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. Poppy

    I am curious if Mitt has actually done this: "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.

    What exactly DID the commanders on the ground tell him about how long our soldiers should stay? And whatever happened to Sarah Plain . . . er, sorry, Palin? At least she was entertaining. Why doesn't Mitt ask the families at Fort Bliss what they think of his having visited with the commanders on the ground and whether or not Americans should stay in Iraq? Sit down, Mitt, and hush. Infamy lasts longers than fifteen minutes.

    October 22, 2011 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  2. CaliforniaBC

    Romney and any of the other GOP candidates would have criticized Obama for leaving troops over there too. There's nothing Obama cna do that wouldn't draw criticism from the Right. Even if he supported everything they wanted, they'd beat him up for it.
    Their criticism is based on NOTHING but that he's NOT a republican.

    October 22, 2011 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  3. silmon

    chaney...5 4 3 2 1

    October 22, 2011 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  4. JulesT

    This coming from the man who ran in last election – when asked why his sons have not served in the Military, responded " they are serving their country by helping me get elected as president"; how well did that work for him.

    October 22, 2011 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  5. ithink122

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

    The story of the Republicans. "We don't know what should have been done...but Obama is always wrong!"

    October 22, 2011 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  6. Bill101

    Governor Rommey has a brain loss this was President George W. Bush signed tthe agreement that President Obama is following. In fact President Obama has done more for this country in the last six months than President George W. Bush did in 8 years as President!

    October 22, 2011 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  7. HenryB

    Why does Romney seem so out of touch. He always reacts with so much anger and venom that his comments seem unnatural and contrived. His comments just don't seem to fit well. But nothing else expected from this slippery character.

    October 22, 2011 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |

    Are you kidding, anyone with a brain stem think this man or any teapub can be POTUS is the problem, not the solution.....These are people with opinions bases on fiction, but no plans for all of American, just the rich....As grandma use to say " BE VERY CAREFULL WHAT YOU ASKED FOR, YOU MAY GET IT "

    October 22, 2011 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  9. JoeyDee

    This was a useless war. We just attacked a innocent country based on the lies the Repugs are known to tell. I say after the troops come home, give Mitt a BB gun and send his a#* to Iraq (vote OBAMA in 2012)

    October 22, 2011 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  10. Rick in AZ

    Romney has no cedibility. Period. Nada, nothing, zilch. He will say anything to anybody at anytime if he thinks he can get their vote. All any Republican wants to do is swindle you out of your vote. "Romney didn't out line his recommendation for troop withdrawl". Typical Republican!! Anything the President does is wrong but they have NO alternative. This man is a walking cluster%&@#.

    October 22, 2011 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  11. The Greedy Old Psychopaths lie freely and easily

    "Sudden change of policy"?!?! LOL. Mittens is really scraping the bottom of his manure bucket of lies. Obama campaigned on getting the troops out. The only way even some would stay required a "SOFA" agreement with Iraq. They couldn't agree. The same thing happened to Bush. Mittens, who has a bunch of neocon backers bent on attacking Iran, should be well-briefed on Iraq's recent political history. On the other hand, perhaps is neocon handlers are already feeding him garbage to see if he's as gullible as GWB. Either way, Mittens blatantly false statement pretty much confirms his sleazy used-car salesman image,

    October 22, 2011 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  12. Cricket41072

    Mitt Romney has no one in the military and he does not speak with military families. If he had he would truly understand what a relief this is to us. After 9 years in Iraq and I Iraq should be able to stand on its own and defend its self. Think about this for a second, remember when your mom used to walk you to school and after 2 or 3 years she said you need to try walking by yourself. It is time that the US let Iraq try and do stuff on their own.

    October 22, 2011 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  13. Rope a Dope

    Mitt you don't have a clue as to the forces involved in the POTUS decision since you do not operate at that level of security.
    At any rate, riddle me this? Why is it that you claimed the infrastructure need serious repairs after you "heard" the POTUS rallying the country around that very same plan in his job bill?... Oh BTW, your fellow republican'ts defeated that bill, a bill to give first responders and teachers, the most important people in this society,JOBS.Defeated because your boys refused to except even a 1% tax on their rich friends. Answer me that Mixt Wrongny. Answer?

    October 22, 2011 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  14. LegendRx

    Why, why, why is this flip-flopper talking, come tomorrow, he will be dancing a different tune.

    October 22, 2011 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  15. T'sah from Virginia

    ►"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," ◄

    I am so sick of hearing "listen to the commanders on the ground" coming from the RIGHT PeaNUT Factory. Furthermore, what makes MITTens think that President Obama did not "listen to the commanders on the ground???"

