Romney blasts Panetta after Afghanistan announcement
February 1st, 2012
10:50 PM ET
11 years ago

Romney blasts Panetta after Afghanistan announcement

Las Vegas, Nevada (CNN) - Mitt Romney swept into Nevada on Wednesday evening and sharply criticized Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta for declaring that the United States and NATO plan to end combat operations in Afghanistan sometime in 2013.

Romney said the public announcement jeopardizes the Afghanistan mission and “our commitments to freedom.”

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“He announced that so the Taliban hears it, the Pakistanis hear it, the Afghan leaders hear it,” Romney said of Panetta during a rally in Las Vegas. “Why in the world do you go to the people that you are fighting with and tell them the day you are pulling out your troops? It makes absolutely no sense.”

The former Massachusetts governor cast the decision as a sign of the Obama administration’s “naivete.”

“He is wrong,” Romney said, drawing a booming applause. “We need new leadership in Washington.”

The campaign stop was Romney’s first in Nevada, which holds its Republican caucuses on Saturday, since his blowout win in the Florida primary the previous night.

More than 1,000 sign-waving supporters turned out to see Romney - who appeared with his wife Ann and Nevada Lt. Gov. Brian Krolicki - at Brady Industries, a janitorial supply and dry cleaning company that has been based in Las Vegas since 1947.

The trio spoke in a warehouse stocked with boxes of wholesale cleaning supplies, many of them manufactured in China.

Romney is widely considered to be the Nevada frontrunner, with Ron Paul nipping at his heels.

Krolicki acknowledged the local enthusiasm for Romney but urged the crowd not to get too confident.

“It’s not time to celebrate,” he said. “We will celebrate Saturday night.”

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Filed under: 2012 • Afghanistan • Leon Panetta • Mitt Romney • Nevada
soundoff (30 Responses)
  1. Gotta Be Kiddin

    Can someone please tell me why the United States of America is responsible for freeing people all over the world? Can we please get our own house in order!

    February 2, 2012 06:59 am at 6:59 am |
  2. Jules

    What do you think Romney knows that the administration doesn't know? Nothing. He has no access to any of the detailed information they have. Things might look different to him if he had a full briefing and had all the information everyone else has. This war has drug on long enough. Will the Romney that wants to keep us in war take us into more wars as president. Perhaps Afghanistan is no longer a threat to us so why should we stay?

    February 2, 2012 07:00 am at 7:00 am |
  3. The Greedy Old Pigs have declared class war on US!

    Looks like Flipper the Neocon Robot had an upgrade in his WarMonger program. Before he was making generic promises to attack Iran and now he's laying down markers for Afghanistan. As the Russians will tell you, anyone stupid enough to commit to a landwar in Afghanistan is asking for trouble. Mitt Rmoney is a dangerous elitist neocon idiot who obviously is not nearly as smart as his supporters claim. On the other hand, he probably does have investments that let him profit obscenely on wars while our soldiers die.

    February 2, 2012 07:01 am at 7:01 am |
  4. gary

    We hear the expert advice from the one who ran to France to keep from serving. When are your sons going to sign up for the military or will your wealth keep them from harms way. Another military hawk longing for war as long as his familiy or friends don"t have to be involved. Another family of cowards.

    February 2, 2012 07:15 am at 7:15 am |
  5. FedUp

    The announcement was probably made to help Obama. Anyone who has never been in the military should not be in any position of leadership over the military. They don't understand that you don't announce your plans to end the war or operations until you are finished with the job. Then you quietly leave, HELLO!!!! As the wife of a military man, I even know this. I guess ignorance is bliss when you only use the military for photo ops.

    February 2, 2012 07:30 am at 7:30 am |
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