In his latest in a long line of faulty foreign policy articles, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney took to the pages of the Washington Post this week to explain what he would do differently, if given the chance, in Iran.
As it turns out, the answer is “not a lot.”
Try as I might, however, I’m not sure my response could hold a candle to Senator Kerry’s remarks, delivered on the Senate floor:
Mr. President, several of us here in the Senate have run for President. Two of us have been our Party’s nominees. Dozens of others have played major roles in tough campaigns. None of us are strangers to the rough and tumble of politics.
So it is not as an innocent that I say I was troubled to read an op-ed in this morning’s Washington Post by the likely Republican nominee for President, Mitt Romney – an attack on the Administration’s Iran policy as inaccurate as it was aggressive.
Kerry pointed out that particularly this week, when Prime Minister Netanyahu was in Washington to discuss the issue with President Obama, “we should all remember that the nuclear issue with Iran is deadly serious business that should invite sobriety and serious-minded solutions, not sloganeering and sound bites.”
Kerry made clear that “… Governor Romney’s op-ed does not even do readers the courtesy of describing how a President Romney would do anything different from what the Obama administration has already done,” and argued that, “From his opening paragraphs, Romney garbles history.”
“We’re going to have a bruising election season. And so we should,” said Kerry, “That’s how we decide big issues in the United States. We always have. But let’s have an honest debate, not a contrived one. Governor Romney can debate the man in the White House instead of inventing straw men on the op-ed pages.”
President Obama also criticized the GOP candidates at a press conference the same day:
You know, those folks don’t have a lot of responsibilities. They’re not commander in chief. And when I see the casualness with which some of these folks talk about war, I’m reminded of the costs involved in war. I’m reminded that the decision that I have to make in terms of sending our young men and women into battle and the impact that has on their lives, the impact it has on our national security, the impact it has on our economy.
This is not a game. And there’s nothing casual about it. And, you know, when I see some of these folks who have a lot of bluster and a lot of big talk, but when you actually ask them specifically what they would do, it turns out they repeat the things that we’ve been doing over the last three years, it indicates to me that that’s more about politics than actually trying to solve a difficult problem.