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GOP2012: Republican debate, October 11th, 2011
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President Obama is standing up to Iran

November 12, 2011 at 8:23 P.M.

PRESIDENT OBAMA IS STANDING UP TO IRAN WITH THE TOUGHEST SANCTIONS YET, KEEPING ALL OPTIONS ON THE TABLE, AND DEFENDING OF OUR ALLIES, WHILE MITT ROMNEY WOULD ASK HIS LAWYERS WHAT TO DO
 
In 2007, Romney said he would defer to attorneys on whether he could launch a strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities, a position the Wall Street Journal called a “dangerous” first instinct of a Commander In Chief.  President Obama, on the other hand, has maintained a position of strength in his dealing with threats from Iran, making it clear that a nuclear Iran is unacceptable, signing into law the toughest sanctions that are having a real effect on the country, and continuing America’s strong support of Israel.
 

REALITY: ROMNEY PREVIOUSLY SAID HE WOULD DEFER TO LAWYERS ON WHETHER HE WOULD TAKE ACTION AGAINST IRAN
 
Romney Said He Would Talk To His Lawyers Before Deciding Whether To Use Military Force Against Iran’s Nuclear Facilities.  Asked whether congressional authorization would be necessary to launch a strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities, Romney declined to answer definitively, instead deferring to lawyers’ opinions.  “You sit down with your attorneys and tell you what you have to do, but obviously the president of the United States has to do what’s in the best interest of the United States,” Romney told moderator Chris Matthews. On whether President Bush needed authorization to invade Iraq, Romney again deferred to legal experts, saying, “You know, we’re going to let the lawyers sort out what he needed to do and what he didn’t need to do.” [CNBC/WSJ GOP Debate, 10/9/07]
 
Romney Suggested You Sit Down With Your Attorneys Before You Deal With Iran. “Romney was the first to answer a question about whether a president would need authorization from Congress to take military action against Iran’s nuclear facilities. ‘You sit down with your attorneys’ for advice, he said, but ‘the president of the United States has to do what’s in the best interest of the United States.” [USA Today, 10/10/07]

  • WSJ Editorial: “Deferring To Lawyers To Tell A President When He Can And Cannot Use Force To Defend The Country Is Not A Proper Understanding Of The Executive Power Under The Constitution, And It Is Dangerous If It Is The First Instinct Of A Commander In Chief.” The Wall Street Journal editorial page wrote, “Egad. Call in the attorneys? Perhaps it is Mr. Romney’s experience in business that taught him to want lawyers at his elbow, given that no CEO can survive without them these days. Or perhaps it is our hyper-legalized politics, with Mr. Bush accused daily of "breaking the law" over mere policy disagreements. But deferring to lawyers to tell a President when he can and cannot use force to defend the country is not the proper understanding of executive power under the Constitution, and it is dangerous if it is the first instinct of a Commander in Chief. Mr. Romney should have said that a President’s first duty is to do whatever it takes to protect the United States, and that he’d have the Constitutional authority to use military force to do so -- as Presidents from Washington to Teddy Roosevelt to Reagan have done -- but that of course he would want to consult with Congress and win its support as time and circumstances allowed. Mr. Romney doesn’t need a lawyer; he needs to reread the Federalist Papers.” [Editorial, Wall Street Journal, 10/11/07]
  • Admiral Robert J. Natter Criticized Romney Saying “Lawyers Should Not Debate While Our National Security Is On The Line.” Admiral Robert J. Natter said of Romney’s remark that he would consult attorney’s before using military action against Iran, "Going to war is the most serious decision a president can make. Lawyers should not debate while our national security is on the line. In these momentous decisions, we need leadership, not litigation.” [MSNBC, Firstread, 10/10/07]

 
REALITY: WHILE ROMNEY CALLS FOR TOUGHER SANCTIONS, HIS CHARITABLE HAS FINANCIAL INTERESTS IN COMPANIES THAT DO BUSINESS WITH IRAN
 
Romney’s Pledge To Sell Off Interests That Conflict With His GOP Stances Did Not Extend To Some Investments In A Family Charity. According to the Associated Press, “Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's personal wealth — up to $250 million — survived the nation's economic crisis, according to figures released Friday. But his pledge to sell off interests that conflict with his GOP stances did not extend to some investments in a family charity”. [Associated Press, 8/12/11]
 
