Former CIA chief: Romney’s right on Iran

posted at 2:01 pm on October 24, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

How well did both candidates frame the biggest threats against the US during the final presidential debate, to the extent that they stuck to the debate topic of foreign policy?  Newsmax asked former CIA chief Michael Hayden whether Barack Obama was correct in identifying terrorist networks as our greatest threat, or Mitt Romney pointing to Iran and their pursuit of nuclear weapons.  Hayden gives the point to Romney — and says that Obama has been largely ineffective at stopping the mullah’s march to nuclear proliferation:

Former CIA Director Michael Hayden tells Newsmax that Mitt Romney was right — and President Obama wrong — when the GOP candidate said during the Monday debate that a nuclear Iran and not a terrorist attack was the biggest threat to America’s national security.

The retired 4-star Air Force General also says he is “not very hopeful” that negotiations with the Iranians will dissuade them from developing nuclear weapons. And he predicts that a President Romney would “review” Obama’s exemption of some of Iran’s major trading partners from imposing sanctions on the Islamic Republic. …

During Monday’s presidential debate, President Obama stated that the biggest national security threat was an attack by a terrorist organization, and Romney said it was a nuclear-armed Iran.

In an exclusive interview with Newsmax TV, Hayden states who he thinks was right.

“I was advising the [Romney] campaign, but I did not advise the governor on this question. But I can tell you, I have been giving speeches now for three and a half years since I left the government. The general theme of the speech is what things keep you awake at night, and for three and a half years I have begun with Iran, a nuclear Iran, and pointed out that of all the things I left when I left the government, the one that has gotten increasingly dark, increasingly problematic, has been Iran.

“The governor’s choice was the one that I have been saying since I left government, and I frankly think it is the most destabilizing trend out there, should it come to fruition and the Iranians get the nuclear capability.”

In fact, as Hayden points out — and as Romney also argued during the debate — the toughening of sanctions originated in Congress, not in the White House.  “They have really held the president’s feet to the fire,” Hayden remarks.  Hayden also criticized Obama’s efforts to provide some exemptions to the sanctions for some of Iran’s trading partners.  Hayden told Newsmax that those exemptions undermine the pressure of the sanctions, as well as the symbolic unity that magnifies that pressure.

Finally, Hayden had particularly sharp words for Obama over his “horses and bayonets” remark.  “You had two men on stage,” Hayden said. “One was President.  The other was presidential.”

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Big Bird, Binders, Bayonets, BOMB!!!

PolAgnostic on October 24, 2012 at 2:04 PM

You were expecting maybe … Bishop?!?

PolAgnostic on October 24, 2012 at 2:04 PM

Finally, Hayden had particularly sharp words for Obama over his “horses and bayonets” remark. “You had two men on stage,” Hayden said. “One was President. The other was presidential.”

Ouch!

Happy Nomad on October 24, 2012 at 2:05 PM

Ouch

txmomof6 on October 24, 2012 at 2:05 PM

Hey Happy, great minds and all that!

txmomof6 on October 24, 2012 at 2:06 PM

So says Clarence J. Boddicker.

BobMbx on October 24, 2012 at 2:06 PM

Oh damn it… I need to turn my cell phone off, that dang Captain Renault is trying to call me again.

Damn it… Not fast enough… Captain Renault texted me… He is Shocked… Shocked he says to find out that Obama is wrong about Iran.

SWalker on October 24, 2012 at 2:06 PM

OT: Anyone else notice that you never see Capt. Ed and Gen. Hayden in the same room?

Coincidence?

Droopy on October 24, 2012 at 2:07 PM

And we were wondering if the intelligence community delivers a slapdown for undeserved Benghazi blame… Bend over, Mr. Obama, Reggie said you’ll love it!

Archivarix on October 24, 2012 at 2:08 PM

I’m not going to hold my breath on any American administration attacking any Iranian nuke facilities.

It’s Israel, or nobody.

OhEssYouCowboys on October 24, 2012 at 2:09 PM

Obama was more concerned about throwing around what the horses leave when they’re gone…

Don L on October 24, 2012 at 2:10 PM

Oh, the coveted spook endorsement! Second only to the Charlie Sheen-Lindsay Lohan Endorsement.

