How effective could a military strike be against Iran?
Part 2 of vice presidential debate
- Duration 10:30
- Date Oct 11, 2012
Part 2 of vice presidential debate
Also in this playlist...
This transcript is automatically generated
I'd actually like to move to Iran because there's really no bigger national maturity.
This country is facing both President Obama and governor Romney have said they will prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapons.
Even if that means military action.
Last week former Defense Secretary Bob gates at a strike on Iran's facilities would not work and quote could prove catastrophic.
Haunting us for generations.
Can -- to have you be absolutely clear and specific to the American people how effective would a military strike be congressman.
We cannot allow Iran to gain in nuclear weapons capability.
Now let's take a look at where we've got come from.
When Barack Obama was elected.
They had enough fissile material.
Nuclear material to make one bomb now they have enough for -- they're racing toward a nuclear -- their four years closer toward nuclear weapons capability.
-- at four different sanctions that you went on Iran three from the Bush Administration won here.
And the only reason we got is because Russia watered down and prevented the sanctions from hitting the Central Bank.
Mitt Romney proposing sanctions 2007 in congress have been fighting for -- sanctions since 2009.
The administration was blocking us every step of the way.
Only because we had strong bipartisan support for these tough sanctions were we able to overrule their objections and put them in spite of the administration.
Imagine what would have happened if we had these sanctions in place earlier.
You -- -- -- operation look at what they're doing.
They're stepping up their terrorist attacks they tried a terrorist attack in the United States last year when they try to blow up the Saudi ambassador at a restaurant in Washington DC.
And talk about credibility.
When this administration says that all options -- on the table they send out senior administration of -- officials that -- all these mixed signals.
And so in order to solve this peacefully which is everybody's goal.
You have to have a Ayatollah change their minds.
Look at where they are doing faster toward nuclear weapon.
It's because this administration has no credibility on this issue is because this administration.
Watered down sanctions delayed sanctions try to stop some pretty tough decision -- -- now we have -- in place because of congress.
They say the military options on the table but it's not being viewed as credible and the key is to do this peacefully.
To make sure that we -- credibility.
An Iraqi administration we will have credibility on this issue.
I specified to incredible -- Look imagine had we let Republican congress work out the sanctions.
-- any possibility.
The entire world would have joined us Russia and China.
All of our allies is in the most crippling sanctions in the history -- sanctions period.
When governor Romney was asked about it he said we gotta keep the sanctions.
When you say we are talking about doing what what -- you you're gonna go to war is that what you wanna do to prevent or Arab and the agency that is how they're gonna prevent war.
I am format war and they say -- there's nothing more that we that they say we should do than what we've already done number one and number two.
With regard to the ability in the United States to take action militarily.
It is it is not my purview to talk about -- -- information but we feel quite confident.
We could deal a serious blows to the salaries.
But number two.
The Iranians are the Israelis in the United States our military intelligence communities are absolutely the same exact place.
In terms of how close how close.
The Iranians are to getting a nuclear weapon.
They are a good way away there is no difference between our view and there's when my friend talks about fissile material.
They have to take this highly enriched uranium get a from 20%.
Up then they have to be able to have something to put -- There is no weapon that the Iranians have at this point.
Both the Israelis and we know we don't know if they start the process of building a weapon so all this bluster I keep hearing all this loose talk.
What are they talking about are you talking about.
To be more credible that's what what more can the president do stand before the United Nations tell the whole world directly communicate to the Ayatollah.
We will not let them acquire a nuclear weapon.
Period -- -- he's talking about going to war.
Let's just so let's look at this from the view of the I tell us what did they see.
They see this administration trying to water down sanctions in congress for over two years.
They're moving faster toward nuclear weapons they're splitting the centrifuges faster they see -- saying when we come into the administration when they're sworn in.
We need more space for their ally Israel.
They see President Obama in New York City the same day Bibi Netanyahu is an east instead of meeting with him goes on and on a daily talk show.
When we say that these options are on the table the secretary -- defense walk them back.
They are not changing their mind.
That's what we have to do is change their mind so based.
-- on how -- -- you're going -- have a quick look you you both saw.
