Romney, White House Spar Over Iraq Decision

GOP candidate calls lack of new deal an 'astonishing failure'
By Dustin Lushing,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 21, 2011 5:05 PM CDT
Republican presidential candidate, Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., speaks at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco, Thursday, Oct. 20, 2011.   (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
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(Newser) – Republican presidential contenders are railing against President Obama over his decision to bring home all American troops in Iraq by January 1, reports CBS News.

  • Mitt Romney: "President Obama's astonishing failure to secure an orderly transition in Iraq has unnecessarily put at risk the victories that were won through the blood and sacrifice of thousands of American men and women. The unavoidable question is whether this decision is the result of a naked political calculation or simply sheer ineptitude in negotiations with the Iraqi government."
  • White House response: "Mitt Romney didn't lay out a plan to end the war in Iraq in his foreign policy agenda—he barely even mentioned Iraq—but he is apparently willing to leave American troops there without identifying a new mission."

  • Rick Perry: "Obama is putting political expediency ahead of sound military and security judgment by announcing an end to troop level negotiations and a withdrawal from Iraq by year's end."
  • Michele Bachmann: She condemned the move as "a political decision and not a military one," adding that Iraq should repay the US "the full cost of liberating them given their rich oil revenues."
  • Jon Huntsman: He said it's a "mistake" not to leave "a small, focused" military presence in Iraq, calling the country "vulnerable to backsliding."

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