Candidates' positions are categorized as Pro (Yes), Con (No), Not Clearly Pro or Con, or None Found. Candidates who have changed their positions are listed as Now their most recent position. Candidates are listed by party and in alphabetical order by last name. Black & white photos indicate candidates who have withdrawn or who no longer meet our criteria for inclusion.
Gary Johnson, former governor of New Mexico, stated the following during the Fox News Republican presidential debate held in Greenville, SC on May 5, 2011:
"I was opposed to us going into Iraq from the beginning, I really thought that there was no threat to our national security, I really thought that if we went into Iraq we would find ourselves in a civil war to which there would be no end and I thought we had the military surveillance capability to see Iraq rollout any weapons of mass destruction and if they would have done that, we could have gone in and dealt with that… But that was 10 years ago, we're building roads, schools, bridges and highways in Iraq and Afghanistan and we're borrowing 43 cents out of every dollar to do that. In my opinion, this is crazy." May 5, 2011 Gary Johnson
Barack Obama, 44th President of the United States, stated the following in the speech "Remarks of Senator Barack Obama: Turning the Page in Iraq," on Sep. 12, 2007, available from his 2008 election official candidate website:
"I am proud that I opposed this war from the start, because I thought that it would lead to the some -- the disastrous conditions that we've seen on the ground in Iraq." Sep. 12, 2007 Barack Obama
Mitt Romney, former Governor of Massachusetts, stated the following at the Republican presidential debate in Boca Raton, FL on Jan. 24, 2008:
"It was the right decision to go into Iraq. I supported it at the time; I support it now. It was not well managed in the -- after the takedown of Saddam Hussein and his military. That was done brilliantly, an extraordinary success. But in the years that followed, it was not well -- we were undermanaged, underprepared, underplanned, understaffed, and then we come into the phase that we have now. The plan that President Bush and General Petraeus put together is working. It's changing lives there. And perhaps most importantly, it's making sure that al Qaeda and no other group like them is becoming a superpower, if you will, in the communities, and having a safe haven from which they launch attacks against us." Jan. 24, 2008 Mitt Romney
[Editor's Note: In order to provide additional context to Mitt Romney' views on the Iraq war, we have included the quote below from a June 5, 2007 Republican presidential debate hosted by CNN in Manchester, New Hampshire:
Tom Fahey of the New Hampshire Union Leader: "Knowing everything you know right now, was it a mistake for us to invade Iraq?"
Romney: "Well, the question is kind of a non sequitur, if you will. And what I mean by that -- or a null set -- and that is that if you're saying, let's turn back the clock and Saddam Hussein had opened up his country to IAEA inspectors and they'd come in and they'd found that there were no weapons of mass destruction -- had Saddam Hussein therefore not violated United Nations resolutions -- we wouldn't be in the conflict we're in. But he didn't do those things, and we knew what we knew at the point we made the decision to get in."]
Jill Stein, MD, former Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, was quoted in a Dec. 21, 2011 "OnTheIssues Interview with Jill Stein," available at www.ontheissues.com:
"We are not out of Iraq - we should be out of Iraq and we are not. We never should have been in Iraq. We have spent perhaps $1 trillion, lost nearly 5,000 American lives, and probably 100,000 or perhaps one million Iraqi lives. It's an unspeakable shame that this war occurred at all. A war caused by lies and military opportunism. A war that has conveniently secured some oil supplies for the US and the West but what a horrible price that has been paid for that illegitimate bounty." Dec. 21, 2011 Jill Stein
Michele Bachmann, US Representative (R-MN), stated the following in the Sep. 9, 2011 video "Reflections on the Tenth Anniversary of 9/11," available on You Tube:
"After that tragedy that day, our country not only survived but we united with greater resolve to proudly stand for freedom. We fought back and we brought the war on terror to the terrorists. In the past few years, the United States has been successful in eradicating some of freedom's worst enemies. In many ways, Sep. 11, 2001, was not only a day of tragedy, but it was also a day of new beginnings for our country. Because that day reminded us anew that we are America. We're the home of the free and the home of the brave. And God has so abundantly blessed this country. When we are united as one nation under god, nothing on earth can defeat us." Sep. 9, 2011 Michele Bachmann
Herman Cain, Former Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City and Chairman of Godfather's Pizza, stated the following in the Jan. 18, 2011 article by David Weigel titled "The Dark Horse," posted on www.slate.com:
"The people of Iraq, they wanted to become a democracy... If they did not want to become a democracy, I do not think President Bush forced it upon them. Once it was clear that they wanted to become a democracy, President Bush pledged to help them do that. I know enough from the reports that I've read that this is something the Iraqi people wanted." Jan. 18, 2011 Herman Cain
Newt Gingrich, former Speaker of the US House of Representatives (R-GA), wrote the following in his Oct. 11, 2006 article "Lessons from the First Five Years of the War," available at www.aie.org:
"We have blocked further attacks on America largely because of the courage and determination of one man, President George W. Bush. As I wrote in October 2004, faced with the deliberate and horrific attacks on 9/11, President Bush instinctively understood that this was a war.
