The Atlantic reports,
On Face the Nation on Sunday, Mitt Romney said that if elected president he wouldn’t have to get congressional permission for a military strike on Iran.
To quote him directly (emphasis added):
I can assure you if I’m president, the Iranians will have no question but that I will be willing to take military action if necessary to prevent them from becoming a nuclear threat to the world. I don’t believe at this stage, therefore, if I’m president that we need to have a war powers approval or special authorization for military force. The president has that capacity now. I understand that some in the Senate for instance have written letters to the president indicating you should know that a containment strategy is unacceptable. We cannot survive a course of action which would include a nuclear Iran we must be willing to take any and all actions.
All those actions must be on the table.
If a President Romney waged war without Congressional approval, it would be the first time a sitting president violated the Constitution’s separation of powers and the War Powers Resolution since President Obama did it in Libya.
That “some in the Senate” almost certainly refers to Rand Paul, who recently stated on the Senate floor:
Our Founding Fathers were quite concerned about giving the power to declare war to the Executive. They were quite concerned that the Executive could become like a king. Many in this body cannot get boots on ground fast enough in a variety of places, from Syria to Libya to Iran. . . . Before sending our young men and women into combat, we should have a mature and thoughtful debate over the ramifications of and over the authorization of war and over the motives of the war. James Madison wrote that the Constitution supposes what history demonstrates: that the Executive is the branch most interested in war and most prone to it. The Constitution, therefore, with studied care vested that power in the Legislature.
But Paul has since endorsed Romney for president, which has got to be, to some degree at least, awkward.