McCain’s Opposition Research – Part 23

Via or from BuzzFeed comes an opposition research file compiled by the McCain campaign in 2008.  The document is 194 pages long.  Pages 27 – 34  had two documents of different font size, one overlaying the other.  This post begins  at the middle  of page 75 and ends  at the middle of page 80

I have bolded the first word in each entry for ease of reading.


Romney Has Staked Out Early, Aggressive Position On Confronting Iran’s Nuclear Ambitions While Seeming To Rule Out Option Of Military Action

Romney Accused Sen. Hillary Clinton Of “Timidity” For Suggesting Diplomatic Engagement With Iran.

“[W]e do have interest in making sure that they do not develop additional nuclear technology and, in my view,that’s where Sen. Clinton has gone off the right track. She’s suggesting engaging with Iran. That’s a timidity that’s not right. This is a time to tighten our sanctions, economic, because they’re having an impact, and to increase our diplomatic isolation of Iran.”

(ABC’s “This Week,” 2/16/07)

 Romney: “[N]egotiation And Engaging With The Iranians At This Point Is Not The Way To Go And Neither Is Invading Them.”

(ABC’s “This Week,” 2/16/07)

Romney Said U.S. Military Action Against Iran Is “Not Going To Happen.”

“I think the president has whatever authority is necessary to protect this country and protect our troops. I think [the] Iranian military has been involved in the conflict in Iraq. Iranians have supported the attack on our soldiers. But I don’t think for a minute that this president is intent on attacking Iran. That’s not where we’re aiming. That’s not going to happen.We have no interest in going into Iran.”

(ABC’s “This Week,” 2/16/07)

Romney Wants To Punish President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad With Diplomatic Sanctions, Genocide Indictment


Romney Backs Tough Diplomatic And Economic Sanctions On Iranian Government.

“Iran is not acting like a very civilized member of the world society. Iran’s sins go well beyond taking these hostages. They go to a nuclear program which has far more reaching implications for the world and it’s time for us to truly tighten down the screws economically on Iran, to put in place diplomatic sanctions which make it very clear to all the people in Iran, that they’re a rogue state, that they are a pariah and then to work with local or surrounding moderate Islamic states to get them to get on our side to also pressure Iran.”

(Fox News’ “The Big Story,” 4/3/07)

 Romney: “The World Needs To Come Together Here And Treat These Folks Just As Bad Or Even Worse Than We Treated The South Africans During The Days Of Apartheid.”

(Fox News’ “The Big Story,”4/3/07)


Romney Supports Indicting Ahmadinejad Under Genocide Convention.

“[F]rom a diplomatic standpoint, I think we ought to indict him under the genocide convention … This is a person who, the world should understand,and the people of Iran should understand, is not someone who should be leading a country and I think that’s something that we’re beginning to make progress in doing.”

(Fox News’ “The Big Story,” 4/3/07)


As Governor, Romney Refused To Provide State Security For Former Iranian President During Visit To Harvard

In September 2006, Romney Refused To Offer State Police Protection To Harvard Guest Speaker And Former Iranian President Mohammed Khatami, Calling Him A “Terrorist.”  “Governor Mitt Romney declared yesterday he would not allow any state resources to be used to protect a former Iranian president during his visit to the Boston area this weekend, and he sharply criticized Harvard University for inviting Mohammed Khatami to speak on the eve of the fifth anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. ‘There are people in this state who have suffered from terrorism, and taking even a dollar of their money to support a terrorist is unacceptable,’ Romney[said].”

(Farah Stockman and Scott Helman, “Romney Bars State Security For Iranian’s Harvard Visit,” The Boston Globe, 9/6/06)

Romney Called Harvard’s Invitation To Khatami “A Disgrace” To The Memory Of  Terrorism Victims.

“[A]fter Romney issued a statement yesterday outlining his position in which he called Harvard’s invitation ‘a disgrace to the memory of all Americans who have lost their lives at the hands of extremists’ the Boston Police Department said it would step in. ‘We were asked by the State Department to assist in protecting aguest of the United States, and the Police Department plans to oblige,’ spokeswoman Elaine Driscoll said.”

