Romney, Santorum Criticize Obama’s Apology to Afghan Leader

By Susan Jones | February 27, 2012 | 6:09 AM EST

Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, addresses the Detroit Economic Club at Ford Field in Detroit, Friday, Feb. 24, 2012. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

(CNSNews.com) - "I think the president's made some enormous errors in the conduct of our mission" in Afghanistan, says one of the men who would like Obama's job.

Former Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney, appearing on Fox News Sunday, said Obama has made it more difficult for the U.S. military mission to succeed in Afghanistan:

"We do not want to see Afghanistan once again return to a Taliban-dominated nation, with al Qaeda and other training camps coming into the nation," Romney said.


"That is a mission which is continuing, and based on what we're seeing so far, we haven't been as successful as we could have been, and I think one reasons for that is the president did not assure that the elections were fair and open with a credible candidate being selected. The president also announced a withdrawal date -- a time certain -- which I think made it very clear to the Taliban they just had to wait us out."

Romney also said Obama's apology to Karzai for the burning of Qurans by coalition forces "sticks in Americans' throat."

"The idea that we're there, having lost thousands of individuals to casualty and death -- we've made an enormous contribution, and for us to be apologizing at a time like this is something which is very difficult for the American people to countenance."

Former Sen. Rick Santorum, appearing on ABC's "This Week," also said President Obama was wrong to apologize for the Quran burning in Afghanistan.

"There was nothing deliberately done wrong here," Santorum said. "This was something that happened as a mistake. Killing Americans in uniform is not a mistake. It was something that deliberate."

Also on Sunday, Santorum told NBC's "Meet the Press," "There was no act that needed an apology.  It was an inadvertent act and it should be left at that.”

Santorum said Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai and the Afghan people need to apologize for attacking and killing U.S. military personnel. "That is the real crime here, not what our soldiers did."

Santorum did "commend" Obama for committing troops to the counterinsurgency: "Certainly (there) has been a lot of progress on that front," he said.

But Santorum also criticized the president for announcing a timetable for withdrawal of U.S. troops:

He has basically said we're getting out of there and that means everybody has to hedge their bets.  Those who are opponents of the United States -- the Taliban, Haqqani, etc. -- are just biding their time and, have operatives who are doing the same in the country.

“We've created an untenable situation because we haven't given a commitment to success.  And I think that's the underlying problem here.”

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