Obama, Romney Talk Israel During Final Presidential Debate
Last night, President Barack Obama and Republican Challenger Mitt Romney squared off against one another in a final debate over foreign policy. Both candidates spoke highly of Israel, with President Obama saying that he would “continue” to make sure Middle Eastern countries were “standing by our interests in Israel’s security”, because “it is a true friend and our greatest ally in the region.”
Romney, however, criticized the president’s record on Israel, saying, “We have to also stand by our allies. I think the tension that existed between Israel and the United States was very unfortunate.” He also criticized the president for failing to Iranian students during Iran’s Green Revolution.
Yet Obama said that the US’s alliances had “never been stronger.” He pointed particularly to Israel, where he said we were now enjoying “unprecedented military and intelligence cooperation, including dealing with the Iranian threat.”
When moderator Bob Schieffer asked, “Would either of you be willing to declare that an attack on Israel is an attack on the United States, which of course is the same promise that we give to our close allies like Japan?”
President Obama responded, “If Israel is attacked, America will stand with Israel. I’ve made that clear throughout my presidency.” Furthermore, said the president, “This week we’ll be carrying out the largest military exercise with Israel in history, this very week.” He also declared that “Iran will not get a nuclear weapon.”
Obama acknowledged that the threat of a nuclear Iran was a threat to US national security and that Iran had threatened to “wipe Israel off the map.” He said that the Obama administration had offered Iran a choice. “They can take the diplomatic route,” he said “and end their nuclear program” or, he said, “They will have to face a united world and a United States president, me, who said we’re not going to take any options off the table.”
Obama also sent a warning to Iran, saying that “the clock is ticking”, indicating that Iran did not have much more time before the United States took stronger measures against its nuclear efforts.
However, the president and his administration have made such comments before. In 2009, for instance, said that the window of time in which Iran and the west could reach a diplomatic solution or “face an Israeli or U.S. strike” was very narrow. He said the clock was continuing to tick.
Filed Under: Politics
About the Author: Miranda has a B.A. in political science and has worked over a decade as a news reporter, financial news writer and political blogger. More about Miranda