(Farah Stockman and Scott Helman, “Romney Bars State Security For Iranian’s Harvard Visit,” The Boston Globe, 9/6/06)

Romney’s Condemnation Of Khatami Met Resistance From Human Rights Groups And Academics, Who Contradicted Some Of His Assertions.

“Leading human rights groups and academics yesterday disputed aspects of Governor Mitt Romney’s high-profile accusation that Iran’s former president, Mohammed Khatami, was responsible for ‘the torture and murder’ of democracy activists and student protesters. The groups said Khatami was a moderate among Iranian leaders who worked largely in vain to expand political freedoms in Iran … Theviolent crackdowns on democracy protesters during Khatami’s time as president 1997 to 2005 were believed tohave been initiated by rivals of the president and approved by Iran’s ruling clerics, they said.”

(Farah Stockman,“Romney’s Accusation On Khatami Disputed,” The Boston Globe, 9/9/06)

Academics Took Issue With Romney’s Characterization Of Khatami’s Presidency.

“In his statement to the media explaining his decision to revoke State Police protection for Khatami, Romney accused Khatami of acting in concert with the hard-liners, luring students into protesting only to crack down on their activities. … But academics across the political spectrum took issue with that account.”

(Farah Stockman, “Romney’s Accusation On Khatami Disputed,” The Boston Globe, 9/9/06)


George Mason University Professor Of Middle East History:

“Shaul Bakhash, professor of Middle East History at George Mason University and a prominent Iran specialist, said Romney’s assertion does not‘accord with the facts. ‘To say of Khatami that he oversaw the arrest and torture implies that he was directly complicit. I don’t think anyone believes that’s the case … You might argue that he was not firm enough or thathe did not have enough backbone, but it is hard to argue that he was complicit. … I don’t think the facts really are in dispute.’”

(Farah Stockman, “Romney’s Accusation On Khatami Disputed,” The Boston Globe, 9/9/06)

American Enterprise Institute Scholar And Khatami Critic:

“Michael Rubin, a scholar at the conservative American Enterprise Institute who is a vocal critic of Khatami, also took issue with Romney’s characterization. ‘What is factually correct is to say he turned a blind eye’ to the crackdown, said Rubin, who was in Iran during the July 1999 crackdown. ‘He didn’t oversee it.’”

(Farah Stockman, “Romney’s Accusation On Khatami Disputed,” The Boston Globe, 9/9/06)

Middle East Specialist At Congressional Research Service:

“‘That is not the view of most Iran experts,’ said Kenneth Katzman, a Middle East specialist at the Congressional Research Service, a research arm of Congress.  ‘I think most experts on Iran would say that Khatami attempted to stop many human rights abuses but did not prevail politically.’”

(Farah Stockman, “Romney’s Accusation On Khatami Disputed,” The Boston Globe, 9/9/06)

Groups Like Human Rights Watch And Amnesty International Also Disputed Romney’s Remarks About Khatami.

“Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, and the New Haven-based Iran Human Rights Documentation Center three leading groups monitoring human rights abuses in Iran all disputed aspects of Romney’s depiction of Khatami’s offenses, as did many academic specialists on Iran.”

(Farah Stockman, “Romney’s Accusation On Khatami Disputed,” The Boston Globe, 9/9/06)



After Romney Urged Divestment From Iran, It Was Revealed His Former Firms Had Business Dealings There

In February 2007, Romney Urged States – Specifically New York – To Divest Pension Funds From Holdings Doing Business With Iran.

“During the past two months, Romney has challenged Massachusetts and other New England states to pull their pension funds from companies doing business in Iran. On Thursday, Romney expanded his divestment call to New York.  He sent a letter to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., a fellow presidential candidate, urging her to support his effort.”

