At tonight's presidential debate, Mitt Romney said that America's enemies looked at President Barack Obama and saw weakness:
"I think from the very beginning, one of the challenges we've had with Iran is that they have looked at this administration and -- and felt that the administration was not as strong as it needed to be. I think they saw weakness where they had expected to find American strength," said Romney.
"And I say that because from the very beginning, the president, in his campaign some four years ago, said he'd meet with all the world's worst actors in his first year. He'd -- he'd sit down with Chavez and -- and Kim Jong-Il, with Castro and with -- with President Ahmadinejad of -- of Iran. And -- and I think they looked and thought, well, that's an unusual honor to receive from the president of the United States.
"And then the president began what I've called an apology tour of going to -- to various nations in the Middle East and -- and criticizing America. I think they looked at that and saw weakness. Then when there were dissidents in the streets of Tehran, the Green Revolution, holding signs saying, is America with us, the president was silent. I think they noticed that as well. And I think that when the president said he was going to create daylight between ourselves and Israel that -- that they noticed that as well.
"All of these things suggested, I think, to the Iranian mullahs that, hey, you know, we can keep on pushing along here; we can keep talks going on, but we're just going to keep on spinning centrifuges. Now there are some 10,000 centrifuges spinning uranium, preparing to -- to create a -- a -- a --- a nuclear threat to the United States and to the world.
"That's unacceptable for us, and -- and -- and it's essential for a president to show strength from the very beginning to make it very clear what is acceptable and not acceptable. And an Iranian nuclear program is not acceptable to us. They must not develop nuclear capability. And the way to make sure they understand that is by having from the very beginning the tightest sanctions possible. They need to be tightened. Our diplomatic isolation needs to be tougher. We need to indict Ahmadinejad. We need to put the pressure on them as hard as we possibly can, because if we do that, we won't have to take the military action."