In an interview with Bob Schieffer on Face the Nation Mitt Romney declares that he would do exactly what Barack Obama has done and use military force, not in defense of our nation, but in a preemptive strike against Iran without Congressional approval.
I can assure you if I’m president, the Iranians will have no question but that I will be willing to take military action if necessary to prevent them from becoming a nuclear threat to the world. I don’t believe at this stage, therefore, if I’m president that we need to have a war powers approval or special authorization for military force. The president has that capacity now. I understand that some in the Senate for instance have written letters to the president indicating you should know that a containment strategy is unacceptable. We cannot survive a course of action which would include a nuclear Iran we must be willing to take any and all actions.
All those actions must be on the table.
No one is putting words in Mitt’s mouth. These are his expressed thoughts. He has every intention of violating his oath of office before he takes it. Maybe Mitt Romney should read the Constitution a bit more clearly next time before he answers a question with his ignorance.
On this issue it seems that a future president Romney would be just as destructive to the Constitution as the current occupant of the Oval Office. In fact, he would clearly be violating the separation of powers and the War Powers Resolution. It would also put him under the condemnation expressed in a House resolution put forth by Walter Jones (R-NC), which declared,
Expressing the sense of Congress that the use of offensive military force by a President without prior and clear authorization of an Act of Congress constitutes an impeachable high crime and misdemeanor under article II, section 4 of the Constitution.
Daniel Larison over at the American Conservative writes,
The United States survived decades of containing Soviet power. America outlasted what may have been the greatest security threat in our history partly because of a policy of containment. Iran is far weaker than any threat the USSR ever posed. If the U.S. could not survive a nuclear-armed Iran, a President Romney would be powerless to change that. On the other hand, back in the real world, if the U.S. has little to fear from a nuclear-armed Iran and is more than capable of deterring any threat from Iran, there is no reason to listen to anything Romney has to say on this subject.
Romney obviously does not believe war is a last resort, and he clearly doesn’t believe that the Congress has anything to say about attacking Iran. According to Romney, it is something that the President could do tomorrow if he believed it necessary. The Constitution is completely irrelevant to Romney, and so is the consent of the American people expressed through its representatives. No one should have any illusions about how Romney would conduct foreign policy if he is elected.
The Constitution gives the power of the declaration of war to the Congress. Article I Section 8 states,
The Congress shall have Power To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;
To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;
To provide and maintain a Navy;
To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;
To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;
To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;
This is not the President’s decision alone. In terms of the War Powers Act, that use is very limited and frankly there has been a lot of uproar about it since it was put into law in 1973 as being unconstitutional, which in this writer’s opinion it is. It goes directly against the above and grants power to the president that is expressly the Congress’.
Romney has just told everyone that when it comes to the Constitution, he has no intention of upholding the oath of office, should he take it.