(Glen Johnson, “Company’s Links To Iran Undercut Romney’s Call For Divestment,” The Associated Press, 2/23/07)

French Oil Company Total SA Has Deep Ties To Iran – In 2002 Bain Capital Purchased Total’s Chemicals Business, Including Its Office In Tehran

Associated Press Noted New York State Pension System Invests French Oil Conglomerate Total SA.

“Dan Weiller, a spokesman for New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, said Friday that New York’s $150 billion state pension system has holdings with companies that have dealings with Iran or in that country. Among them is Total SA, a French oil giant. As of March 2006, the state system had about $166 million worth of Total stock.”

(Glen Johnson, “Company’s Links To Iran Undercut Romney’s Call For Divestment,” The Associated Press, 2/23/07)

Total Has Been Doing Business In Iran Since The 1950s And Recently Resisted U.S. Calls For Isolating The Regime.

“Total won the South Pars [Iran] contract in 1997 as part of an international consortium, including Russia’s Gazprom, Malaysia’s Petronas and Iran’s state-owned NIOC. The French group has been in Iran since the 1950s, though recently it resisted pressure from the US to isolate the Islamic state over its controversial nuclear enrichment programme. Total gave its 40 per cent stake in the South Pars project back to NIOC in 2004under the terms of the deal. But it still has rights to a share of production from the gas field, equivalent to 18,000barrels this year, below 1 per cent of its global production.”

(Martin Arnold, “Total Faces Investigation Over Dollars 2bn Iran Contract,” Financial Time, 12/20/06)

Total Is Under Investigation For Bribery In Landing 1997 “South Pars” Iranian Gas Project.

“A Paris judge has launched an investigation into allegations that Total, the French oil and gas group, paid bribes to win a Dollars 2bn gas contract in Iran almost a decade ago. … The latest investigation stems from the discovery of SFr100m (Dollars 82m) in two Swiss bank accounts, allegedly paid by Total to an Iranian intermediary to help the French company’s consortium win the South Pars contract.”

(Martin Arnold, “Total Faces Investigation Over Dollars 2bn Iran Contract,” Financial Times, 12/20/06)

Total Describes Itself As “Foremost Oil Company In Partnership With Iran.”

“The South Pars gas field is the Iranian portion of what is probably the largest gas field in the world. The other part of the field, in Qatari waters, is known as North Field. With the South Pars project, Total FinaElf has become the foremost oil company in partnership with Iran and has bolstered its position in the Middle East…”

(Total Website,,Accessed 2/23/07)

October 29, 2002: Bain Capital Agreed To Purchase Chemical Subsidiary Sigma Kalon From Total SA For A Rumored €1 Billion.

“French oil giant Total Fina Elf SA agreed Tuesday, Oct. 29, to sell Sigma Kalon, Europe’s second-biggest decorative paint maker, to Boston private equity firm Bain Capital as Total Fina’s chemicals unit refocuses. Although a price was not disclosed for the deal, a source close to the situation said it was about euro1billion ($980 million) … Bain beat a number of rivals in a hotly contested auction to acquire Sigma Kalon.”

(Nicola Hobday, “Total Fina Sells Paints Unit,” The Daily Deal, 10/30/02)

SigmaKalon Created In 1999 Merger Between Total And Petrofina.

“[SigmaKalon] was created in 1999when Total and Petrofina merged to create Total Fina and combined their respective paint businesses, Kalon and Sigma Coatings. Total Fina later acquired Elf Aquitaine to create Total FinaElf, and the merged company’s chemicals business was named Atofina. The Sigma Kalon business includes both decorative and industrial paints and coatings.”

(Bill Schmitt, “Atofina’s Sale of Sigma Kalon May Be Close,” Chemical Week, 10/2/02)

“Since March 2003 Bain Capital Is Owner Of Sigma Kalon.”

(Sigma Kalon Website,, Accessed2/20/07)

Sigma Kalon Has An Office In Tehran, According To Its Company Website.

“Sigma Paints Iran, GeneralOffice; Shahid Beheshti Ave, Tehran; +98 21 88514873.”

