The Corner

Krauthammer’s Take

From Special Report with Bret Baier | Thursday, July 12, 2012

On the Obama campaign’s charge that Mitt Romney has misrepresented his role at Bain Capital between 1999 and 2002:

I think the charges up to now that [Romney] doesn’t care and outsources does have an effect. But when you get the Obama campaign accusing him of being a felon you have jumped the shark. You can say a lot of stuff about Mitt Romney — unfeeling, out of touch, stiff, but a felon he is not. He is a guy who not only doesn’t have a skeleton in his closet, he doesn’t have a closet. He is as clean as they come.

So when they accuse him of deliberately lying to the SEC and committing a felony, they are then retroactively questioning all the series of charges up to then. That’s jumping the shark. That is a mistake.

I think there is not evidence on both sides on this; it’s all on one side. What happened is he left Bain capital suddenly. He was offered the job [with the Salt Lake Olympic Games] and nine days later accepted it. Bain is incredibly complex. Normally you have years to unwind a guy stepping down with all of the associated investment. He leaves in nine days. His own company, as you quoted, which included Obama contributors, said he had no involvement whatsoever — unequivocally ever — after that day. There is not a shred of evidence he was involved in anything after that date. He signed documents because officially, or at least technically, he had to unwind his position. That is all that you see in the SEC documents. No one showed otherwise., “The Washington Post,” not exactly a right wing rag, and a lot of other sources looked at this and said the charges are false.

On a recent Defense Department report showing improvements in the range and accuracy of Iran’s missile systems:

Well, when the presidential spokesman says we are “waiting for the Iranians to make the right choice and abide by its international obligations” — this is a country that our own State Department has declared year after year is the biggest exporter of terror in the world and we’re waiting for it to abide by its international obligations — this is a farce and it’s also a charade.

The talks that we’ve had, the supposedly last ditch talks in Baghdad, in Moscow, in Turkey, have essentially collapsed, but we pretend it’s still going on. And as you report, what we have seen here not only is a nuclear program proceeding unmolested, but they are also working on conventional stuff to make it accurate and lethal.

On that front we have done nothing. Everybody understands that. And our own DNI, the director of national intelligence, has said in testimony in Congress that, yes, our sanctions have had an economic effect. They have had zero effect — he says that, not me — he said it has had zero effect on their nuclear development. And that’s why the Israelis are not going to wait that long.

On the US naval presence in Iran’s neighborhood:

But I think what is happening under the radar is that we are building up in the Gulf the biggest naval armada possibly in history.

And submarines headed there, too, which I think isn’t the United States or Obama warning Iran “either you stop the nuclear enrichment or we’re going to attack.” But I think it is a deterrent as a way to say “if the Israelis attack you, you don’t attack us, because that will be suicide. You don’t attack our bases, and you don’t shut the Strait of Hormuz.”

That [naval buildup] I think is a very strong deterrent. And that means that Iran would retaliate against Israel, but there would not be a general war. I think that is a prudent policy on the part of this administration.

On whether Israel will strike Iran before the US presidential election:

Well, I think they are ready to. They understand that the world is not going to do a thing. They have [faced] this kind of a crisis three times in their history, and each time, ‘48, ‘56, and ‘67, Israel was told “Wait. We’ll take care of it,” and it attacked because it had to save itself. I think it will.

NRO Staff — Members of the National Review Online editorial and operational teams are included under the umbrella “NR Staff.”


The Latest