    Today on most of the news channels, servicemen and their families were interview about the war coming to an end in Iraq. I cried while I listened to these young men/women and how much they looked forward to going home. When candidates like MITTens, Bachmann, Perry, Paul, Insane Cain and others get on the air wave and talk the "opposite" from what these heroes want to hear, it's "disheartening!!!" All of them need to STHU and keep their "not knowing what's really going on behind the scenes" mouths SHUT!!!

    Welcome Home Troops – It's been long OVERDUE!!!!

    Obama 2012

    October 22, 2011 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  16. seriously???

    Not fit to be president.

    October 22, 2011 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  17. Ron

    Willard has gone from "not a hair out of place" to the "joker from batman" look! Those darned evangelicals must be driving him mad. "Removing troops to soon"??? Send your kids/grandkids to fill the vacuum and be subject to iraqi law, Willard. Otherwise, shut up and sit down!

    October 22, 2011 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  18. steven harnack

    Yeah, it's just SO sudden! I mean they only signed the agreement to remove all of the forces by the end of 2011 back in 2007/8. I think that what Mitt must mean is that it caught him by surprise and he couldn't decide whether to complain about troops staying or complain about troops leaving until President Obama stated his position. Just think of the terrible things that could happen to him if he got caught actually supporting our President! Oh the humanity!

    October 22, 2011 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  19. Mr. Kenneth

    Mitt romney;He told the people he was going to end the war,"He did".so why are you so upset he did what he told the world this was his goal.Now romney if he did not do this would give you and your hat er,a new talking point;you would not had to make it up. You might never read this,I am just one of the little people you step over."The same people you steped over on your way to the top you will meet them on your way back down".You see the god I serve will make it so.With you an the party memeber you say its about ideology.We both know that's a lie.How can you and your people say yes to bushs plan (the same one)an no to president Obamas'.what is the different between the two. ?????... An we all know, we just do not want to say. But I have no problem in putting everthing on the table.Romney go back to the time were you had a problem with some people. Mitt Romney do you know how many black people, do you say I had 4 black at my last party; if you know how many blacks was at your last party THEY HAvE A WOR0D. FOR PEOPLE LIKE YOU. Started with a R

    October 22, 2011 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  20. MikeH

    Obama is: A. Living up to the committment that Dubya Bush (the War Criminal) made to withdraw our troops from Iraq, B. Protecting our troops from the Iraqi Government that refuses to grant them immunity, and C. Bringing our brave soldiers, who did their duty and followed orders, home from a war that was started illegally and for oil.

    Mitt Romney is a disgusting yellow-bellied fat-cat coward who never did anything in service of America. NONE of his sons ever served in the U.S. Armed Forces, they are cowards also. It is easy to denounce Obama's Iraq decision when your fat-cat cowardly children are all safely living in your fat-cat mansion bought with the blood-money and suffering of brave Americans.

    Romney is the absolutely worst kind of Captialist.

    October 22, 2011 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  21. Snooze70

    Who in blazes is Mitt Romney to criticize President Obama? Romney's a foreign policy ignoramus, for Pete's sake.

    October 22, 2011 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  22. Flash-B

    "Romney didn't outline his recommendations for troop withdrawal, but argued the president was removing troops too soon."
    Imagine that, he has no plan other than to say No to what Obama says... Where have I heard this before.....

    October 22, 2011 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  23. Rob Johnson

    There are plenty of legitimate criticisms Republicans can make against Obama, but if they really want to run against him in 2012 by saying he should have left troops in Iraq even longer, they have totally lost their minds.

    If Iraq doesn't want us there, we shouldn't be there. Saddam is long gone, and Iraq is more or less as stable as any other country in the Middle East. There is absolutely nothing further that US military might can accomplish there except get more of our brave young men and women killed for no good reason.

    The rest is up to the Iraqis, and since it is their country after all, that is exactly how it should be.

    October 22, 2011 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  24. DENNA

    This is why there should never be another Republican president. President Obama promised to bring our troops home and he is. In fact this has been a darn good week for him. Gadafhi is no longer a problem and our troops will be coming come in time for Christmas. Why don't you pack up and move to Iraq and protect the people there. In fact, why don't all of the Republican candidates move there and protect the people of Iraq. America's role has been completed. We should never have been there anyway.

    October 22, 2011 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm |
  25. Larry L

    President Obama made this wise promise to America. Romney is yet another Republican with nothing but criticism – even when his solution would cost the lives of Soldiers and Marines. Do Republicans have any sense of honor?

    October 22, 2011 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
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