By Jonathan Easley - 03/06/12 12:44 PM EST
GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney intensified his attacks on President Obama’s foreign policy Tuesday, calling the president “feckless” and accusing him of “fretting” in the White House while Iran builds nuclear weapons.
“Barack Obama, America’s most feckless president since [Jimmy] Carter, has declared such an outcome unacceptable, but his rhetoric has not been matched by an effective policy,” Romney wrote in a Washington Post op-ed. “While Obama frets in the White House, the Iranians are making rapid progress toward obtaining the most destructive weapons in the history of the world.”
On Sunday, the president gave a speech to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee in which he said that the United States had “Israel’s back” and urged the country to allow time for economic sanctions against Iran to take hold, while expressing his “deeply held preference” for peace over war.
But House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) on Monday questioned Obama’s “resolve” in the matter, just hours before a crucial meeting between the president and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
“Words are one thing, but backing it up with actions is what we need to see,” Cantor said. “All of these questions lead one to ask, is there adequate resolve? And I’m hopeful that we see an adequate response to that.”
On the campaign trail, Romney has consistently said that if Obama is reelected, Iran will have a nuclear weapon, but that if he is elected, it won’t.
In Tuesday’s op-ed, Romney laid out his plan to keep Iran from going nuclear.
Romney said he would increase the size of the Navy and “press forward with ballistic missile defense systems.”
The former Massachusetts governor also 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.
On Tuesday, the Democratic National Committee released a video pushing back against the GOP’s criticisms of the administration’s policy on Iran.
“Their policies and the president's are identical,” said an email from DNC spokesman Brad Woodhouse. “When they try to draw contrasts they are simply being untruthful and are strengthening Iran's hand by making our twin commitments to the security of the state of Israel and Iran not becoming a nuclear power into a political football.”