Benjamin Netanyahu hold up that picture of a bomb with the Red Line and talking about the Red Line being in spy ring.
So can you solve this is if the Romney Ryan ticket.
Is elected can use office in two months before spring and avoid nuclear it.
Nuclear week we can debate a sideline where we can debate timeline whether -- states that short timer longer I'd I'd agree that's probably longer.
It's a woman I agree with that bomb and well Israelis let you know we will always present I don't I'm going to class but also but -- we both agree.
That to do this -- what you -- get them to change their minds they're not change their minds and look at what this what -- what do you do that retirement the Ayatollah was happy to have.
Credible -- -- economy being crippled.
The Ayatollah sees.
That there are 50%.
Fewer exports of oil.
He stays the currency's going in the tank.
He sees the economy going into free fall and he sees the world for the first time totally united in opposition.
To him getting in nuclear weapon no regard to be there has been my friend for 39 years.
The president met would be be a dozen times.
He spoke it would be -- -- -- now as much as you spoken to anybody the idea that we're not and I was -- just before he went to the UN.
I was in a conference call with the with the president -- with him talking to be -- for.
Well over an hour and improved -- -- Starker relief indeed tell upwards to or not.
This is a bunch of stuff.
Look here's the deal what does that mean a bunch stuff well it means a -- And the impact Irish.
-- -- -- But we are is called my wife and yeah yeah I as columnist -- but last thing.
The secretary of defense has made it absolutely can't walk commuting back we will not allow.
The Iranians to get a nuclear weapons.
What baby held up there was where they get to the point where they can enrich uranium enough to put into -- -- they don't.
Had a weapon to put it -- too.
Let's -- all -- about a little bit here.
Iran has more isolated today do we took office.
It was on the ascendancy -- we took office it is totally isolated -- I don't think what world and Jack thank heavens we have these sanctions in place.
It's in spite of their opposite awful -- they'd given twenty waivers of -- -- And all I have to point you -- the results.
There for years closer toward nuclear weapons.
And that that case it could just tell me man by the way there are -- in other words -- -- nuclear weapon.
-- if they're closer to be able to get enough fissile material to put a weapon if they had a weapon.
You're a little bit like they don't want on all I didn't -- sing let's facts matter of Martha.
Your foreign policy expert facts matter.
All this loose talk about them all they have to do is get to enrich uranium at a certain amount and they have a weapon not.
True not true -- are more and if we ever have to take action.
-- who we took office we will have the world behind us and that matters.
Bob gates' statement.
Let me read that again could prove catastrophic.
Haunting us for generations.
He is right it could prove catastrophic if we -- in -- Ryan.
Well fish and what it dies his inner undermines our credibility.
By backing up the point when we make it that all options -- on the table that's the point.
The Ayatollah see these kinds of statements and they think.
I'm gonna get a nuclear weapons.
When we see.
The kind of equivocation that took place because this administrative cherish and wanted to precondition policy so -- -- green revolution started -- these were silent for nine days.
When they see us putting -- desperate -- -- she is putting daylight between ourselves.
And our allies and Israel.
That gives them encouragement.
When they see Russia watering down any further sanctions the only reason we got a UN sanctions because Russia watered it down and -- the sanctioning sanctions in the first place.
So when they see this kind of activity.
They are encouraged to continue and ask them who -- what's let me ask you what's worse.
War in the Middle East another war in the -- I'll tell our nuclear armed Iran.
I tell you -- a nuclear armed Iran which triggers a nuclear arms race in the Middle East this is the world's largest sponsor of terrorism.
They said only -- reflecting an entire country off the map they call us the great Satan.
And if they get nuclear weapons other people -- neighborhood will pursue their nuclear weapons as well vice president which I live with that.
-- war should always be absolute last resort.
That's why these crippling sanctions would Bibi Netanyahu says we should continue.
Which if I want mistaking the governor Romney says we we should continue.
I may be mistaken he changed his mind so often I could be wrong but the fact of the matter is he says they work.
And the fact is that they are being crippled -- And we've made it clear big nations can't bluff this president doesn't -- Gentlemen I want -- -- conversation to a different kind of national security issue the state of our economy.