2012 Presidential Debates
November 13, 2011 by staff
2012 Presidential Debates, Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich said at the Republican presidential debate here Saturday night that they would be willing to go to war to keep Iran from attaining nuclear weapons if all other strategies failed.
Romney said that if “crippling sanctions” and other strategies fail, military action would be on the table because it is “unacceptable” for Iran to become a nuclear power.
Gingrich agreed, saying that if “maximum covert operations” and other strategies failed there would be no other choice. First, though, the United States consider “taking out their scientists,” and “breaking up their systems, all of it covertly, all of it deniable,” Gingrich said.
“If we re-elect Barack Obama, Iran will have a nuclear weapon. And if you elect Mitt Romney, Iran will not have a nuclear weapon,” said Romney.
Ron Paul strongly disagreed with his two rivals, stressing the need to go to Congress before taking military action and saying it isn’t worthwhile to use military force against Iran.
“I’m afraid what’s going on right now is similar to the war propaganda that went on against Iraq,” he said.
Herman Cain also opposed military action against Iran, saying the U.S. should increase sanctions, deploy ballistic missile warships in the region and assist the opposition movement.
Ben Rhodes, White House deputy national security advisor, responded to the debaters critique of President Obama’s handling of the Iran situation. “This president has never hesitated with action,” Rhodes told CBS News, adding that problems aren’t solves through “rhetoric alone” and all options are open.
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