(Sigma Kalon Website,, Accessed 2/23/07)

Bain Capital Is Expected To Put Sigma Kalon Up For Sale In 2007.

“Europe’s second-biggest paint supplier,Sigma Kalon … is expected to be put up for sale next year in a £1.3 billion deal. … Bain Capital bought Sigma Kalon from French oil giant Total FinaElf for £505 million in 2002. Insiders say it has performed well ahead of expectations, allowing Bain to refinance the business and look for an exit. Though advisers have not yet been appointed, it is thought that a trade sale is more likely than a stock market float.”

(Lucinda Kemeny, “£1.3bn Tag On Paints Company,” Daily Mail[London, UK], 12/17/06)

In 2004, Bain & Company’s Italian Branch Inked Consulting Deal With Iran’s State-Run Oil Company Italian Branch Of Bain & Co. – Firm Where Romney Started As Young Consultant And Served As CEO InEarly ‘90s – Received $2.3 Million Contract From National Iranian Oil Company In 2004.

“Republican Mitt Romney is urging state pension systems to divest from Iran, yet the presidential contender’s former employer and the company he started have links to recent Iranian business interests or deals. Romney joined Boston-based Bain & Co., a management consulting firm, in 1977 and worked there until 1985. … Bain & Co. Italy, described in company literature as ‘the Italian branch of Bain & Co.,’ received a $2.3 million contract from the National Iranian Oil Co., in September 2004. Its task was to develop a master plan so NIOC – the state oil company of Iran – could become one of the world’s top oil companies, according to Iranian and U.S. news accounts of the deal.”

(Glen Johnson, “Company’s Links To Iran Undercut Romney’s Call For Divestment,” The Associated Press, 2/23/07)


April 2007: Romney Said Catching Usama Bin Laden Would Yield Only Marginal Increase In Safety, Not Worth Cost Romney Said Capturing Bin Laden Would Result In “Very Insignificant Increase In Safety” For America And Such Effort Was “Not Worth Moving Heaven And Earth And Spending Billions Of Dollars” To Catch One Person.

“[Romney] said the country would be safer by only ‘a small percentage’ and would see ‘a very insignificant increase in safety’ if al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden was caught because another terrorist would rise to power. ‘It’s not worth moving heaven and earth spending billions of dollars just trying to catch one person,’Romney said. Instead, he said he supports a broader strategy to defeat the Islamic jihad movement.”

(Liz Sidoti,“Romney Says Rivals Switch Positions, Too,” The Associated Press, 4/26/07)

One Day Prior To Romney’s Comments, Senior Al Qaeda Official Said Bin Laden Was Orchestrating Terrorist Operations in Iraq And Afghanistan.

“Al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden is orchestrating militants’ operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, a senior commander of Afghan Islamist group Taliban said in remarks broadcast on Wednesday. … ‘He is drawing plans in Iraq and Afghanistan … Praise God he is alive,’ Mullah Dadullah told Al Jazeera television.”

(“Bin Laden Overseeing Iraq, Afghanistan Ops: Taliban,” Reuters, 4/25/07)

Bin Laden Allegedly Directed 2007 Attack Targeting V.P. Cheney.

“Dadullah said bin Laden ordered the attack on February 27 at the U.S. Bagram base during a visit by U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney to Afghanistan. ‘Do you remember the martyrdom operation inside the Bagram base which targeted a senior American official … this operation was the result of blessed plans put by him,’ Dadullah said.”

(“Bin Laden Overseeing Iraq, Afghanistan Ops: Taliban,” Reuters, 4/25/07)

National Review’s Byron York: “Perhaps Romney Should Watch The Tape Of The Planes Hitting The Towers Again.”

“[J]ust speaking as one taxpayer, I would say a) we have already spent billions and gone to a lot of effort to try to get bin Laden, and b) it would be worth still more money and still more effort to kill the man behind 9/11. I can’t imagine any serious Republican candidate for president would say otherwise. Perhaps Romney should watch the tape of the planes hitting the towers again.”

