Republican presidential presidential candidate Mitt Romney is warning a pro-Israel lobbying group that President Barack Obama has “dawdled” while “the only thing respected by thugs and tyrants” in the Middle East was military power.
On Tuesday, attendees at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) repeatedly cheered loudly for the candidate’s hawkish speech on the dangers of Islamic radicalism threatening Israel.
“I’ve also studied the writings and speeches of the jihadists,” Romney told the crowd. “They argue for a one-state solution. One all-dominating, radical Islamists state, that is. Their objective is not freedom, it’s not prosperity, it’s not a Palestinian state, it is the destruction is Israel that they seek. … I recognize in the Ayatollahs of Iran the zealot refrain of dominion.”
“Yet, the current administration has promoted a policy of engagement with Iran,” he continued. “The president not only dawdled in opposing sanctions, he’s opposed them. Hope is not a foreign policy. The only thing respected by thugs and tyrants is our resolve, backed by our power and our readiness to use it.”
Earlier this week in Snellville, Georgia, Romney told an 11-year-old boy that the world would be one step closer to nuclear war if President Barack Obama was allowed another term in office.
“If Barack Obama gets re-elected, Iran will have a nuclear weapon and the world will change if that’s the case,” he said.
During a CNN debate last month, the candidate went one step further, stating that nuclear weapons would definitely be used if Obama wins in November.
“We must not allow Iran to use a nuclear weapon. If they do, the world changes and someday nuclear weaponry will be used. If I’m president, that will not happen. If we re-elect Barack Obama it will,” he insisted.
Speaking to AIPAC on Sunday, Obama explained that “loose talk of war” was only serving to benefit Iran because it was driving up the price of oil.
“Already there is too much loose talk of war,” the president said. “Over the last few weeks, such talk has only benefited the Iranian government, by driving up the price of oil, which they depend on to fund their nuclear program. For the sake of Israel’s security, America’s security, and the peace and security of the world, now is not the time for bluster; now is the time to let our increased pressure sink in, and to sustain the broad international coalition we have built.”
On Tuesday, Romney also told a panel at AIPAC that now was not the time to engage in a peace process with Palestinians.
“I would never call for a return to the indefensible ’67 lines because I understand that in Israel, geography is security,” the former Massachusetts governor said. “Talking about a peace process right now is a bit like setting up a tent in the middle of a hurricane. So there has to be some settling down of a number of questions before I think the peace process is going to get its legs again.”
Watch this video from CNN, broadcast March. 6, 2012.