I’d soft-pedal that one, seriously.

CorporatePiggy on October 24, 2012 at 2:10 PM

Benghazi what? huh?—–Media

Iran? huh? nukes—-Media

Dirt on Mitt—-SALIVATING MEDIA.

CANTON, Mass. (AP) — A Massachusetts judge will hold another hearing Thursday before deciding whether to unseal testimony that GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney gave in the divorce case of Staples founder Tom Stemberg.

Ex-wife Maureen Stemberg Sullivan appeared in court Wednesday with lawyer Gloria Allred. They said they did not object to a Boston Globe motion to lift an impoundment order on Romney’s testimony in the case from the early 1990s.

Attorneys said Romney’s testimony dealt with financial matters, though they did not elaborate. Staples was founded with backing from Romney’s firm, Bain Capital. Stemberg has been a surrogate for Romney and spoke on the former Massachusetts governor’s behalf at the GOP convention.

“You have expert testimony about an investment that a presidential candidate made,” Globe attorney Jonathan Albano told Judge Jennifer Ulwick on Wednesday. He said the public has a right to know what Romney said. Allred disputed the contention that Romney testified as an expert.

Attorneys for Romney and Staples asked the judge for more time to review two booklets of testimony Allred produced.

Stemberg’s attorney said he had only been able to review about 20 pages. It wasn’t clear if the booklets were all Romney testimony or included testimony from others.

Romney attorney Robert Jones said he does not anticipate objecting but would like time to review the entire transcript. He asked a judge not to delay the hearing beyond one day.

“We’re in a little bit of a spin cycle now,” Jones said. “The longer this goes on, the more speculation there will be.”

PappyD61 on October 24, 2012 at 2:13 PM

“— and says that Obama has been largely ineffective at stopping the mullah’s march to nuclear proliferation:”

But arming Al Qaeda…

… has been one of Obowma’s greatest successes.

Seven Percent Solution on October 24, 2012 at 2:14 PM

They’re just a tiny country.

KMC1 on October 24, 2012 at 2:15 PM

So shocking that Hayden – a former Bush hack, dviser to the Romney campaign and is vying for an NSA job should Romney win –
would be critical of Obama.
(And I can’t imagine any of the self-professed Libertarians here trust the guy at all.)

verbaluce on October 24, 2012 at 2:17 PM

So says Clarence J. Boddicker.

BobMbx on October 24, 2012 at 2:06 PM

“Can you fly, Barry?!”

pilamaye on October 24, 2012 at 2:17 PM

“But it’s a dry heat.”

-President Obama

portlandon on October 24, 2012 at 2:17 PM

Why doesn’t Hayden get on one of the MSM Sunday shows and say this?

Steve Z on October 24, 2012 at 2:17 PM

This Allred thing will garner 10′times the media coverage Bengahzi ever has. The alphabet news networks will lead with this story.

Rockshine on October 24, 2012 at 2:18 PM

“You had two men on stage. One was President a puerile Punk. The other was presidential.”

Schadenfreude on October 24, 2012 at 2:19 PM

So says Clarence J. Boddicker.

Heh. Yeah.
I’d buy that for a dollar!

Battlecruiser-operational on October 24, 2012 at 2:19 PM

and says that Obama has been largely ineffective at stopping the mullah’s march to nuclear proliferation

Obama has avidly expedited and enabled their rise in the ME and N. Africa.

Wake up America.

Schadenfreude on October 24, 2012 at 2:21 PM

Oh, the coveted spook endorsement!

CorporatePiggy on October 24, 2012 at 2:10 PM

Well, it isn’t quite the caliber of a Honey Boo Boo endorsement but at least Hayden didn’t knowingly lie for the administration as did Panetta and Patraeus.

Happy Nomad on October 24, 2012 at 2:23 PM

So says Clarence J. Boddicker.

BobMbx on October 24, 2012 at 2:06 PM

Heh.

I prefer to think of him as “Red” from the 70s show.

UltimateBob on October 24, 2012 at 2:25 PM

This guy represents the neo-risers of the south, ergo, he is a racist.

