In comments to reporters today, Gov. Mitt Romney said he doesn’t think that the US will ultimately end up attacking Iran, adding “I certainly hope we don’t have to.”
Romney, who had just spoken with hawkish Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, said that he believes that publicly threatening to attack Iran is important and that he would never take that threat “off the table,” but said he believes that the threat in and of itself will be enough, reiterating “I certainly hope that we can prevent any military action.”
Romney tried to present this as more or less in-line with Netanyahu, though the Israeli ruler has repeatedly demanded “red lines” and today called for a specific ultimatum that he conceded would likely end in a war by spring.
The Republican nominee downplayed this difference, however, saying that he didn’t get into specifics with Netanyahu on his conversation, and insisting that he would “respect” whatever decision to start a war Israel might make.
Romney also spurned questions about the difference between his policy and Obama’s policy, insisting he doesn’t have any information on what Obama’s covert operations and policy actually are. Interestingly, this hasn’t stopped Romney from bashing Obama on the Iran issue and other foreign policy issues on which there is no apparent difference between the two.