sunni Muslim country. If Turkey and the U.S. can forge a peace deal between Syria and Israel, and the issues over Golan Heights are resolved, it would force Lebanon to seek diplomacy with Israel as well, and Hezbollah will be politically delegitimized.

    Secondly, when the Obama administration urged president Hosni Mubarak of Egpyt to step down and sided with the opposition, it concerned (and angered) many Arab leaders, many of whom have been close allies for years. Jordan, Bahrain, and Saudi Arabia feared that if their domestic unrests boil-over, U.S. would simply abandon its relationships with the ruling governments and support the winning side.

    Lastly, any direct confrontation with or condemnation of the Syrian regime would simply invite Taliban/Al-Qaeda insurgency from the neighboring Iraq. Saudi Arabia has a tight control over its border, but Syria, with its history of supporting terrorism, would simply become a new recruitment ground for the fundamentalists. The “spill-over effect” would jeopardize the already volatile stability in the region.

    I suggest you take a lesson in foreign policy before mouthing off.

    August 18, 2011 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  11. California Conservative

    Will this be the 4th or 5th war we're now in?

    August 18, 2011 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  12. w l jones

    This is not one world any more every thing globe there by a person can lead by following ; I got your back which is more effected than out front. Bless.

    August 18, 2011 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  13. David

    This is the same Repub talking point that were used against the president on Lybia, of course as soon as soon as he did act the repubs reversed their opinion completely. Another example of the repubs playing politics with security.

    August 18, 2011 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  14. Patrish

    If he take a strong stand sooner, then he portrayed as a war mongrel , so you can win with the Republicans...

    August 18, 2011 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  15. klarg

    The photo shows Mitt in "Action Pose No. 5" which he has been perfecting in private over the last two weeks. Notice both arms are parallel, pointing forward, and he is gazing toward the horizon. Stay tuned for more robo-Mitt action poses.

    August 18, 2011 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  16. Anthony

    Good ole Mitt: Flip flops all over the place on every issue but he sure looks presidential!!!!


    August 18, 2011 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  17. MiddleOfTheRoad

    "This means using the bullhorn of the presidency and not remaining silent for too long........."

    Now, that sounds like a solution for everything that's wrong with the world. By the way Mitt, what would Rick Perry do?

    August 18, 2011 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  18. mona2010

    Romney, got a big mouth... if america was to flex its muscle at every leader in the world, we'll never have a chance at peaceful negotiations..if Romney was president most of our troops will be killed and a lot of memorials will be erected... maybe if he becomes president he should put on some boxing gloves and fight it out himself....leave our troops out!! i think our women give birth to boys just to be recruited into the service, because of our loudmouth presidents....

    August 18, 2011 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  19. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    Where was Romney on Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan, North Korea and other places that have human rights abuses?

    August 18, 2011 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  20. JOE

    Yea, Obama is dragging his feet on Syria while people are dying in the streets. But if he was to intervene as he did in Libya, then what would your criticism be? Obama should be impeached for rushing into Syria? Or perhaps what is the end game of your Syrian mission Mr. president? If I had my way, every Republican and teabag in America would be sent to Pluto.

    August 18, 2011 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  21. carrotroot

    There should be a new rule for Mitt, if you didn't think something is important enough to voice your opinion while it is happening, then you forfeit the right to make any future comments or criticisms.

    August 18, 2011 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  22. The Choobs

    In other words, Romney said, "I've said nothing either, but now that Obama said something, I would have said something earlier!" Gosh, what leadersdhip!

    August 18, 2011 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  23. Time to end GOPerate Greed

    So another half-wit Republican wants us to wage another war on foreign soil – for what .....oil again??
    Hey big puss Romney – send your kids over this time. The rest of us with kids in the military have done enough for your imperialistic GOP!
    What a PUNK!!

    August 18, 2011 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  24. The Real Tom Paine

    He attacked the President for supporting the rebels against Quedafi, and now he attacks him for being indecisive with Syria because he chose to use diplomacy? Flip-flopping again, Mitt.

    August 18, 2011 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |

    Romney's competition is Rick Perry. His strategy of blasting the prez is not going to win him primary support. He's going about this idiotically.

    August 18, 2011 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
1 2 3 4