-libfreeordie

tom daschle concerned on October 24, 2012 at 2:25 PM

Michael Hayden could be Karl Rove’s brother…is he carrying a small dry erase board?

justonevictory on October 24, 2012 at 2:25 PM

Heh. Yeah.
I’d buy that for a dollar!

Battlecruiser-operational on October 24, 2012 at 2:19 PM

Is the newest model of the 6000SUX on showroom floors yet?

JimLennon on October 24, 2012 at 2:25 PM

If so who is he racist against????

justonevictory on October 24, 2012 at 2:26 PM

This Allred joke is both comical and disgusting. What’s the point of sealing a record if it can be unsealed, except for maybe a criminal investigation, for political purposes?

I thought that in America we don’t punish or otherwise harm people for their politics? I guess that doesn’t apply to Republicans.

Liam on October 24, 2012 at 2:28 PM

…someone here keeps saying “the MSM is the enemy”!…
…it’s almost as if… they are trying to prove it!

KOOLAID2 on October 24, 2012 at 2:29 PM

justonevictory on October 24, 2012 at 2:26 PM

Todd Rundgren’s Utopia fan? From Another Live?

Just wondering about your name.

OhEssYouCowboys on October 24, 2012 at 2:29 PM

When President Romney has turned the country around and the world once again respects us, you will not be able to find an Obama supporter or voter.

jukin3 on October 24, 2012 at 2:29 PM

Both Obama and Romney – and this CIA chief – are dead wrong on Iran.

Dante on October 24, 2012 at 2:29 PM

“Attacking me is not an agenda”.

Schadenfreude on October 24, 2012 at 2:34 PM

Todd Rundgren Utopia fan indeed. Love Something Anything as well. An old 70′s throwback I am.

justonevictory on October 24, 2012 at 2:34 PM

You know, I look at these polls and I honestly find it hard to imagine that any rational thinking human would actually vote for another 4 years of Obama.

Inconceivable.

mitchellvii on October 24, 2012 at 2:35 PM

Todd Rundgren Utopia fan indeed. Love Something Anything as well. An old 70′s throwback I am.

justonevictory on October 24, 2012 at 2:34 PM

Me too. Another Live has been one of my all-time favs since ’75. I played the hell out of it. It’s a classic live album.

I saw Utopia in ’80.

Figured your name had something to do with Utopia.

:O)

OhEssYouCowboys on October 24, 2012 at 2:37 PM

badverbsoutofbalance,

Gun running now Stinger ground to air gets into terrorist hands.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on October 24, 2012 at 2:38 PM

They vote for checks in the mail, not for Obama or the Democrat Party.

Overdrafted checks we have to cover.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on October 24, 2012 at 2:40 PM

It is a matter of competition and winning and also needing to be right at all costs and that is why we have people still voting for Obama!

justonevictory on October 24, 2012 at 2:40 PM

Attacking the American Way is the agenda.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on October 24, 2012 at 2:41 PM

So says Clarence J. Boddicker.

BobMbx on October 24, 2012 at 2:06 PM

Greatest villain ever Bobby boy.

docflash on October 24, 2012 at 2:41 PM

Now what are the prospects of Zero’s political prisoner the YouTube filmmaker getting out of jail?

viking01 on October 24, 2012 at 2:42 PM

Obama still thinks he can talk the Iranians out of their nukes. What a moron.

Bitter Clinger on October 24, 2012 at 2:42 PM

Perfect:

“You had two men on stage. One was President. The other was presidential.”

ConservativeLA on October 24, 2012 at 2:47 PM

Verb – it is fair to have differing opinions on this point. Of course when you ask who is behind most of the financing and support of the terrorists you find – Iran. I don’t discount Obama’s answer, but Romney’s is more thoughtful in my opinion – as it recognizes the problem behind both reponses.

Zomcon JEM on October 24, 2012 at 2:48 PM

It is noteworthy that the current CIA director, Gen Petraeus, has been amazingly silent. I don’t think Gen Petraeus will lie for the White House, and therefore remains silent.

