October 9th, 2012
09:43 PM ET
8 years ago

On Iran, Romney says he sees eye to eye with Netanyahu

(CNN) - Mitt Romney on Tuesday said that he would use the same test to evaluate Iran over its suspected nuclear weapons program as would Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

In a wide-ranging interview on CNN's "The Situation Room," the Republican presidential nominee also defended his proposed U.S. tax model and shed light on how he would handle the civil war in Syria.

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Romney told CNN's Wolf Blitzer that there should be "no daylight between the United States and Israel," and emphasized that military action against Iran would not be imminent.

"We share values, and we're both absolutely committed to preventing Iran from having a nuclear weapon," Romney said. "My own test is that Iran should not have the capability of producing a nuclear weapon. I think that's the same test that Benjamin Netanyahu would also apply."

Last month, Netanyahu asked the United Nations General Assembly to draw a "clear red line" to stop Iran from developing nuclear weapons.

Holding up a picture of a bomb and drawing a line below the fuse, the Israeli prime minister said, "a red line should be drawn right here, before Iran completes a second stage of nuclear enrichment necessary to make a bomb, before Iran gets to a point where it's a few months away or a few weeks away from amassing enough enriched uranium to make a nuclear weapon."

Iran's ambassador to the United Nations has called Netanyahu's remarks "entirely baseless."

On Tuesday, Romney said "there's great hope and real prospects for dissuading Iran from taking a path that leads into a nuclear setting."

"Let's also recognize that we have a long way to go before military action may be necessary," Romney said. "And hopefully it's never necessary. Hopefully, through extremely tight sanctions, as well as diplomatic action, we can prevent Iran from taking a course which would lead to them crossing that line."

But should military action be necessary, he said "the actions of Israel would not come as a surprise to me," because he and the country's leaders would be in close touch.

Elsewhere in the region, Romney explained how he would handle the civil war in Syria: by working with allies in the region, particularly Turkey and Saudi Arabia, and identifying "voices within Syria that are reasonable voices, that are moderate voices, that are not al Qaeda or any jihadist-type group."

"We try to coalesce those groups together, provide them perhaps with funding," Romney said, also suggesting coordinating with those allies to arm the groups.

"But the key thing here is not just to sit back and hope things work out well, but to recognize that Iran is playing a major role in Syria, and we through our friends in the region must also be playing a role to ensure what's happening there and make sure we rid ourselves of Mr. Assad and don't have in his place chaos or some kind of organization which is as bad as he is or even worse take his place," he explained.

Domestically, Romney addressed Democratic criticism of his tax model, which he described as "inaccurate and wrong."

President Barack Obama charged at last Wednesday's debate that Romney's proposal to reduce rates would cost $5 trillion dollars, while Romney countered that he would not support a tax plan that would add to the federal deficit.

"The combination of limiting deductions and credits and exemptions as well as growth in our economy will make up for the reduction in rate," Romney told CNN Tuesday.

Pressed by Blitzer, Romney did not specify what credits and exemptions he would reduce, but he suggested two possible routes: to either limit the total amount in tax credits which could be claimed on a return, or put a ceiling on how much one could claim from a specific credit. The final plan, he said, would be worked out with Congress and follow four basic guidelines.

"I've made it pretty clear that my principles are: number one, simplify the code; number two, create incentives for small businesses and large businesses to grow; number three, don't reduce the burden on high-income taxpayers; and number four, remove the burden somewhat for middle-income people," he said. "So I don't want to raise taxes on any group of Americans."

Romney spoke to CNN shortly before holding a rally with supporters in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio.

Watch The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer weekdays at 4pm to 6pm ET and Saturdays at 6pm ET. For the latest from The Situation Room click here.

Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • TV-The Situation Room
soundoff (98 Responses)
  1. Nelly

    Aren't these two personal friends. That just great. A disaster waiting to happen.

    October 9, 2012 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  2. Daverelentless

    Not surprising. Neither Mitt or Bibi gives much of a darn for human lives, see the world in black and white, and are so confused they squeak.

    October 9, 2012 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |
  3. AtHensguy

    Sure he is, until Sabath, then he will back Iran, no Palestine, no Jordan, no Vietnam s right to have the bomb.

    October 9, 2012 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  4. Mm

    Romney is one dangerous loose cannon with nothing but the failed G.W.Bush foreign policy team to back him up. Scary.

    October 9, 2012 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  5. Namepete

    And what if Iran crosses that redline? We know what israel wants to do! Are we as a country ready for ANOTHER war?

    October 9, 2012 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  6. Rick

    The next President of the United States of America.

    Let's just hope and pray that he actually follows through with what he says. If he does it'll be a good thing. Based on his track record I think we can all feel safe with this man in the office.

    Enough said...

    October 9, 2012 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  7. Mike Texoma

    The combination of limiting deductions, exemptions, and credits means collecting more revenues from somebody – he won't say who. That, together with economic growth, will pay the $5 trillion? I don't think so. F But the bottom line is – its the same old trickle down theory. Pie in the sky.

    October 9, 2012 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  8. Thomas

    "We share values ?

    Keep building in the occupied territories .

    Romney / Netanyahu
    United States of Israel 2012

    October 9, 2012 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  9. MoninDenver

    Trigger happy Romney...guess guns and war are the answer, so let's increase military spending 4%. Romney has no back-bone to stand up to Israel, sometimes you just shouls say "no" even when you are freinds with somebody, that is the true test of friendship. He just doesn't get it.

