Beltway Confidential

Flashback: In 2012, Obama warned against action in Syria

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Beltway Confidential,Charlie Spiering,Barack Obama,Syria

Less than a year ago, President Obama scored debate points against his opponent Mitt Romney for remaining cautious about acting in Syria.

During the October 22, 2012 presidential debate, Romney tried to score points against Obama by suggesting that the president wasn't leading the effort to stop the atrocities in the country. Romney carefully advise against military action in Syria, but suggested that Obama should arm the Syrian rebels.

"Ultimately, Syrians are going to have to determine their own future," Obama said, adding that although it was "heartbreaking" to see the atrocities, it was wrong to get involved militarily.

"We also have to recognize that, you know, for us to get more entangled militarily in Syria is a serious step," he said. "And we have to do so making absolutely certain that we know who we are helping, that we're not putting arms in the hands of folks who eventually could turn them against us or our allies in the region."



Obama also ridiculed Romney's suggestion that he should arm the rebels.

"But what we can't do is to simply suggest that, as Governor Romney at times has suggested, that giving heavy weapons, for example, to the Syrian opposition is a simple proposition that would lead us to be safer over the long term," he said.

When Romney tried to clarify his remarks, Obama pounced.

"Governor, here's one thing I've learned as commander in chief," Obama said. "You've got to be clear, both to our allies and our enemies, about where you stand and what you mean."

Where does Obama stand on Syria exactly?

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