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Mitt Romney calls Obama comment on Venezuela 'disturbing'; Marco Rubio calls it 'naive'

UPDATE: Read full story here.

Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney reacted on Wednesday to President Barack Obama's comment to a Miami TV anchor last night that Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez does not pose a "serious" national security threat to the United States.

In a statement, Romney called Obama's comment "stunning and shocking" and said they sign of "a pattern of weakness" in the president's foreign policy."

"It is disturbing to see him downplaying the threat posed to U.S. interests by a regime that openly wishes us ill," Romney said. "Hugo Chavez has provided safe haven to drug kingpins, encouraged regional terrorist organizations that threaten our allies like Colombia, has strengthened military ties with Iran and helped it evade sanctions, and has allowed a Hezbollah presence within his country's borders."

It's worth noting that, in 2005, then-Gov. Romney was grateful that Chávez's government sent discounted heating oil to Massachusetts in a deal brokered by then-U.S. Rep. William Delahunt, a Massacusetts Democrat. Venezuela later also provided discounted heating oil to the Bronx, in New York City.

Earlier on Wednesday, Florida Republican Senator Marco Rubio issued a statement of his own saying Obama "has been living under a rock" when it comes to Chavez.

"Hugo Chavez is not only a threat to the Venezuelan people's freedom and democratic aspirations, he has also supported Iran's regime in its attempts to expand its intelligence network throughout the hemisphere, facilitated money laundering activities that finance state sponsors of terrorism and provided a safe haven for FARC narco-terrorists, among many other actions." Rubio said.

"President Obama continues to display an alarmingly naïve understanding of the challengesand opportunities we face in the Western Hemisphere."

Read their full statements after the jump.

Romney's statement:

"This is a stunning and shocking comment by the President. It is disturbing to see him downplaying the threat posed to U.S. interests by a regime that openly wishes us ill. Hugo Chavez has provided safe haven to drug kingpins, encouraged regional terrorist organizations that threaten our allies like Colombia, has strengthened military ties with Iran and helped it evade sanctions, and has allowed a Hezbollah presence within his country's borders. And he is seeking to lead -– together with the Castros -– a destabilizing, anti-democratic, and anti-American 'Bolivarian Revolution' across Latin America. President Obama's remarks continue a pattern of weakness in his foreign policy, one that has emboldened adversaries and diminished U.S. influence in every region of the world. As president, I will speak clearly and resolutely on the challenges we face so that both our allies and our adversaries will know where we stand."

Rubio's statement:

“It's now disturbingly clear that President Obama has been living under a rock when it comes to recognizing the national security threat posed by Venezuela's Hugo Chavez. 

“Hugo Chavez is not only a threat to the Venezuelan people's freedom and democratic aspirations, he has also supported Iran's regime in its attempts to expand its intelligence network throughout the hemisphere, facilitated money laundering activities that finance state sponsors of terrorism and provided a safe haven for FARC narco-terrorists, among many other actions. Just yesterday, the Wall Street Journal detailed how Hugo Chavez circumvents U.S. and EU sanctions to help prop up the Assad regime in Syria. And even Obama's own State Department belatedly but rightly expelled Chavez's consul general in Miami for her ties to a plan to wage cyber-attacks on the U.S. 

"President Obama continues to display an alarmingly naïve understanding of the challenges and opportunities we face in the Western Hemisphere."

Comments

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D. Wright

Marco Rubio has the intellect of a wet noodle.

Flowerchild

We shall never surrender to Venezuela's military might. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender.

Daniel

What else can one expect from these two buffoonish neo-con clowns? Thank goodness neither of them will be getting anywhere near the White House anytime soon.

C. Showell

Mr. Romney's comments on Obama's methodology when it comes to Venezuelan Hugo Chavez is right on....the naive ones here are Rubio, Romney, and the GOP.
Venezuelan people love Obama, and honestly Romney being elected president would make Hugo Chavez a bigger threat to the security of the U.S.
Let me explain, Romney is like Bush....in many ways....one of which is: the general population of Venezuela don't like Romney...Chavez can go back to his ANTI U.S. rhetoric and win more support and become a bigger threat to the U.S.