    October 9, 2012 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  10. Mike Texoma

    Mr. Romney misses Netanyahu's point. Netanyahu's goal is to angle us into a bind in which we will have no choice but to follow on the Bush Doctrine of preemptive war on conditions defined by Israel. Bill Crystal and the neo-cons have a genuine handmaiden in Mr. Romney.

    October 9, 2012 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  11. McShannon

    • Bullies, braggarts and charlatans need to posture to maintain confidence. Confident men can speak with a non-threatening authority and don't need to saber rattle and make offensive statements that alienate our allies and possible successful negotiation with countries that we are in disagreement with. President Obama is a confident foreign policy leader that isn't going to start a war over hearsay.

    October 9, 2012 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  12. Liz the First

    I wonder how the Israelis would feel knowing the repugs only support their country because it plays into their end times fantasies about Amageddon and the Second Coming. more reason not to elect RMoney or any other repug. they have no connection to reality! i'm not sure any of them even know what reality is any more. for the last two debates, i'd love to see them be sworn in like they do in court, to swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Obama would be the only one able to talk!

    October 9, 2012 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  13. McShannon

    Netanyahu and Romney are as they say birds of a feather. I think that it is good that Mitt has made this connection endorsing the “RED LINE” idea of Netanyahu's. They both seek to be glorified and recognized for cunning strategy regardless that it means nothing as Romney is just a candidate. Fortunately for us our military strategist and foreign policy advisers have another plan that doesn’t involve self aggrandizing by a few attention seekers.

    October 9, 2012 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
  14. Phil Thomas

    Nice of Wolf to sit on Mitts lap and interview him, he made one thing clear the President of the US would be Netanyahu's lackey if Mitt is in office. These two clowns have known each other since Boston Consulting in 1976 and conspired against the President of the US pathetic. Obama foriegn policy is great but I'm sure some folks will be brain washed

    October 9, 2012 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  15. MaryM

    You can be sure Mitt will start a Nuclear war with Iran if he is elected. The sanctions on Iran are working, Their currency dropped 40% and they are running out of their food staples. Please do not vote for Mitt.

    October 9, 2012 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm |
  16. DarqeSide

    Don't ya just LOVE how these all these neocons run around with big ol' war-woodies... but got little limp willies and ran away when THEY might have to fight in one? War is wonderful as long as they or their kids don't have to bleed or die in one. Hypocrites!

    October 9, 2012 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm |
  17. Pete

    Romney sees eye to eye ha,old working buddies from Boston Capital..Netanyahu would love his ole buddy in the WH pushing buttons sending ICBMs over to Iran for him,that's Romneys maniacal plan,military superiority globally no matter the cost..Like Cheneys remark stating budgets take care of themselves is correct for republicans,all they've done is rail against any balancing of budgets at all,they never legally had one under that idiot Bush because he never included the cost of wars,Medicare Part D or the tax cuts he extended ...So a question to republicans if they're so smart because obviously Romneys not how are you going to create a recovery for doubling the defense spending ,tax cuts across the board and others costing upwards of 5 trillion,its his math that's sucks as his lies also because nothing jives,just completely fabricated lies that can't be substanciated,it been this way with Romney so why should it stop because the ignorent repubs are taking it hook, line and sinker!!

    October 9, 2012 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  18. simple

    I wouldn't be wrong to conclude that Mitt is Bi-polar:(

    October 9, 2012 10:38 pm at 10:38 pm |
  19. BCInNV

    I am tired of hearing this man cut down everything I, my friends, our President, and our soldiers work so hard for. He continually changes his stories, hides his taxes, and because he and others like him like to deduct his horses from his taxes, I, a single adult, have to pay more than I should.

    October 9, 2012 10:43 pm at 10:43 pm |
  20. BCInNV

    Stop cutting down our military Romney. The men and woman serving are more than capable of protecting our country. If a tragedy hits, and we enter world war three, I, and the rest of us patriotic, non-doubting, non-judgmental citizens (not sitting on yachts watching from afar) will join the fight beside them, whether they are gay, straight, have had an abortion or not.

    October 9, 2012 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  21. BCInNV

    Romney's idea of a foreign policy is to continually disregard the strength and might of our military. The world isn't going to stop being afraid of our military because they exist Romney; they are becoming less afraid because men like you are out their telling them they don't have to be. SHUT UP!!!! You are risking our country, my life, my home, and my childs future with your arrogant, unthoughtful, selfish, dangerous propaganda just so you can be president.

    October 9, 2012 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm |
  22. planoman

    Obama has a very realistic world view, which in my opinion should help build bridges with the masses of the world. the failed policies of propping up dictatorships and supplying them with arms to kill their own people has got us in to this mess. Foriegn policy should not be dictated by arms lobby. Romney has changed his position multiple times on almost every issue trying out lots of ideas and hoping something finally sticks. This could be pretty dangerous given the experiences of past with W. Having lived in Middle East, South east Asia and UK, I belive that Obama's policy has real substance. Hope people realize that they have a great opportunity with this president for a sound foriegn policy grounded in reality of our times and beyond.

    October 9, 2012 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  23. CB

    Get ready for another war in January or February of 2013 if Romney wins the election. He is more war-mongering than GW Bush. Romeny will be Netanyahu's lap dog, a puppet who will jump at his command.

    October 9, 2012 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  24. James Huffer

    Romney Ryan will continue the same path that Bush Cheney used to cover their tracks, another war to blame for record deficits when their rich against poor agenda is where the money disappears. Ask Mass how much money they are missing from Romney's one term expertise?

    October 9, 2012 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  25. Pedro

    One more war to waist millions of tax payers dollars and it had nothing to do with us. Exactly like Iraque.

    October 9, 2012 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
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