President Barack Obama's mistakes enabled the rise of the Islamic State (ISIS) and created the immigration crisis at the country's southern border, his 2012 opponent, Mitt Romney, said Sunday in a roundtable radio discussion hosted by
"Mistakes were made and now we have ISIS," Romney told Catsimatidis on "The Cats Round Table" on New York City station WNYM-AM.
Romney argued that ISIS would not be gaining power if the United States has followed his plan back in 2012 for dealing with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
"If you go back a few years when Syria fell into revolution and tumult, when rebels were pushing against Assad, I laid out what I thought was a prudent course for us to see stability in Syria," he said. "Had we followed that course, there's a good chance you would not see an ISIS today."
He said his plan would have done more to back revolutionaries in Syria while ensuring Assad's own tribe, the Alawites, that their future was secure even without him in power.
"These kind of actions would have stabilized Syria, at least I believe so, and would have prevented the growth of a group like ISIS," Romney said.
He also accused Obama of failing to heed American intelligence about ISIS, saying that the president was told a year ago that the jihadists planned to invade an Iraqi city.
"We saw ISIS roll into Iraq and, instead of attacking them immediately and knocking them in their convoy when they would have been easy to knock down, relatively easy to knock down, the president again watched," said Romney. "And now we're in a position where ISIS has run throughout major portions of Iraq. There have been horrific human rights abuses, tragedies."
In addition, Romney took Obama to task for his immigration policies.
"The president should have enforced our immigration laws from the very beginning," the former Massachusetts governor said. "His announcement of a form of amnesty only encouraged people to continue to flood over the border. The right answer to the immigration crisis would be to secure the border and enact a series of immigration policy reforms instead.
The government "can stop illegal immigration and also make the legal process more transparent and have one that meets the needs of America," said Romney.
Romney, who lost to Obama in 2012, insists he isn't running for office again, despite Catsimatidis calling him "President Romney" in the show.
An Iowa poll last week
suggested Romney would be the party's odds-on favorite if he threw his hat in the ring for 2016.
Romney also addressed two domestic issues: the rioting in Ferguson, Missouri., and Burger King's decision to purchase the Tim Horton's restaurant chain so it can establish offices in Canada as part of a tax inversion plan.
While he refrained from taking sides in the Ferguson case, he said more information is needed before a judgment is reached about Officer Darren Wilson, who shot an unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown, sparking the protests.
But Romney did defend Burger King's decision about moving its operations.
"If American companies are trying to get out of America, then something is wrong in America," he said. "If companies don't want to be here, then companies aren't gonna form here, either. They're gonna go elsewhere to start."
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