Obama blasts GOP candidates for ‘beating the drums of war’ on Iran

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.”

ADVERTISEMENT
“This is not a game,” the president continued. “There is nothing casual about it. When I see some of these folks who have a lot of bluster and a lot of big talk, but … they repeat the things we’ve been doing over the past three years, indicates to me that’s more about politics than solving a big problem.”

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.


More news from The Hill:
GOP candidates accuse Obama of not standing with Israel
Obama wishes Romney 'good luck' on Super Tuesday
Obama invokes daughters in response to Limbaugh
Obama dismisses claims he wants higher gas prices