STL_Vet on October 24, 2012 at 2:51 PM

You know, I look at these polls and I honestly find it hard to imagine that any rational thinking human would actually vote for another 4 years of Obama.

Inconceivable.

mitchellvii on October 24, 2012 at 2:35 PM

Me too! People dont have their heads in the sand, they have their heads up their azzes!!!!

kcd on October 24, 2012 at 2:51 PM

And we were wondering if the intelligence community delivers a slapdown for undeserved Benghazi blame… Bend over, Mr. Obama, Reggie said you’ll love it!

Archivarix on October 24, 2012 at 2:08 PM

That might have already been done. Someone leaked these last e-mails regarding Benghazi.

a capella on October 24, 2012 at 2:53 PM

Now what are the prospects of Zero’s political prisoner the YouTube filmmaker getting out of jail?

viking01 on October 24, 2012 at 2:42 PM

President Romney will pardon him :)

kcd on October 24, 2012 at 2:54 PM

It is noteworthy that the current CIA director, Gen Petraeus, has been amazingly silent. I don’t think Gen Petraeus will lie for the White House, and therefore remains silent.

STL_Vet on October 24, 2012 at 2:51 PM

Then he needs to take a stand,..in public. Otherwise, he’s as guilty as anyone else.

a capella on October 24, 2012 at 2:55 PM

Now what are the prospects of Zero’s political prisoner the YouTube filmmaker getting out of jail?

viking01 on October 24, 2012 at 2:42 PM

His next court appearance is — surprise, surprise! — 3 days after the election.

Resist We Much on October 24, 2012 at 2:58 PM

Then he needs to take a stand,..in public. Otherwise, he’s as guilty as anyone else.

a capella on October 24, 2012 at 2:55 PM

And if he’s afraid of another smackdown from hillary, he doesnt need to be CIA director OR a general!

kcd on October 24, 2012 at 3:00 PM

It is noteworthy that the current CIA director, Gen Petraeus, has been amazingly silent. I don’t think Gen Petraeus will lie for the White House, and therefore remains silent.

STL_Vet on October 24, 2012 at 2:51 PM

Which equates to lying for the White House.

Dante on October 24, 2012 at 3:05 PM

No New Caliphate?

Bmore on October 24, 2012 at 3:09 PM

So this is Kurtwood Smiths gig nowadays?

EnglishRogue on October 24, 2012 at 3:24 PM

The sad thing is this president doesn’t even see the connecting of the dots from a nuclear Iran to a devastating terrorist attack; he views them as separate events.

I’m less terrified of a random radical inside the US blowing up a car or shooting a dozen people, and way more terrified of a nuclear weapon being smuggled out of Iran or nuclear material given to terrorists to use as a dirty bomb or some type of suitcase nuke against us or an ally.

nextgen_repub on October 24, 2012 at 3:25 PM

So shocking that Hayden – a former Bush hack, dviser to the Romney campaign and is vying for an NSA job should Romney win –
would be critical of Obama.
(And I can’t imagine any of the self-professed Libertarians here trust the guy at all.)

verbaluce

So you don’t disagree with the substance of his remarks then?

Knott Buyinit on October 24, 2012 at 3:32 PM

Can we get a few Congresscritters to realize that the DNI was a total and utter Charlie-Foxtrot? That adding more layers to the IC did not increase effectiveness but diluted accountability?

If this slap in the face can’t wake up Congress on this, then they are one, and all, idiots. They created this monstrosity and it is up to Congress to pull it apart, disestablish the DNI and cut layers out from inside agencies until accountability is simple and direct. And when Directors lie to Congress or the American People, they must go… to Leavenworth… turning big rocks into small rocks for the rest of their natural lives.

ajacksonian on October 24, 2012 at 3:34 PM

That might have already been done. Someone leaked these last e-mails regarding Benghazi.

a capella on October 24, 2012 at 2:53 PM

That evil Julian Assange is at it again. How embarrasing it must be for our government to vilify Assange, and then do the exact same thing to save their own asses.

Laugh loud and long, Julian. Just like Bernie Maddoff.

Both will do life sentences for doing what the our defenders of the Constitution do everyday as a matter of business.