Romney’s Charity, In 2007 And 2008, Purchased And Sold Investment Shares In “More Than A Dozen Other Foreign And Domestic Companies That Have Conducted Dealings With Iran, China Or Stem Cell Research.” According to the Associated Press, “In 2007 and 2008, the charity also purchased and sold hundreds of other investment shares - worth thousands of dollars - in more than a dozen other foreign and domestic companies that have conducted dealings with Iran, China or stem cell research.  The companies included China-based businesses Hang Lung, Telefonica and China Mobile Limited; medical research companies such as Merck, Roche Holdings and Fisher Scientific; and companies that dealt with Iran, among them Schlumberger, Gazprom and Total.” [Associated Press, 8/12/11]
 
2009: Romney’s Charity Bought Shares In Petroleo Brasiliero, Which “Invested $100 Million To Develop Iranian Oil And Natural Gas Reserves.” According to the Associated Press, “Yet as late as the 2009 period, tax filings show, Romney's charity bought shares worth $5,734 in Petroleo Brasiliero SA, also known as Petrobras, a Brazilian state-owned energy company that reportedly invested $100 million to develop Iranian oil and natural gas reserves in the Caspian Sea. The charity later sold the shares that year at a loss.” [Associated Press, 8/12/11]
 
REALITY: PRESIDENT OBAMA HAS MADE IT CLEAR HE WILL NOT ALLOW A NUCLEAR IRAN
 
President Obama has repeatedly affirmed that it would be unacceptable for Iran to acquire nuclear weapons.  [MSNBC, 6/9/10]
 
REALITY: PRESIDENT OBAMA PASSED THE MOST SEVERE SANCTIONS IRAN HAS EVER FACED
 
With President Obama’s leadership, the United States gained the support of Russia, China and other nations to pass United Nations Security Council Resolution 1929, creating the most comprehensive and biting international sanctions regime the Iranian government has ever faced. [UN News Centre, 6/9/10]

  • Citing Sanctions, Russia Banned All Exports Of Major Weapons Systems To Iran. [NYT, 09/22/10]

President Obama worked with Congress to pass the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act, which strengthens existing US sanctions and makes it harder for the Iranian government to buy refined petroleum and other goods it needs to modernize its oil and gas sector. [Associated Press, 6/24/10]

  • Close to $60 billion in energy-related projects in Iran have already been put on hold or discontinued as of the end of 2010. [Bloomberg, 12/1/10]
  • President Ahmadinejad Has Been Forced To Admit The Serious Impact Of Sanctions Placed On Government By The Obama Administration.  [Washington Post, 11/1/11]
  • The Iranian Economy Now Faces Its Bleakest Prospects In Two Decades With An Almost Unanimous Forecast Of Low Growth, High Inflation, And Continued Double-Digit Unemployment. [Carnegie Endowment For International Peace, 03/18/10]

REALITY: PRESIDENT OBAMA STRONGLY CONDEMNED THE IRANIAN REGIME’S ATTACKS ON ITS CITIZENS
 
President Obama Forcefully Spoke Out In Support Of The Iran People’s Efforts To Make Their Voices Heard And “Strongly Condemned” The “Unjust Actions” Of The Iranian Government.  [NYT, 06/23/09]
 
REALITY: PRESIDENT OBAMA STOOD BY ISRAEL IN THE FACE OF THE IRANIAN THREAT
 
Prime Minister Netanyahu praised President Obama for his efforts to prevent Iranian nuclearization and for defending Israel's right to protect itself against Iranian proxies. "President Obama has said that the United States is determined to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons. The president successfully led the Security Council at the UN to adopt sanctions against Iran." [Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s Address to Congress, 5/24/11]
 
The Obama administration has reinstituted sanctions against Iran-allied Syria and strongly condemned Syria’s transfer of Scud missiles and other arms to Hezbollah, Iran’s proxy in Lebanon. [New York Times, 5/19/11; The Telegraph, 4/20/10]


President Obama Accelerated The Deployment Of Ships And Antimissile Systems To The Persian Gulf To Defend Against Possible Iranian Missile Strikes. [NYT, 1/30/10]
 
 
 

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