I have long thought somebody should go through and annotate the 2012 Mitt Romney: Full Transcript of the 47% Secret Video. So I will now do it.
Part IX: Iran:
If you ever thought the Republican Party was in any sense "the responsible Daddy Party" on foreign affairs. This should disabuse you. Mitt Romney is as good as it gets for Republicans as far as foreign policy is concerned since the retirement of George H. W. Bush. And this is "the drunk, abusive Daddy Party" in action:
Romney: Please. Yeah—I heard a voice, please.
Audience Member: Gov. Romney, we are former Bostonians, and we'll talk about how we know you.
Romney: Uh, oh. [Audience laughter, cross talk.]
Audience Member: It's good!…and we totally agree with what you said economically. But I would like to know, and I would like to get into much more discussion on what I consider the real issues: the real issues of Iran, and how your point of view differs from President Obama's.
Romney: Thank you—and by the way, start eating, those of you who have food in front of you that's warm, start eating. I'm standing up so I can see you, but I'm not standing up so you that you have to stop and look at me. It's important to look at your food as you're eating it. [Audience laughs.] Noticed you putting a fork in your finger here, all right…[cross talk, laughter].
You are right, which is a nuclear Iran is an unthinkable outcome, not just for our friends in Israel and our friends in Europe, but also for us. Because Iran is the state sponsor of terror in the world, has Hezbollah now throughout Latin America, Hezbollah with fissile material. If I were Iran, and a crazed fanatic, I'd say let's get a little fissile material to Hezbollah, have them carry it to Chicago or some other place, and then if anything goes wrong or if America starts acting up, we'll just say, "Guess what, unless you stand down, why we're gonna let off a dirty bomb."
This is where we head, where American can be held up and blackmailed by Iran, by the mullahs, by crazy people. So we really don't have any option but to keep Iran from having a nuclear weapon.
I'll give the specifics about Iran, and then maybe talk more broadly about foreign policy. The specific on Iran is that we should have put in place crippling sanctions at the beginning of the president's term. We did not. He will say, "Yes, but Russian wouldn't go along with us." Well, he gave Russia their No. 1 foreign objective: For a decade, all they've cared about is getting the missile defense sites out of Poland, and he gave them that and got nothing in return.
He could have—I presume—gotten them to agree to crippling sanctions on Iran. He did not, which is in my opinion, one of the greatest foreign policy errors of the modern time. And by the way, if he could not have gotten that from Russia, he should have kept the missile defense sites in Poland, just to keep a bargaining chip on table. I mean, put nothing in if he wants—I would have kept them, I wouldn't have traded them away, but that's where he was.
No. 2, we should have been aggressively supporting the voices of dissent in Iran, and when there was an effort towards revolution there we should been aggressively supporting. And finally we should have made it clear, at least by now, that we have military plans to potentially remove their nuclear capabilities. That doesn't mean we actually pull the trigger, but it means we communicate to them that we're ready to do so. And that it is unacceptable to America to have a nuclear Iran.
Instead what this administration has done is communicate to the Iranians that we're more worried about Israel attacking them than we are about them becoming nuclear. It's extraordinary. So those are some thoughts directly at Iran.
I'll step back on foreign policy: The president's foreign policy, in my opinion, is formed in part by a perception that he has that his magnetism and his charm and his persuasiveness is so compelling that he can sit down with people like Putin, Chávez, and Ahmadinejad. And that they'll find we're such wonderful people that they'll go on with us. And they'll stop doing bad things.
And it's an extraordinarily naive perception, and it has led to huge errors in North Korea, in Iraq, obviously in Iran, in Egypt, around the world...