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Comparing Romney and Obama on Syria

11:02 AM, Oct 8, 2012 • By DANIEL HALPER
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Later this morning, in remarks at the Virginia Military Institute, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney will say: 

In Syria, I will work with our partners to identify and organize those members of the opposition who share our values and ensure they obtain the arms they need to defeat Assad’s tanks, helicopters, and fighter jets. Iran is sending arms to Assad because they know his downfall would be a strategic defeat for them.  We should be working no less vigorously with our international partners to support the many Syrians who would deliver that defeat to Iran—rather than sitting on the sidelines.  It is essential that we develop influence with those forces in Syria that will one day lead a country that sits at the heart of the Middle East.  

It's worth comparing what Romney will say to what President Obama's administration has said about Syria. 

It is in sharp contrast, for instance, to Hillary Clinton's comment that Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad is a "reformer."

These days, the rhetoric from the two campaigns is perhaps not that different. "So in Syria, clearly we need to reject a dictator who murders his people, and move forward towards a future that is inclusive for all Syrians," deputy national security Ben Rhodes recently said. 

But it took a long while (and some missed opportunities) for the Obama administration to get there. 

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