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GOP2012: Republican debate, October 11th, 2011
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Mitt Romney Flip-Flopped on Iraq

January 07, 2012 at 10:23 p.m. ET

 

REALITY: ROMNEY ATTACKED PRESIDENT OBAMA FOR HIS DECISION TO WITHDRAW TROOPS FROM IRAQ THEN TOUTED IT AS “THE TIMETABLE THAT PRESIDENT BUSH LAID OUT”

DECEMBER 2011: Romney Said That Obama Should Not Take A “Victory Lap” For Withdrawing From Iraq Since He Used “Bush’s Wisdom And Judgment” In Following “The Timetable That President Bush Laid Out.” Romney said,The timetable that President Bush laid out is now the timetable that President Obama has followed.  Him doing a victory lap on President Bush’s wisdom and judgment in this regard is an embarrassment.” [Hannity Radio Show, 12/14/11] 

  • OCTOBER 2011: Romney Attacked President Obama Over His Decision To Withdraw Troops From Iraq Calling It “Naked Political Calculation.”  Mitt Romney issued the following statement on President Obama’s decision to withdraw troops from Iraq: “President Obama’s astonishing failure to secure an orderly transition in Iraq has unnecessarily put at risk the victories that were won through the blood and sacrifice of thousands of American men and women. The unavoidable question is whether this decision is the result of a naked political calculation or simply sheer ineptitude in negotiations with the Iraqi government. The American people deserve to hear the recommendations that were made by our military commanders in Iraq.” [Romney For President, 10/21/11]

REALITY: ROMNEY WANTED TO LEAVE TENS OF THOUSANDS OF TROOPS IN IRAQ

Romney Said The President Made Iraq "More Fragile And More Dangerous" By Not Leaving 20,000-30,000 Troops There.  Romney: “We have Iraq, right now, more fragile than it was. How in the world the president was incapable and unwilling to exert the personal effort to put in place a status of forces agreement which would provide protection for our troops while they were in Iraq and then leave at least ten to twenty or thirty thousand behind to help in the transition beyond me. And so we’ve made Iraq more fragile and more dangerous by virtue of his failure to put in place a status of forces agreement.” [Romney Town Hall, Mason City IA, 12/29/11]

Romney Said That The U.S. “Has Pulled Our Troops Out In A Precipitous Way” And Should Have Left 30,000 Troops To “Help Transition To The Iraqis’ Own Military Capabilities.” Romney: “We're, of course, very happy to see our troops come out. But I think you're going to see another lesson learned. I think we're going to find that this president by not putting in place a status in forces agreement with the Iraqi leadership has pulled our troops out in a precipitous way and we should have left 10,000, 20,000, 30,000 personnel there to help transition to the Iraqis' own military capabilities. I'm very concerned in this setting. I hope it works out. But I'm concerned. [Fox News Sunday, 12/18/11]

REALITY: ROMNEY’S FOREIGN POLICY WHITE PAPER DIDN’T PROPOSE A CLEAR STRATEGY FOR IRAQ

Romney’s Foreign Policy White Paper Portion On Iraq Said Only That It Would Be “Impossible To Forecast What Conditions In Iraq Will Confront The Next American President” And He Would Use “The Broad Array Of Our Foreign-Policy Tools” To Establish A Lasting Relationship With Iraq. “In light of these developments, it is impossible to forecast what conditions in Iraq will confront the next American president in January 2013. Mitt Romney will enter office seeking to use the broad array of our foreign-policy tools — diplomatic, economic, and military — to establish a lasting relationship with Iraq and guarantee that Baghdad remains a solid partner in a volatile and strategically vital region.” [Romney’s Foreign Policy White Paper, 10/7/11]

REALITY: ROMNEY DIDN’T PUT FORTH A PLAN FOR IRAQ IN HIS FOREIGN POLICY SPEECH AND MENTIONED 11 COUNTRIES MORE THAN IRAQ

Romney’s Single Iraq Reference: “Over 1400 of your alumni have served in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere fighting the war against terrorism.  And sixteen have paid the ultimate price.” [Transcript Of Romney's Foreign Policy Speech, 10/7/11]

  • Countries Mentioned More Than Iraq: Afghanistan (3), Iran (6), Israel (6), Pakistan (2), China (2), Russia (2), Venezuela (3), Cuba (4), Mexico (2), United Kingdom (3), and Greece (2).
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