(Byron York, “Mitt Romney On Osama Bin Laden,”National Review’s Corner Blog, 4/27/07)

As Salt Lake Organizing Committee President, Romney Downplayed Bin Laden Threat To 2002 Winter Games After 9/11, Romney “Downplayed Any Threat Posed By” Bin Laden To Winter Olympics, Saying Real Threat Lay With Homegrown Animal Rights Activists.

“After hijacked jetliners smashed into the World Trade Center towers and the Pentagon on Sept. 11, Utahns began openly wondering if the 2002 Winter Games might become a target of Islamic terrorists. But Salt Lake Organizing Committee President Mitt Romney, in a meeting with the Deseret News shortly after the attacks, downplayed any threat posed by Osama bin Laden, explaining instead that the real threat of terrorism against the Winter Olympics lay with home-grown terrorists acting under the flag of animal rights.”

(Jerry Spangler, “Animal Activists Still A Top Threat,” Deseret News, 11/18/01)

Top Romney Adviser Wanted Bin Laden’s Head “In A Box Filled With Dry Ice” In Wake Of 9/11 Attacks

Romney Adviser Cofer Black, Two Days After 9/11: “I Want Bin Laden’s Head Shipped Back In A Box Filled With Dry Ice. I Want To Be Able To Show Bin Laden’s Head To The President.”

“Two days after the[9/11] attack, Cofer Black of the Counterterrorist Center asked [CIA’s Gary] Schroen to lead a small team of CIA officers to lash up with the Northern Alliance; he accepted on the spot. Osama bin Laden and his deputies were not to be merely captured or ‘rendered’ to justice, Black ordered: ‘I want to see photos of their heads on pikes. I want bin Laden’s head shipped back in a box filled with dry ice. I want to be able to show bin Laden’s head to the president.’”

(Warren Bass, “Into Al Qaeda’s Lair,” The Washington Post, 5/29/05)

Black Has Recently Downplayed Need To Capture Bin Laden, Saying Terrorist Has Been “Isolated” And“Neutralized In Terms Of His Effectiveness.”

NPR’s MARY LOUISE KELLY: “If the search for bin Laden has arrived at a stalemate, Cofer Black, for one, suggests that’s not the end of the world. Black was Gary Schroen’s boss. He ran the CIA’s counter terrorist center from ‘99 to 2002. He’s now with the security company Blackwater USA. Black argues that catching bin Laden remains important for symbolic reasons, but he says there are more pressing concerns today for US national security.” BLACK: “The leader of al-Qaeda spends, you know, most of his time hiding. This guy has been, I think, significantly isolated as a real player. So what are we talking about here? To a certain extent, he has been neutralized in terms of his effectiveness.”

(NPR’s “Morning Edition,” 5/3/05)

Romney Has Cited Bin Laden Threat When Discussing Homeland Security Romney Specifically Cited Bin Laden Threat In Discussing Security Plans For ‘04 Democratic National Convention In Boston.

QUESTION: “You mentioned security preparations based on intelligence. How confident are you about the quality of intelligence about homeland security?” ROMNEY: “We get regular briefings. We have no difficulty getting information, but the information is limited. We don’t have people who have infiltrated Al Qaeda around the world. We don’t have people telling us what [Osama bin Laden] is planning on doing. We don’t even know where he is. That is the nature of intelligence. It is seen through a glass darkly.”

(John Maggs, “Romney: ‘A Chance To Serve,’” National Journal, 7/25/04)

Romney Wants To Double Size Of Guantanamo Bay Facility, Prompting Observers To Label The Idea“Weird”

Romney Says He Wants To “Double” Size Of Guantanamo Detention Facility.

“I’m glad [the terrorists are] at Guantanamo. I don’t want them on our soil. I want them on Guantanamo, where they don’t get the access to lawyers they get when they’re on our soil. I don’t want them in our prisons. I want them there. Some people have said, we ought to close Guantanamo. My view is, we ought to double Guantanamo.”

