As Mitt Romney considers a third possible presidential run, his advisers want you to know that had he won in 2012, the world would be a better and safer place. If Romney were president, one longtime adviser told the Boston Globe, “There wouldn’t be an ISIS at all, and Putin would know his place in life. Domestically, things would be in better shape.”
But the origins of the Islamic State actually date back to 2006, before President Obama took office, when it was gaining power under the name “al Qaeda in Iraq.” The militant group was largely defeated in 2006 but rebuilt its strength in 2011 after it consolidated with another group, al-Nusra Front, in Syria. The extremist group’s murderous rampage throughout Iraq has created a quagmire for world leaders with no easy solution.
This isn’t the first time Romney aides have blamed Obama’s presidency for unrelated events around the globe. Shortly before Romney lost the 2012 election, another staffer argued Romney would have prevented the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi.
“There’s a pretty compelling story that if you had a President Romney, you’d be in a different situation,” the aide, Richard Williamson, told The Washington Post.
Other Republicans have also been active in the Obama-blaming. Earlier this week, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) said that Obama’s lax border policies could lead to terrorist events like the attacks on journalists in Paris last week. Former Vice President Dick Cheney told House Republicans in September that Obama’s policies led to the expansion of ISIS.
Other major catastrophes Republicans have laid at Obama’s feet include Putin’s takeover of Crimea, the shooting of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 by Russian separatists and the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.
“We have a weak and indecisive president that invites aggression,” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) told CNN last year about the upheaval in Ukraine.