Romney criticizes Obama on Iraq
October 22nd, 2011
06:13 PM ET
11 years ago

Romney criticizes Obama on Iraq

(CNN) – Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney on Saturday continued his attacks on President Barack Obama for announcing the withdrawal of virtually all U.S. troops from Iraq by the end of the year, decrying it as a "sudden change of policy."

The presidential candidate said the Obama administration had indicated earlier they were working to have a status of forces agreement with Iraq that would keep a larger sum of troops in Iraq "for some extended period of time" or until the United States could hand off operations to the Iraqi military.

"Either they failed to do it, either by virtue of ineptitude, or they decided that it wasn't that important - politically or otherwise," Romney told reporters at his New Hampshire campaign headquarters.

Obama announced Friday that almost all of the 39,000 remaining troops in Iraq will return by December 31, making good on a 2008 campaign pledge to end the war.

Soon after the president made the announcement, Romney's campaign responded with a statement questioning Obama's decision as a "naked political calculation."

Romney didn't outline his recommendations for troop withdrawal, but argued the president was removing troops too soon.

"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.

Filed under: 2012 • Iraq • Mitt Romney • President Obama
soundoff (99 Responses)
  1. tif31

    Of course the republicans want us to stay. Once we pull out it's going to cause a reduction in their rich contributors earnings. After all, they can't make money on their war machine if it ain't crankin.

    October 22, 2011 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  2. GaryOwen27

    Here we go again, another Republican moron that is hell bent on sending others to do what he would never do himself. Another coward in the great tradition of Dick-less Cheney.

    October 22, 2011 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  3. Reasonable Views

    Romney is acting very much like a shadow president on this. It's an example of the media taking his response more seriously than the others, as well as his campaign doing a good job of framing him as an opposition leader on an important subject. It helps with the inevitablilty argument.

    October 22, 2011 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  4. gg

    haliburton and the carlyle group must donated his way

    October 22, 2011 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  5. focusonjobs1

    What would be the point of staying in Iraq? We can’t afford the war and they don’t want us there. Also, this idea that somehow we can stop Iraq from being allies with Iran is ignoring they are neighbors. Heck, they have everything in common with Iran and nothing in common with us. I know the Republicans in congress have their own hidden agendas for staying (defense contracts), but why do the rest of you want us to say? As a member of the Air force (retired in 2004) I spent some time in the region, and I can tell you without a doubt they don’t want us there and no military member wants to be there. FOR YOU IDIOTS THAT THINK WE SHOULD STAY….I SUGGEST YOU ENLIST AND TAKE THEIR PLACE!!!!

    October 22, 2011 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  6. Su

    Obama is keeping his campaign pledge to end the war. Sounds like a man of his word to me.

    October 22, 2011 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |

    LMAO.....Romney here's the thing, the Commander In Chief has spoken and all military is leaving Iraq......This is the will of a majority of Americans.....I guess 9 years isn't enough for the GOP.

    Obama 2012!

    October 22, 2011 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  8. Oldie in TampaBay

    Just HAS to criticize!

    October 22, 2011 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  9. fernace

    What makes Mitt Romney think that Obama is just making dictatorial decisions, Without conferring with his experts & the commanders on the ground? This seems to be a pre-insult (prinsult?) He wants to be sure to complain Before there is an issue just to get "firsty," like some people do on these blogs! This is ridiculous because when Obama announced the general timeline of the drawdown,earlier this year, Romney was 1 of the 1st to complain that it wasn't soon enough! The disdain shown to this president by the opposition, is the worst I have ever seen in my 40 years of watching the "political games"!

    October 22, 2011 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  10. John

    Romney is a cardboard candidate. He panders to whomever is listening.

    October 22, 2011 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  11. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Republicans always said President Obama doesn't listen to the people and we the people want our troops home, so what part of that don't Romney and the Repugs understand. The President of Iraq listened to his people who clearly stated they wanted us to leave so why should President Obama listen to the commanders on the ground or wait until the Iraqis start shooting us out of their country. President Obama, the U.S. Commanders nor our brave military men and women own or make policy for Iraq.

    October 22, 2011 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  12. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    I think most Americans know that Mittens is a clueless, lying, flip-flopping POS.

    October 22, 2011 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  13. Real Patriot

    Yeah-Romney has as much credibility on Foreign Affairs as Herman Pizzaman has on tax policy....

    These folks are such jokes-how can any self respecting Republican even give any of them the time of day?

    October 22, 2011 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  14. Remember

    A sudden change in policy? This has been in the works since the last president initiated it.

    October 22, 2011 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  15. Lemont

    When will the guys ever shut up and come up with a real plan instead of degrading the President of the United States?

    October 22, 2011 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  16. michaelam

    Note to Willard: The war cost cost us thousands of lives and billions of dollars. Listen to the American people, Slick Willy, we do not favor either war; we want our men and women home! President Obama has honored his campaign promise of ending the war and returning our troops home by the end of the year. You clowns have NOTHING...NO foreign policy, no domestic policy other than the time tested, failed, GOP B.S.--deregulation and tax cuts for the wealthy--like you, Mittens. You will NEVER reside in the White House!

    October 22, 2011 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  17. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    I forgot to include 'spineless' in my assessment of Mittens. He sounds out of touch with reality, you know, like the bitter old senator from Arizona is advising him.

    October 22, 2011 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |

    The majority of the American people want the troops to come home. Romney and the Repubs are desperate and flailing,.. it must be hard for them to accept all the victories Obama has been scoring lately. Why doesn't Mittens send some of his five sons over there to get shot at!!!.. if he wants to prolong the stay.

    October 22, 2011 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  19. ted

    Mitt Romney is a moron, plain and simple. The fact is that we should never have been in Iraq at all, but were because of the lies fabricated by George W Bush and DICK Cheney that Saddam had WMDs. Those lies ended up in the deaths of 4500 or so American patriots and the maiming/injuring of tens of thousands of other American patriots and the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and the destruction of a lot of infrastructure in Iraq. Why can't Mitt see through to the truth and agree that it is time to bring our soldiers home. Why can't Mitt understand the US would never be able to claim victory or even an uneasy peace in Iraq? I know why he can't because all of the Republitards signed a secret oath to oppose Obama on everything and to obstruct everything. I am plain sick and tired of the hypocritical right wing idiots.

    October 22, 2011 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  20. Jeff

    If it's so important for troops to remain in Iraq then you should put on a uniform grab a gun and go to Iraq after our troops are withdrawn.

    October 22, 2011 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  21. Mike

    So basicly he just called the entire dept of defense stupid – why don't you go back to calling his health plan bad – BTW that was modeled after yours

    October 22, 2011 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  22. Mike

    So in order to keep our troops safe we need to have them in a combat zone ? VS back here in the states

    October 22, 2011 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  23. Randy, San Francisco

    That's funny, criticism of Obama by the consumnate "flip flop" politician.

    October 22, 2011 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  24. mypointofview

    STFU! Never'll change your mind shortly.

    October 22, 2011 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  25. carrotroot

    We have been in Iraq for nearly NINE years, apparently we need to be there longer according to Mitt. Maybe he would think differently if his sons were serving. Thank you President Obama for doing the right thing and bringing home our troops.

    October 22, 2011 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
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