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How Republicans Responded To The Iran Nuclear Deal

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How Republicans Responded To The Iran Nuclear Deal


No sooner was a historic deal reached with Iran than the GOP lined up to tear it down. The specifics of the deal will now enter a 60-day congressional review, as well as the slightly more chaotic arena of the presidential race, where it’s likely to become a major political football.

House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) accused the president of abandoning all the stated goals of the diplomatic talks, and told reporters that he would do everything in his power to stop what he characterized as a “bad deal.”

“It’s not a partisan issue at all,” he said.

Republican presidential candidates dutifully lined up to announce their dissatisfaction with the deal.

Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) said: “Based on what we know thus far, I believe that this deal undermines our national security.”

Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee released a statement in which he shamed the Obama administration “for agreeing to a deal that empowers an evil Iranian regime to carry out its threat to ‘wipe Israel off the map’ and bring ‘death to America.'”

Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) called the agreement nothing less than “the most dangerous, irresponsible step” he had observed in America’s history of dealings with the Middle East. He accused President Obama of being “dangerously naive” and described the deal as “akin to declaring war on Israel and the Sunni Arabs.”

The retired neurosurgeon and GOP presidential candidate Ben Carson released a statement to Breitbart, expressing his belief that the deal was “almost certain to prove an historic mistake with potentially deadly consequences.”

His statement continued:

A careful review of the 100-plus pages is in order to fully understand the lengths to which the negotiators were willing to stoop to secure a deal at any cost with the world’s leading sponsor of terrorism and a regime dedicated in word and deed to bringing Death to America.

Wisconsin governor Scott Walker, who announced his candidacy Monday, sat down with conservative host Sean Hannity to discuss the deal — and to bring the conversation back, as he often does, to his idol, President Ronald Reagan.

“Iran is not a place we should do business with,” he said. “Iran is not substantively different than the days when [the hostages from the U.S. Embassy in Tehran] were released on Ronald Reagan’s first day. And as president — on my very first day going forward — I would pull back, I would terminate that bad deal with Iran completely. On day one. I would then put in place crippling economic sanctions against Iran, and I would convince our allies to do the same.”

In an interview with CBS, Carly Fiorina, presidential candidate and former CEO of Hewlett-Packard, invoked her experience negotiating high-stakes business deals, and said that this is a “bad deal” since Iran did not negotiate in good faith. She expressed her belief that the U.S. should have just walked away.

Former Texas governor Rick Perry released a statement, calling the deal “one of the most destructive foreign policy decisions in my lifetime.” Perry vowed to “do everything in [his] power to work with the Senate to oppose this deal,” and promised that one of his first official acts as president would be to rescind it.

In his own statement, Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) echoed Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s assertion that the deal was a “bad mistake of historic proportion.” Cruz accused President Obama of having “glossed over the truth about Iran’s world-leading state-sponsorship of terrorism that is violently destabilizing the region, and would grow more deadly should the Iranians get a nuclear bomb.”

Rand Paul was mum for most of the day, which is unsurprising since the senator from Kentucky had stood out from his more hawkish GOP colleagues by remaining generally in favor of continuing negotiations with Iran. Late in the afternoon on Tuesday, Sen. Paul said that the deal was “unacceptable” because it lifts sanctions before Iran demonstrates compliance and leaves Iran with “significant nuclear capacity.” Paul said he would vote against the deal.

Donald Trump decried the deal. In an interview with NBC News, he returned to the theme of negotiation — a favorite of his. He said the Iranians were great negotiators, and so it followed that they were going to “cheat.”

The Donald also took the opportunity to repost on Twitter a brief, cartoonish video he had posted on his Instagram account some three weeks ago, extolling his own negotiation savvy. Take a look:

Who do you want negotiating for us? #MakeAmericaGreatAgain

A video posted by Donald J. Trump (@realdonaldtrump) on

Screenshot: NBC News

Sam Reisman

Sam Reisman is the former managing editor at The National Memo, where he still writes the weekly "This Week In Crazy" column. His writing has appeared in Flavorpill, The Huffington Post, Columbia Daily Spectator, and Bwog. He was the publisher of the 2010 edition of Inside New York, an annual guidebook to the city for students and young professionals.

