President Barack Obama on Tuesday criticized the Republican presidential candidates who have openly advocated military action against Iran if they refused to dismantle their nuclear program.
He said there was still time to work on resolving the issue diplomatically, and that the new stricter sanctions placed on the country would force them back to the negotiating table.
"What’s said on the campaign trail, you know, those folks don’t have a lot of responsibilities," Obama said. "They’re not commander in chief. And when I see the casualness with which some of these folks talk about war, I’m reminded of the costs involved in war. I’m reminded of the decision that I have to make, in terms of sending our young men and women into battle, and the impacts that has on their lives, the impact it has on our national security, the impact it has on our economy."
Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney have all repeatedly criticized Obama for allegedly being too soft on Iran.
"This is not a game," Obama continued. "And there’s nothing casual about it. And, you know, when I see some of these folks who had a lot of bluster and a lot of big talk, but when you actually ask them, specifically, what they would do, it turns out they repeat the things that we’ve been doing over the last three years. It indicates to me that that’s more about politics than actually trying to solve a difficult problem."
Gingrich has said that as president he would bomb Iran if they refused to halt their nuclear program. Likewise, Santorum has said the U.S. should destroy Iran's nuclear facilities, while Romney has said the U.S. "cannot afford to wait much longer" for diplomacy to work.
"Now, the one thing that we have not done, is we haven’t launched a war," he said. "If some of these folks think that it’s time to launch a war, they should say so. And they should explain to the American people exactly why they would do that and what the consequences would be. Everything else is just talk."
Watch video, courtesy of CBS News, below: