Waterboarding, Iran: Obama Takes GOP Candidates to Task on Comprehension of Complex Issues

With the debate over raising the debt ceiling late this summer, one point of contention regarding the GOP’s stance that comes up over and over is comprehension of the issue at hand.

At the time, The Onion brilliantly satirized the disheartening situation with a piece titled “Emergency Team Of 8th-Grade Civics Teachers Dispatched To Washington,” as it seemed in particular several freshman lawmakers did not have the background required to parse complicated issues surrounding the economy and foreign policy. President Obama has spoken to that somewhat in a recent interview, rejecting the idea that complex issues have soundbite solutions.

In a debate Saturday night, GOP frontrunner Mitt Romney posited that under his leadership, Iran would pose less of a threat to America. Romney said:

“Look, one thing you can know — and that is if we reelect Barack Obama, Iran will have a nuclear weapon. And if we elect Mitt Romney, if you’d like me as the next president, they will not have a nuclear weapon.”

Speaking with CBS News’ Norah O’Donnell, Obama rejected Romney’s assertion and countered that the notion put forth by the GOP candidate was borne of ignorance:

“You take a look at what we’ve been able to accomplish in mobilizing the world community against Iran over the last three years and it shows steady, determined, firm progress in isolating the Iranian regime. Now, is this an easy issue? No. Anybody who claims it is either politicking or doesn’t know what they’re talking about.”

Obama also commented on the affection Republican candidates seem to hold for the controversial practice of waterboarding, referring to support for the practice shown by several GOP favorites during the Saturday debate:

“They’re wrong… And anybody who has actually read about and understands the practice of waterboarding would say that that is torture. And that’s not something we do. Period.”

Do you feel the 2012 Republican candidates are misinformed overall?