By Jonathan Easley - 03/06/12 06:52 PM EST
President Obama shot back at his Republican critics over accusations he has shown a lack of resolve in protecting Israel from a potentially nuclear-armed Iran, condemning their “bluster” in “beating the drums of war.”
“Those folks don’t have a lot of responsibilities,” Obama said at his first press conference since October 2011. “They’re not commander in chief. When I see the casualness with which some of these candidates talk about war, I’m reminded … of the decisions I have to make in sending these men and women into war.”
The president spoke the same day that Republican candidates Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum blasted his policies toward Israel and Iran in addresses to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. Republicans have made a concerted effort to win Jewish voters away from Obama by painting him as weak on Iran.
“If some of these folks think it’s time to launch a war they should explain that,” Obama said. “Everything else is just talk."
GOP front-runner Mitt Romney wrote an op-ed in The Washington Post Tuesday accusing Obama of “fretting” while Iran builds out its nuclear program.
In his op-ed, Romney said he would “press for ever-tightening sanctions” against Iran, support Iranian dissidents and buttress his diplomacy by keeping open military considerations.
The Obama administration’s diplomatic strategy regarding Iran also includes economic sanctions. The White House maintains that its strategy is not one of “containment,” but that all options — including a military strike — are on the table.
The Democratic National Committee put out a video pushing back at the GOP allegations, and drawing attention to what they say are similarities in how the GOP candidates would handle Iran.
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