Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney said on Sunday that the Obama administration's approach to Iran was "entirely wrong-headed" and made the case that the contested results of that country's elections proved that the president's policy of apologizing for America was "not working."
In an appearance on ABC's "This Week," the failed Republican Presidential candidate and potential 2012 contender called Iran's election results a "fraud," and the results "inaccurate."
Romney began, however, by arguing that Barack Obama's remark that there was a "robust debate" in Iran had proven to be badly off the mark, as witnessed by "brutal repression" of election day protesters. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's widely contested victory, he added, was another indication that Obama's approach to the Middle East and world at large wasn't working.
"It's very clear that the president's policy of going around the world and apologizing for America is not working," said Romney. "North Korea is not just saber rattling. They've taken the saber out of the sheath. Iran is moving head alone towards nuclearization. Russia is on the same course they were on. And all the apologies he provided to the Europeans have not led any of the European nations to provide any additional support for us in Afghanistan. Look, just sweet talk and criticizing America is not go doing enhance freedom in the world."
Reminded by host George Stephanopoulos that losses by Hezbollah in Lebanon just a week earlier were widely attributed as a success for Obama -- as was the mere fact that Iranians were protesting Ahmadinejad's proclaimed victory -- Romney was left a bit more tongue-tied.
"You know, I can't tell you what led to the people running into the streets in Iran," he said. "I hope, in fact, that they're very anxious to see new leadership in that country. But I can tell you the results are what I'm interested in: Is Iran still pursuing nuclear weaponry. And there's no question about at."
That said, the former governor's remarks - another in a line of continuous, harsh rebukes of the White House - seem likely to be the Republican line going forward. Prominent neo-conservative Richard Perle also made the case, Sunday morning, that Ahmadinejad's power grab was the U.S. president's fault.
"Normally, when you unclench your fist it benefits the hardliners," he said, "because Obama appeared to be saying we can do business with you even with your present policies."
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