President Obama is right. Hugo Chavez does not pose a national security threat to the U.S. He has been a mosquito...bothersome, but not threatening; and although some mosquitos carry malaria, Chavez carries something else. Obama winning the election would actually help as Venezuelans actually like him and it is very hard for Hugo to convince the general Venezuelan population that they should hate the U.S.. Romney however; is another Bush....and Chavez already expressed his opinion of him in the U.N....

C. Showell

Oh, I forgot to mention that Venezuelans are very pretty people and although under Chavez's influence for the last few years, not dum enough to kill themselves for the cause, even if recruited...so it would have to be the "Hezbollah" who does the deed...Venezuelans are very friendly people and even though they have been dealt a low blow with Chavez; they too will recover and hopefully be the beautiful country it can be... Chavez is also self-absorbed, so it is best to handle as Obama is handling; not with the "naive" approach of "carrying a big stick"... as Romney suggests.
Rubio is so wrong; it's not funny. Venezuelans may live in Miami, but they also live in other areas like Washington DC...they also vote. For the interests of the Venezuelan people and the better approach to security of our own country: Vote Obama.

The American Population in the know about this subject agree that Romney's comments of "disturbing" on this issue actually could be a great political ad FOR Obama; and it shows how "uninformed" Rubio is about Venezuelan issues...

seang

the most dangerous man in the world to the safty of the U.S is MITT ROMNEY

Peter Centeno

For GOD´s sake, when a person like Mr. Romney do not take care about US People (You are a Liar Mr. Romney), that´s why the majority of the American People are gonna vote by Mr. President Obama again this yr.God Bless Obama, and Mr. Chavez in Venezuela.

Steven Janiszewski

Let's cut Mitt Romney some slack. He was simply reflecting the Mormon Church's jingoism. He is a puppet of the Mormon Church, which worships Mammon. He doesn't care about anything else, and doesn't want to talk about it. If elected, he would destroy the federal government and the economy as we know them. His kleptocratic administration would make his exploits at Bain Capital seem to have been compassionate. To get a better understanding of the cult that produced Mitt Romney, and to get your socks scared, off read The Assassination of Spiro Agnew, available at:

www.amazon.com/Assassination-Spiro-Agnew-novel-ebook/dp/B0083EGJXC

It dramatizes the Mormon superiority complex manifesting as racism, sexism, jingoism, and an anti-federal government temperament.
It shows the similarities between Islam and Mormonism and reveals the secrets of Mormon mind control.


Consider this review:

“With a clarity of language and vision unsurpassed in contemporary American prose, Steven Janiszewski's Assassination of Spiro Agnew takes us into a U.S. mazed with madness and Mormonism and all things Utah, a U.S. that was then and still is. Do we need a novel, even as brilliant as this one, about a young man on a divine mission to assassinate the Vice President because he is too liberal? Yes, now more than ever. Readers, welcome to a masterpiece.”

Tom Whalen
www.tomwhalen.com

Everyone should read The Assassination of Spiro Agnew.

luke Weyland

Chavez's Venezuela is a threat to no one - especially not the worlds's only SuperPower.

US is currently spending millions of dollars through NED, USAid, CIA, and other institutions in an attempt to overthrow the government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. Chavez's Venezuela is NOT returning the complement.

John

The Assassination of Spiro Agnew. is a novel. For those that are ignorant, that means FICTION. DUH

John

Hey steve Janiszewski.
One again you are trying to sell your stupid novel.
Give you a hint. No one wants to buy it.

Aray4

Hugo Chavez is a disgusting tyrant dictator...beloved by some in his country just like Fidel Castro. He is a threat to the U.S. He has money, he has power and he has supported anti-American movements for years.

Liberals that don't believe this are as naive and ignorant as the people that actually like Chavez...the same people that would vote for Obama.

Think about this liberals when you look at Obama!

U.S. total debt is $57 trillion dollars costing every man, woman and child in this country $181,000...$684,000 per family. 47 million are on the exploding food stamps program and 13 million are unemployed and less than 50% of working folks pay no federal taxes and now we're harboring more illegal aliens than ever with no control of our boarders.

Add in Obamacare...the 31% average tax on the middle class health premiums and the largest entitlement expansion that was never disguised as a tax...another Obama lie and we are on a path of bankruptcy.

You want the American dream for your children....It won't exist in 4 years with the failure Obama destroying our country.

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