This transcript is automatically generated
-- for Greta Van Susteren Mitt Romney spends a weekend in Israel talking tough on -- -- And trying to burnish his foreign policy credentials so -- -- joining us now.
Is Stephen Hadley former national security advisor for president George W.
Bush -- a wonderful personal friend thanks for being here tonight.
Nice to be -- game.
Steve you've heard governor Romney's comments and just from your experience and on the different ministries and -- worked in.
Do you see any daylight between what he said and stated US policy.
No I think it was a very clear statement of what he's been US policy under President Bush.
And President Obama.
He of course said that to when he was overseas he would not try to pick a fight with president Obama's foreign policy but would try to be supportive.
And I think -- was true to his word I thought it was very clear.
Cogent explanation of what we are trying to do which is to put pressure on the Iranian regime so they will give up this effort to get.
And nuclear weapon.
An end to convince the Iranian people.
That it is the policy of this regime in pursuing nuclear weapons that is the result of all the pain that they -- that they are suffering that's been.
US policy and I think can the governor articulated it that very clearly.
One of the things that you used to tell me was -- the worst thing you can do is.
Put a president and a position.
Of having to make a decision about whether or not to have to preemptively strike and in this case Iran could you tell me a little bit more about why you think that's true.
Well we talked look -- the use of military force would have enormous consequences for.
Our relationship with the -- and within the region and what we used to say is.
The what you'd like to do is avoid a situation where any president has only two choices.
Either to accept an Iran with a nuclear weapon.
Or to use military force and so -- effort has been made through all the things that governor Romney described to see if there is an alternative way.
Of resolving this situation.
But you know it it it's good for the for the governor to reaffirm this policy President Bush used to say that Iran with a nuclear weapon was unacceptable.
President Obama said the United States would act to prevent that.
That governor Romney really reiterated that he and use both of those words on his trip.
And I think the important message to the Iranian regime is that.
If it gets down to the point where it's either accept a nuclear weapon or to use military force.
They ought to do some serious thinking because I think.
Two presidents and now a presidential nominee.
Have made it very clear that Iran with a nuclear weapon is simply.
Nine that's question on this before we -- about it discuss sequestration issue.
In your opinion are the sanctions against Iran working.
You know it's hard to hard to say I've I've talked to members of the administration I've read what is in the press and I think.
The answer is that it is a.
An aggressive set of sanctions the administration is done pretty well in.
Building on what the Bush Administration left them but really going further than that I think they're having an effect but the question really.
He's not are they having an effect but are they having enough of an effect.
To change the policy of this regime.
And what I'm afraid we have to say is not so far.
I have coming up but there's going to be we're gonna have read his interview with Mitt Romney and so you know everybody plastic around -- -- in the meantime I asked about another question which is.
Only in Washington could that come up with a word like sequestration.
That actually has a very important meaning and Senator John McCain talked about that today when it listen to him and -- get your thoughts on.
This is what also what requires.
Presidential leadership no matter who or what was responsible.
The president United States is commander in chief he's the only one.
And if these impacts have the the devastating effects that secretary Panetta and all of our uniformed military leaders say he should be in there he should be talking with us he should be -- And -- in my -- So Steve if the -- if we went back to when we worked together in the bush administration and I would sit down and -- what are they talking about help me explain and you to help me explain to the American people -- John McCain's talking about.
Well -- about a year or so ago there is.
Budget control act was adopted it was part of an effort to raise the debt ceiling.
There were a lot of deficit.
-- spending cuts that were part of that deal to raise the debt ceiling.
But it was also agreed that the congress would try to find.
An additional spending cuts of about one point two trillion dollars over ten years.
There would be -- special committee assigned to develop those cuts but if they could not reach agreement on at one point two trillion cuts over ten years.
Then it was agreed those cuts would be taken in federal spending.
50% from defense 50% from the domestic side.
That means a cut of 600.
Billion dollars in defense over ten years and that's on top of cuts.
That have already been made of about.
500 billion so that is a huge cut in the defense budget.
Where to go through in those 600.
Billion cut the dollar's worth of cuts taken if you -- often and protect salaries of our men and women in uniform it's.
Thirteen plus percent.
A cut in the defense budget that's a lot of systems a lot of programs and a lot of jobs will be cut at a time in the when the economy can't stand it and when the United States needs a strong military abroad and that's what people are worried about.
That but thinking in the house armed services committee chairman we'll have an op Ed in the Washington Post tomorrow which he talks about this is not just something that happens on January 3.
2012 it actually because businesses that are involved in the defense industry.
Have to give notice to their employees this -- start affecting people within the next couple of months.
It could and one of the things that secretary Panetta has been made very clear on he cannot sustain the current defense strategy.
If anything like those level of cuts are made so.
A solution has to be fine found we cannot.
And sustain -- these additional defense cuts but we also have to solve our overall fiscal problem.
We're gonna have to deal with the entitlement program.
You know the biggest national security challenge we face.
Is to get our economy.
Growing our people back to work and get our fiscal situation and hand it undermine it under -- everything we do under overseas.
Andy's gonna undermine us overseas if we don't get our fiscal house in order.
So this is why people are paying attention and starting to.
Get concerned may be alarmingly so.
Congress can't agree on a Mother's Day resolution so.
What gives you hope and optimism Regina you always are why are you optimistic that they could come to a solution now before the sequestration -- happen.
By legislation there are -- whole series of things that are going to happen at the end of this year and into January expiration of tax cuts.
Other spending cuts if you.
Add them all together they would have a huge impact on the deficit which could be good.
But it also is estimated to take maybe up to three points off our gross domestic product and when.
In the last quarter were only growing by about one point 5% that means.
Pushing the country back into recession.
No politician ought to want that and therefore -- write my hope is that all these.
Automatic things that will occur in January will cause the congress to say wait a minute we need to do this in an orderly way.
We need to address our our budget deficit in a more responsible way and that's the opportunity the congress is really going to have after the first of the year.
Steve thank you so much for your insight appreciate you -- in on thank you nice to be here are right.