He demonstrated his courage by taking that war to al Qaeda to protect the American people. Despite opposition from confused and reluctant bureaucrats and politicians, he acted. That decision was the decisive break with the terrorism-as-a-criminal-act strategy and in direct contrast to the terrorism-as-a-nuisance mindset held by many.
Today, because of President Bush’s courage, there are no terrorist training camps in Afghanistan threatening Americans.” Oct. 11, 2006 Newt Gingrich
Jon Huntsman, former Governor of Utah, stated the following in an Aug. 24, 2011 article by Daniel Larison titled "Jon Huntsman, the No-Drama Conservative," published on the website for The American Conservative:
"Listen,I don’t want to re-litigate the Iraq War…I visited [Iraq] three times as governor, and I’m very, very proud of all our troops in the National Guard. I was their commander in chief. And to this day, all I can say is that I’m grateful for the role that they played and the sacrifices they made, including families who lost and made the ultimate sacrifice. I’ll say no more." Aug. 24, 2011 Jon Huntsman
Ron Paul, US Representative (R-TX), stated the following in the Sep. 12, 2011 "Foreign Occupation Leads to More Terror," available from paul.house.gov:
"Before our invasion of Iraq, only about 10% of suicide terrorism was aimed at Americans or American interests. Since, then however, not only is suicide terrorism greatly on the rise, but 91% of it is now directed at us.
Yes, the attacks of 9/11 deserved a response. But the manner in which we responded has allowed radicals in the Muslim world to advance a very threatening narrative about us and our motivation in occupying their lands. Osama bin Laden referred to us as 'crusaders' with a religious agenda to convert Muslims, westernize their culture and take control of their resources. If we had targeted our response to only the thugs and criminals who attacked us, and refrained from invading countries that had nothing to do with it, this characterization would seem less plausible to the desperate and displaced...
Instead, we chose a course of action that led to the further loss of 8,000 American lives, left 40,000 wounded and has hundreds of thousands seeking help at the Veterans Administration. We are three to four trillion dollars poorer. Our military is spread dangerously thin around the globe, at the expense of protection here at home...
Suicide terrorism did not exist in Iraq before we got there. Now it does." Sep. 12, 2011 Ron Paul
Rick Perry, Governor of Texas, stated the following in "Gov. Rick Perry's Remarks at Redesignation of the 49th Armored Division as the 36th Infantry," on July 18, 2004, available at governor.state.tx.us:
"September 11th taught us we must take the war to the enemy... I will always cherish the simple words of one Iraqi man embracing freedom for the first time without the fear of prison, torture or worse just hours after American forces liberated his village. In broken English, he expressed a hope shared by all mankind, 'Iraq wants to be free.' There are those who would second guess our cause and question our commitment, and that is a right they enjoy in a free society. But the words of that Iraqi man are a testament to why America must always stand boldly for freedom." July 18, 2004 Rick Perry
Rick Santorum, former US Senator (R-PA), stated the following on a Sep. 3, 2006 appearance on MSNBC's Meet the Press, available at www.msnbc.com:
"There is no question Iraq was a state sponsor of terror, and we went after them. We had legitimate reason. The United Nations said that they weren’t complying. We thought at the time that they had weapons programs. We had bad intelligence. But you know what? I’m not—I don’t play Monday morning quarterback. That’s not, that’s not what you do here in Washington, D.C. You take all the information you have, you make the best decision you possibly can. And based on the information we had, there is no question that Iraq should, that the Iraq war should’ve commenced." Sep. 3, 2006 Rick Santorum
[Editor's Note: Santorum voted Aye on HJ RES. 114(125 KB), Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002, legislation authorizing "the President to use the US armed forces to defend US national security against the continuing threat posed by Iraq; and (2) enforce all relevant Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq."]