BobMbx on October 24, 2012 at 3:48 PM

ajacksonian on October 24, 2012 at 3:34 PM

Dude, Congress currently includes Pelosi, McCaskill, Boxer, and Al Franken.

What should we expect?

BobMbx on October 24, 2012 at 3:49 PM

Dude, Congress currently includes Pelosi, McCaskill, Boxer, and Al Franken.

What should we expect?

BobMbx on October 24, 2012 at 3:49 PM

Uh-huh… and the conservatives? The budgetary hawks? The National Security mavens?

Where are these people?

You know the DeMint, Lee, King, and Rubio types? I know we got a lot of Stupid Upon the Hill, but where are the folks who are supposed to have a clue? Do they need to have a cluebat applied as well?

ajacksonian on October 24, 2012 at 3:52 PM

So shocking that Hayden – a former Bush hack, dviser(sic) to the Romney campaign and is vying for an NSA job should Romney win –

He’s already been the Director of the NoSuchAgency – why would he want to go back?
He was also the Director of the CIA after leaving NSA.
The only job that he might want is DNI, which he is eminently qualified for – probably even more than the current occupant of the position who had trouble defining what the Muslim Brotherhood is.

Another Drew on October 24, 2012 at 4:24 PM

Why doesn’t Hayden get on one of the MSM Sunday shows and say this?

Steve Z on October 24, 2012 at 2:17 PM

CALLING CHRIS WALLACE AND FOX NEWS CHANNEL!!!!

Khun Joe on October 24, 2012 at 4:38 PM

Why doesn’t Hayden get on one of the MSM Sunday shows and say this?

Steve Z on October 24, 2012 at 2:17 PM

He probably would. If invited. He can’t go on a show that isn’t interested in critiquing President Obama.

Mitoch55 on October 24, 2012 at 4:56 PM

God Bless Boeing…and God Bless America!

http://www.businessinsider.com/beoings-counter-electronics-high-power-microwave-advanced-missile-project-201

workingclass artist on October 24, 2012 at 5:39 PM

Serious People, think the Ideologue Clown, Occutarding the White House is not only wrong, but a sad joke! The Failure-in-chief sees nothing but his Ideology and taking this country down a Suicidal Path! In his attempts to prove how smart he is, he has gotten at least 5 Non-Military Americans killed, that we know of! The Attempts to get muslim jihadis, on his side are as Naive an act as any could have imagined and it’s inspired by Arrogance! Many people, way more experienced and successful, have told this Arrogant Clown, that he was going to get people killed and he proved them right! How many more Americans have to DIE, due to the Ignorant Arrogance of Obama?
Update on how to take on the Obama Jihadi media & Win: http://paratisiusa.blogspot.com/2012/09/an-open-letter-to-those-who-should-know.html?spref=tw

God Bless America!

paratisi on October 24, 2012 at 8:26 PM

So shocking that Hayden – a former Bush hack, dviser to the Romney campaign and is vying for an NSA job should Romney win –
would be critical of Obama.
(And I can’t imagine any of the self-professed Libertarians here trust the guy at all.)

verbaluce on October 24, 2012 at 2:17 PM

Nice try. General Hayden walked away from government service in 2009. He has already been DNS and DCI, he isn’t vying for anything. Also, while your checking facts, he advised in opposition of President Bush on national and foreign security issues more than once while Director of NSA.

I take it back. Not even a poor try.

Freelancer on October 24, 2012 at 10:36 PM

When President Romney has turned the country around and the world once again respects us, you will not be able to find an Obama supporter or voter.

jukin3 on October 24, 2012 at 2:29 PM

I remember in the 1980s, if you were on board with the fight against Communism, most of the liberals (with few exceptions) thought that you were a psychopathic warmonger. Then, suddenly, the USSR collapsed, and everyone could see that Communism was just as evil, imperialistic, and murderous as the Conservatives said it was. Then, suddenly, (with the battle won) the Liberals became born-again Cold Warriors – with us Conservatives having won the battle despite their interference.

It will be the same once the current presidency is in the rearview mirror.

SubmarineDoc on October 25, 2012 at 12:26 AM