New York Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on Tuesday that President Barack Obama is “far more likely” to launch a military attack on Iran than his Republican opponent, Mitt Romney.
The suggestion that Obama would be more hawkish than a President Mitt Romney on the issue of Iran and its nuclear program might seem far-fetched to some given recent events, including reported White House difficulties with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. But Schumer insists Obama would take a stronger position with Iran in a second term, while Romney would have his hands full dealing with domestic issues.
“Here’s what I’d say — the two biggest threats to Israel, the two most existential threats, if you will, are, one, a nuclear Iran, and two, rockets raining in from Lebanon launched by Hezbollah,” Schumer said. “And I would say on those two issues this president has been better than any other. He has launched sanctions against Iran that are tough and having an effect.
“He has made it clear that he will not support a nuclear Iran. He has made clear that the policy of containment is not a good policy. And I’ll tell you this on Iran, and I’ve said this to a couple of Romney supporters who agree, that if the sanctions fail, and military action is warranted, a re-elected President Obama is far more likely to launch that kind of military action, probably in concert with Israel, than would Mitt Romney. Because Mitt Romney will be new, he’ll have a whole domestic agenda.”
Schumer added that Obama has given him his personal assurance that he would protect Israel from not only Iran, but the terrorist group Hezbollah as well.
“And I’ve talked to the president on Iran,” Schumer continued. “He’s resolute about not having a nuclear Iran. On Hezbollah, Netanyahu himself, the prime minister admits, that nobody has done more for Iron Dome than this administration. Israel has even tweaked it a little bit so it’s even stronger. And the percentage of Hezbollah rockets that might be launched from Lebanon, if there was a military action or Iran decided to let Hezbollah loose in any other way, the number of rockets that would get through would be much, much smaller than it would have been in the past. So I think on these two issues, the president is very strong and I think that Mitt Romney is mistaken.”