(Fox News Republican Presidential Debate, Columbia, SC, 5/15/07)

Regarding Romney’s Plan To Double Size Of Guantanamo,  National Journal Commented On “How Weird That Idea Sounds, Even To Conservative Supporters.”

“Remember in the debate when Romney promised to double Gitmo’s size? His campaign crowed about how he distinguished himself from the rest of the field, but what it didn’t realize – we think – is how weird that idea sounds, even to conservative supporters. Sometimes, Romney reminds us of our younger brother who, just because we were New York Giants fans, announced he loved the San Francisco 49ers.”

(“White House 2008 Rankings: The Republicans,” National, 5/18/07)

Romney Disagreed With 2006 Supreme Court Ruling That Military Tribunals At Guantanamo Bay Violated Geneva Conventions.

“Gov. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts said Thursday that the U.S. Supreme Court ruling on Guantanamo Bay detainees was just another reason why the nation should elect a Republican president again in 2008 to get more conservative judges on the high court. … The court declared 5-3 that the trials for 10 foreign terror suspects violate U.S. law and the Geneva conventions.”

(Ed Shearer, “Mass. Governor Disagrees With Ruling On Detainees In Cuba,” The Associated Press, 6/29/06)

Romney:  “To apply the Geneva accords is very strange in my view … It’s hard to understand how a party who’s not a nation comes under the Geneva convention.”

(Ed Shearer, “Mass. Governor Disagrees With Ruling On Detainees In Cuba,” The Associated Press, 6/29/06)

Romney Supports “Enhanced Interrogation Techniques” For Detainees, Linking Himself To President Bush And Against Sen. McCain Romney Supported President Bush And Opposed John McCain On Treatment Of Detainees.

“Likewise, he[Romney] differs with McCain’s stance against the U.S. military using interrogation techniques that McCain called‘cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment’ on enemy detainees. ‘I supported the president on that and did not back the senator’s perspective on that,’ Romney said.”

(Paul Giblin, “Romney Testing Ariz. Political Waters,” East Valley Tribune,11/14/06)

Romney: “I Am Foursquare Behind The President” On Detainee Treatment.

“[Romney] said in an interview that he disagreed with Mr. McCain, and offered a forceful endorsement of Mr. Bush. ‘I am foursquare behind the president on this,’ Mr. Romney said. ‘I believe that we should do everything possible to support those people at the front line who are responsible for enforcing the war on terrorism.’”

(Adam Nagourney, “Mccain, In New Hampshire, Gets An Earful From The Right,” The New York Times, 9/18/06)

Romney Declined To Say Specifically What Forms Of Interrogation He Feels Are Acceptable Or Unacceptable.

“Bush argued that forceful interrogation techniques are important in fighting terrorists. McCain countered that torture should be unacceptable by U.S. personnel. Romney declined to say specifically what forms of interrogation he feels are acceptable or unacceptable.”

(Paul Giblin, “Romney Testing Ariz. Political Waters,” East Valley Tribune, 11/14/06)

Romney Said He Was “In A Different Place” Than McCain And Giuliani On Interrogation Of Detainees.

FOX NEWS’ CHRIS WALLACE: “Romney tried to separate himself from McCain and Giuliani this week in a newspaper interview. And let’s put up on the screen what he said. He said, talking about McCain and Giuliani,‘We’re in a different place on immigration. We’re in a different place on campaign reform. We’re in a different place on same-sex marriage. We’re in a different place on the president’s policy on interrogation of detainees.’”

(Fox News’ “Fox News Sunday,” 11/26/06)

Romney Stated That In Extreme Scenario, The President – And Not CIA Interrogator – Must “Make The Call” To Use “Enhanced Interrogation Techniques,” But “Not Torture.”

“[T]here is no question but that in a setting like that, where you have the ticking bomb, that the president of the United States, not the CIA interrogator, the President of the United States has to make the call, and enhanced interrogation techniques have to be used. Not torture, but enhanced interrogation techniques, yes.”

(Mitt Romney, Fox News Republican Presidential Debate, Columbia, SC, 5/15/07)

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