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 Black & white photos indicate candidates who have withdrawn or who no longer meet our criteria for inclusion.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 in a May 5, 2010 article by Niall Stanage titled "The Most Interesting Republican You've Never Heard of," published in Slate:
"Our security is not being threatened [in either Iraq or Afghanistan. America's] actions have actually had a reverse impact on our security. We have made enemies out of tens of millions of individuals that maybe we wouldn't have made otherwise." May 5, 2011 Gary Johnson
Barack Obama, 44th President of the United States, stated the following in an Aug. 26, 2010 speech, "President Obama Salutes the Troops, and Invites You to Join," posted on YouTube.com:
"Thank you to all the men and women who have served in Iraq and who are currently serving in Iraq. Your dedication, your bravery, your courage, has made America safer and has helped to stand up democracy in Iraq..." Aug. 26, 2010 Barack Obama
[Editor's Note: Prior to Barack Obama's Pro statement from Aug. 26, 2010, he expressed a Con position as indicated by the statement from Sep. 12, 2007 below.]
"Perhaps the saddest irony of the Administration's cynical use of 9/11 is that the Iraq War has left us less safe than we were before 9/11. Osama bin Ladin and his top lieutenants have rebuilt a new base in Pakistan where they freely train recruits, plot new attacks, and disseminate propaganda. The Taliban is resurgent in Afghanistan. Iran has emerged as the greatest strategic challenge to America in the Middle East in a generation. Violent extremism has increased. Terrorism has increased. All of that is a cost of this war." Sep. 12, 2007 Barack Obama
Mitt Romney, former Governor of Massachusetts, stated the following during the Jan. 24, 2008 Republican presidential candidate debate in Boca Raton, FL, sponsored by MSNBC, Leadership Florida, Florida Public Broadcasting, and the Florida Press Association, available at www.nytimes.com:
“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 after the takedown of Saddam Hussein and his military. That was done brilliantly, an extraordinary success. But in the years that followed, we were undermanaged, underprepared, underplanned, understaffed, and then we come into the phase that we have now. The plan that Bush and General Petraeus put together is working. It’s changing lives there. 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
Jill Stein MD, former Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, stated the following in a Feb. 14, 2012 interview with Michael D. Shear, "Five Questions for Jill Stein of the Green Party," available at www.thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com:
"As we found on issue after issue — the war, reappointing George Bush’s secretary of defense, sticking to George Bush’s timeline on Iraq, expanding the war, expanding the drone wars all over the place... We’re certainly not more secure, more equitable, more healthy or safer internationally, with what Obama has brought." Feb. 14, 2012 Jill Stein
Michele Bachmann, US Representative (R-MN), stated the following in her publication titled "Homeland Security Issues," available at bachmann.house.gov (accessed on Oct. 5, 2011):
"The United States has been blessed with a strong, dedicated military which can and will defend our nation’s security and preserve the freedoms we cherish each day. I believe in the mission of our men and women fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan and support providing them with the necessary funding they need to achieve success overseas. Our commanders on the ground deserve praise as they have taken the fight to the enemy in both Afghanistan and Iraq and have prevented terrorists from striking us here at home. I support their efforts to combat terrorism, to ensure the safety of our country, and to further democracy in other parts of the world…
Leaving Iraq too soon would jeopardize our national security and give the terrorists a tremendous victory in the war on terror." Oct. 5, 2011 Michele Bachmann
Herman Cain, former Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City and Chairman of Godfather's Pizza, was quoted as having said the following in a July 30, 2007 article "Democratic Debate: See No Jihad, Speak No Jihad," available at www.economicfreedomcoalition.com:
"Iraq is a newborn democracy struggling to survive with our help...
[There is a] worldwide jihad declared against the United States and all of western civilization by militant Muslim extremists...
Bush... made many misjudgments about the handling of the war, but if we were not fighting the terrorists in Iraq and Afghanistan, we would be fighting them here on our soil.That reality may eventually come to pass, and if it does, I would hope that even a Democratic president could put politics aside and recognize the biggest threat to our national security, Islamic fascism." July 30, 2007 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 a Sep. 4, 2011 interview on CNN's Piers Morgan Tonight:
"I think we have achieved some very important objectives for this country and it's time to bring people home. It is time to focus on our core in this country. And we cannot do it with our eye taken off the ball. Of course we're going to have security challenges with these subsidiaries that have formed all over the world. It is a counter terror effort. We have to rise to the occasion. We have to be prepared to wage that kind of war. It is a much different approach. It isn't heavy boots on the ground but it is more Special Forces and tactical intelligence gathering. That's what our future is going to be like and we have to be prepared for that reality." Sep. 4, 2011 Jon Huntsman
Ron Paul, US Representative (R-TX), stated the following in a Sep. 17, 2011 campaign speech in Los Angeles at the California GOP Convention, available at www.ronpaulforums.com:
"When they [the Bush Administration] were agitating to go to war in Iraq, you know, that was to get those bad guys that had something to do with 911, it just turned out you know, all the scaremongering turned out to be false, there was no al-Qaeda there or weapons of mass destruction, and all the lies they told us, it just was not true...
The Patriot Act had been floating around a long time before 911, that  was an opportunity [to pass the Patriot Act], what was also floated around was the idea of invading Iraq, and that is the reason it happened even though they were pretending it had something to do with 911...
Just remember the first meeting Bush held in 2001 a long time before 911, that [invading Iraq] was high on the agenda... the discussion of when were they going to go into Iraq. So it isn't so much that 911 caused this - it gave them the excuse to do the many things that had been planned...
And this is what the people have to understand... the government keeps preaching that we have to go over there in order to make ourselves safe... to me it is absurd, I don't know how people can believe that - that the only reason they came here is because you are free and you have a little bit of wealth... this is preposterous." Sep. 17, 2011 Ron Paul
Rick Perry, Governor of Texas, stated the following in his Oct. 15, 2004 publication, "Gov. Rick Perry's Remarks at the National Center for Policy Analysis," available at governor.state.tx.us:
"I believe decades from now history will judge the actions of George W. Bush in Iraq and Afghanistan as critical decisions that brought stability and freedom to troubled regions, and peace to Americans at home. Just as Reagan stood on the right side of history in the fight against communism, so stands George W. Bush in the fight against terrorism." Oct. 15, 2004 Rick Perry
Buddy Roemer, former Governor of Louisiana, made the following Sep. 2, 2011 statement on The Alyona Show, available at www.rt.com:
"We got into Iraq falsely. We thought it was weapons of mass destruction, they’ve yet to be found… I think we need to be a lot more careful about how we treat out neighbors and how we defend ourselves. This is costing us trillions, losing Americans lives, and not making the world a better place." Sep. 2, 2012 Buddy Roemer
Rick Santorum, former US Senator (R-PA) stated the following during the Sep. 22, 2011 Fox News/Google Republican presidential debate held in Orlando, FL:
"We need to have any -- I'm hearing numbers of 20-30,000 troops potentially to remain in Iraq, not indefinitely. But to continue to make sure this is a stable transition. This is the difference between Congressman Paul, Governor Huntsman, Governor Perry and myself when it comes to issue. I say when we engage in Iraq and Afghanistan, we engage because we want to be successful. We want victory. We want to have accomplished a national security objective for this country. To make sure that we are safer. We are not on a political agenda to withdraw troops. First thing to make sure we secure success.” Sep. 22, 2011 Rick Santorum