Saturday, August 18, 2012

Romney attacks Ahmadinejad, Romney’s surrogates attack Obama’s Iran policies

By Lauren Appelbaum, Political Director
Mitt Romney speaking to the Faith and Freedom Coalition June 16, 2012
Mitt Romney speaking to the Faith and Freedom Coalition June 16, 2012
Washington, Aug. 18 – Iranian officials have been ramping up their anti-Israel rhetoric recently in anticipation of al-Quds Day yesterday, the last Friday during the month of Ramadan. The event was created by Iran in 1979 and calls for the destruction of Israel.
Friday in Iran, millions of people demonstrated in the streets, shouting “Death to Israel.” Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad once again called for Israel’s destruction and said al-Quds Day is a time for unity among all human beings to remove the “Zionist black stain.”
Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney said Ahmadinejad’s remarks remind Americans about what is at stake.
“America must lead the world in stopping Iran’s genocidal regime from obtaining a nuclear weapons capability. Ahmadinejad’s latest outrageous remarks are just another reminder of what is at stake. As I said recentlywhen visiting Jerusalem, ‘We have seen the horrors of history. We will not stand by. We will not watch them play out again.’”
Members of the Iranian regime have for years publicly espoused statements saying Israel should be “wiped off the map.”
Israel’s existence, Ahmadinejad said, is an “insult to all humanity” and a crime against humanity. Confronting Israel, he said, is an effort to “protect the dignity of all human beings.”
Said Ahmadinejad: “The Zionist regime is a tool to dominate the Middle East,” and the world powers are “thirsty for Iranian blood.”
Iran is the only country in the United Nations that has called for the destruction of another member-country. Iran has denied the Holocaust, and it trains, funds and arms proxies such as Hezbollah and Hamas.
Romney’s surrogates quickly attacked President Obama for “wasting precious time … trying to reason with” Iran.
“The Obama Administration wasted precious time during some of those years trying to reason with the ayatollahs and it delayed for too long in imposing sanctions that would truly bite,” Majority Leader Eric Cantor said in a statement Friday. “Now, as Iran marches forward in its race to gain the capability to build a nuclear bomb, we find ourselves in need of strong leadership in the White House. We don’t have that leadership now.”
Presumptive Republican vice presidential nominee Rep. Paul Ryan (Wis.) said the U.S. federal government’s first responsibility should be national security because “the world needs America’s leadership.”
“In the past day, Iran’s President called our ally Israel ‘a cancerous tumor that must be excised,’” Ryan said while speaking in Springfield, Va., Friday. “Let me be really clear. Under President Romney our adversaries will think twice about challenging America and our allies because we believe in peace through strength. There will be no daylight between America and our friends around the world. Strong national defense, peace through strength, strong relationship with our allies.”
Florida Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and former Minnesota Sen. Norm Coleman, both Republicans, also expressed their concern for Israel.
“With Iran’s continued calls for the destruction of the state of Israel, Israel and the entire civilized world are justified in taking any and all measures to prevent Tehran from acquiring the capability to develop nuclear weapons,”Coleman said in a statement Friday before then attacking the Obama administration for being “weak” in its attempt to stop Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.
“Obama’s approach seems to be based on a complete misreading of the intentions of the ayatollahs,” Ros-Lehtinen said in a statement Friday. “And by wasting precious time, his policies have placed the security of the state of Israel in jeopardy.”
About TIP on the Trail
TIP on the Trail is a nonpartisan political commentary on the 2012 U.S. elections, with a view toward the Middle East. TIP on the Trail is not affiliated with any government, is nonpartisan and neither rates nor endorses candidates. Chief political writers for TIP on the Trail include Alan Elsner, former chief political correspondent for Reuters, and Lauren Appelbaum, former political researcher for NBC News.