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GOP2012: Republican debate, January 7th, 2012
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Romney flip-flopped on taking out terrorists in Pakistan

November 12, 2011 at 9:52 P.M.

As commander-in-chief, a president only gets one chance to make the right decision but Mitt Romney has repeatedly flip-flopped on military action to go after terrorists in Pakistan.
Romney Praised Obama’s Use Of Predator Drones To Go After Terrorists Along The Pakistani/Afghanistan Border. “Romney refused to echo some Republicans who have attacked Obama’s every move as ill-advised, but he showed little willingness to go out of his way to praise the president, either. ‘We have a responsibility to acknowledge the president when he’s doing the right things and to be critical of his mistakes; otherwise we lose credibility,’ Romney said, citing Obama’s aggressive moves to shore up U.S. troops in Afghanistan and his use of predator drones to go after suspected terrorists along the Pakistan/Afghanistan border.” [The Hill, 4/2/09]
Romney Said He Didn’t Agree With Obama on Taking Unilateral Action Against Al Qaeda Targets in Pakistan.  Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney criticized Democrat Barack Obama on Friday for vowing to strike al Qaeda targets inside Pakistan if necessary as the Obama camp issued a strident defense of his plan. What had been an internecine foreign policy battle between rival Democrats Obama, an Illinois senator, and New York Sen. Hillary Clinton, spilled into the Republican arena in the heavily contested state of Iowa. ‘I do not concur in the words of Barack Obama in a plan to enter an ally of ours... I don’t think those kinds of comments help in this effort to draw more friends to our effort,’ Romney told reporters on the campaign trail. Obama on Wednesday said if elected president in November 2008 he would be willing to launch military strikes against al Qaeda targets inside Pakistan with or without the approval of the Pakistani government of President Pervez Musharraf. ‘If we have actionable intelligence about high-value terrorist targets and President Musharraf won’t act, we will,’ Obama said.”  [Reuters, 8/4/07]

  • Romney: US Troops “Shouldn’t Be Sent All Over The World” And Obama’s Comments Were “Ill-Timed” And “Ill-Considered.” “Romney, the former Massachusetts governor who is one of the Republican front-runners, said U.S. troops ‘shouldn’t be sent all over the world.’ He called Obama’s comments ‘ill-timed’ and ‘ill-considered.’ ‘There is a war being waged by terrorists of different types and nature across the world,’ Romney said. ‘We want, as a civilized world, to participate with other nations in this civilized effort to help those nations reject the extreme with them.’” [Reuters, 8/4/07]

Romney Criticized Obama For Comments About Attacking Terrorists In Pakistan.  Romney said Obama’s comments were “ill-conceived” and would hurt American efforts to create a global effort to root out radical Islamic terrorists.  Romney said, “We want as a civilized world to participate with other nations in this civilized effort to help those nations reject the extreme within them. That doesn’t mean that our troops are going to go all over the world,” before saying about Obama’s comments, “I think his comments were ill-timed and ill-considered.” [Associated Press, 8/5/07]
FIRST: Romney Proposed Dispatching Army Special Forces and CIA Agents to Stabilize Pakistan. “In places like Pakistan, America needs to work not just on a military front, he said. Romney proposed putting together a ‘Special Partnership Force,’ a team of CIA agents and Army special forces to work with the local population – ‘not just to provide guns but to help make sure that they have the rule of law, water projects, bridges built.’” [Palm Beach Post, 7/8/07]
THEN: Romney on Pakistan: We’re Not Going to Send Our Troops “All Over the World.” “Romney spoke at a luncheon meeting of young Republicans in Des Moines and later with reporters who asked for his reaction to Obama’s comments. In a speech this week, the senator from Illinois issued a warning to Pakistani leaders that if they didn’t do a better job of rooting out terrorists who use that country as a sanctuary, the U.S. might intervene with force. Instead of issuing threats, the U.S. should work with nations to root out extremist forces which may exist, Romney said. ‘We want as a civilized world to participate with other nations in this civilized effort to help those nations reject the extreme within them,’ Romney said. ‘That doesn’t mean that our troops are going to go all over the world.’” [Associated Press, 8/3/07]
NOW: Romney Could Imagine “Future Scenarios That Would Require American To Put Boots On The Ground,” Including Pakistan And Former Russian Satellites. During a speech to the Heritage Foundation on June 1, 2009, Mitt Romney said, “Those who shout ‘no more Iraqs’ should remember that we are still in a counter-insurgency war in Afghanistan. And it was not so long ago that 500,000 troops were needed to fight in Desert Storm. It is not hard to imagine future scenarios that would require America to put boots on the ground, particularly given the developments in Pakistan, or even Russia’s apparent designs on its former satellites. [Mitt Romney, Ben Smith’s blog, Politico, 6/1/09]

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