Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney said today in Georgia:
If Barack Obama is reelected, Iran will have a nuclear weapon and the world will change….He’s also failed to communicate that military options are on the table and in fact in our hand, and that it’s unacceptable to America for Iran to have a nuclear weapon. [Los Angeles Times, March 4, 2012]
In response, NJDC President and CEO David A. Harris said:
It could not be clearer from his comments that former Governor Romney did not actually hear or read President Barack Obama’s clarion words this morning. Yet again, the President could not have been clearer that military options are on the table—along with the set of other powerful tools available to the President. As Obama said today, ‘when it comes to preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, I will take no options off the table…That includes all elements of American power.’ Obama specifically stated that one of his tools for stopping Iran is a ‘military effort to be prepared for any contingency’ and that he ‘will not hesitate to use force when it is necessary to defend the United States and its interests.’ In fact, Prime Minister Netanyahu responded to the President’s speech today by expressing his appreciation for exactly this—the President’s restatement of precisely this point. [Prime Minister of Israel’s Office, March 4, 2012]
Romney’s comments today aren’t about what the President is saying and doing, which received a rousing welcome here at AIPAC today. Rather, Romney’s campaign remarks are about one thing only—putting partisanship above the U.S.-Israel relationship, and above the paramount objective of stopping Iran.
The U.S.-Israel relationship—including our joint strategic need to stop Iran—must remain bipartisan. As President Shimon Peres said today at AIPAC, support for Israel from American presidents ‘was and is bipartisan.’ Romney’s campaign pit-stop rhetoric doesn’t help this cause one bit. A good first step would be to tell the truth, and give credit to this President for the words he spoke today at AIPAC and the accomplishments he’s achieved over the course of his Administration to make Israel more secure.
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