Skip To Content

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe
Breaking News

Republicans Blast Obama at AIPAC

Republican candidates addressing AIPAC’s policy conference focused their addresses on what they said were the Obama administration’s failures to head off a nuclear Iran.

Mitt Romney, the former Massachusetts governor; Rick Santorum the former Pennsylvania senator; and Newt Gingrich, the former U.S. House of Representatives speaker, each spoke Tuesday morning to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee annual conference.

They depicted Obama as reluctant to use sanctions and as naïve in his dealings with the Islamic Republic.

“I will bring the current policy of procrastination to an end,” said Romney, who said Obama opposed congressional sanctions approved last year.

The White House backed and helped shape the sanctions, but, like its predecessors, sought presidential waivers as a means of preserving executive branch prerogatives.

Santorum said differences between the U.S. and Israel over what should trigger a strike on Iran was emboldening that regime.

“There is a clear and unfortunate and tragic disconnect between how the leaders of Israel and of the United States view the exigency of this situation,” he said.

Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), who opened Tuesday’s proceedings with the traditional endorsement of a senator of AIPAC’s legislative package, said such attacks on Obama undermined Israel’s cause.

“We do a disservice to the security of our nation and of Israel if we sit calm to those who would use Israel to divide us for partisan gain,” he said.

Obama, at a news conference later, accused the candidates of treating the prospect of war with “casualness.“

“Those folks don’t have a lot of responsibilities, they’re not commander in chief,” he said. “When I see the casuallness with which some of these folks talk about war, I’m reminded of the costs.”

Romney and Gingrich, who were campaigning in the Super Tuesday primaries across 10 states, addressed the conference via satellite. Santorum came in person, a fact he noted at the start of his address. AIPAC did not invite Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), who has advocated against U.S. aid to Israel.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.