Mitt Romney on 2012 NDAA
Governor Romney has stated that he would have signed the 2012 NDAA had he been in office when it was passed. He stated that if elected President he would not abuse the rights granted within that legislation to arrest and indefinitely detain US citizens and that the American people must elect representatives that they can trust not to violate their rights.
South Carolina Debate
At the presidential debate in South Carolina, Governor Romney was asked if he would have signed the 2012 NDAA and he directly asserts that he would have.
Moderator: Governor Romney, when President Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act into law, he enacted a provision allowing him to indefinitely detain US citizens in US military custody. Many, including Congressman Paul have called this unconstitutional. At the same time, the bill did provide money to continue funding US troops. Governor Romney as president, would you have signed the National Defense (Authorization) Act as written?
Governor Romney: Yes I would have, and I do believe that it is appropriate to have in our nation that capacity to detain people who are threats to this country, who are members of Al Qaeda. Look, you have every right in this country to protest, to express your views on a wide range of issues. But you don't have a right to join a group that has challenged America and has threatened killing Americans, has killed Americans, and has declared war on Americans.That's treason, and in this country we have a right to take those people and put them in jail.
I recognize that when you are in a setting were there are enemy combatant and some of them are on our own soil that that could possibly be abused. There are a lot of things that I think that this President does wrong. Lots of them. But I don't think that he is going to abuse this power and as I President I would not abuse this power. And I can also tell you that in my view, you have to choose people who you believe have sufficient character not to abuse the powers of the Presidency and to make sure that we do not violate the constitutional principles. But let me tell you: people who join Al Qaeda are not entitled to the rights of due process under our normal legal code. They are entitled instead to be treated as enemy combatants.