Since 2011, he has co-curated and hosted Peculiar Streams, a showcase for NYC-based writers, musicians, comedians, and filmmakers. He is a staff writer at Mediaite, and blogs at SamReisman.com.

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  1. David July 14, 2015

    Hey Obomo!!! What about the three Americans being imprisoned by Iran? Made sure you swapped 5 terrorists for a deserter. Now you leave our people behind. POTUS or POS.

    1. charleo1 July 14, 2015

      Say something smart. I dare you!

    2. jmprint July 15, 2015

      How do you know whether he is or is not working on this matter?

    3. JPHALL July 16, 2015


    4. Bob Eddy July 16, 2015

      Yes sir! You conservatives sure are a little shakey on the concept of perspective aren’t they? Every time I think cons are as dumb as a box of rocks, someone comes along to make me think I have over estimated them!

  2. Dominick Vila July 15, 2015

    Republicans responded to the nuclear weapons agreement with Iran the way their Israeli, arms industry, and the military complex asked them to do. Add to that their determination to oppose anything President Obama proposes or champions, and the ignorance, intolerance, and hatred that is in the hearts of so many Republicans is not surprising. In fact, it was to be expected.
    The last thing Republicans – and their financiers – want is a stable Persian Gulf, or a stable world for that matter. Their financial interests depend on chaos, perpetual warfare, and the efficacy of their disinformation campaigns. Opposing an agreement that, as a minimum, delays the ability of Iran to develop a nuclear weapons by 10 years, because such agreement, allegedly, threatens the security of Israel is, as a minimum, disingenuous and, more accurately, a distortion of reality. Absent from their argument is, as usual, an alternative, other than a status quo that represents a danger to humanity and perpetuates violence and death for thousands of people.

  3. FireBaron July 15, 2015

    Of course, not one of them has read the actual agreement. Their problem is with the President making the deal. Had this been Dubya and Darth Cheney, they would have fallen all over themselves to approve it.

    1. Bob Eddy July 16, 2015

      If it had been Dubyu and Cheney…good one! They wouldn’t negotiate with…well, anyone now that I think about it, and their tactics were so very successful. Not only did they stop Iran from attacking with imaginary WMD’s. They stopped Iran’s imaginary nuclear (of should that be nuclular) programs as well and it only cost a couple billion dollars and less than 5,000 American lives (of course a half million or so Iraqi’s became colateral damage as well as much of their infrastructure, but did you see us pull down that Hussein statue!?) Yes! These are the people we should be listening to!

  4. Grannysmovin July 15, 2015

    Since Iran’s nuclear programme became public in 2002, the UN, EU and several individual countries have imposed sanctions in an attempt to prevent it from developing military nuclear capability. In 2006, the UN Security Council passed Resolution 1696 and imposed sanctions after Iran refused to suspend its uranium enrichment program.
    The US sanctions prohibit almost all trade with Iran, making some exceptions only for
    activity “intended to benefit the Iranian people”, including the export of medical and agricultural equipment, humanitarian assistance and trade in “informational” materials such as films. However, Iran was able to advance it’s nuclear program even under UN EU and U,S> sanctions. The sanctions finally brought them to the negotiating table, if Iran fails to honor the deal – the sanctions go back on, new ones can be added and all other options could be implemented.

    Here have been previous predictions as to when Iran would have a nuclear weapon:

    1992: Israeli member of parliament Binyamin Netanyahu predicts that Iran was “3 to 5 years” from having a nuclear weapon.
    1992: Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres predicts an Iranian nuclear warhead by 1999 to French TV.
    1995: The New York Times quotes US and Israeli officials saying that Iran would have the bomb by 2000.
    1998: Donald Rumsfeld tells Congress that Iran could have an intercontinental ballistic missile that could hit the US by 2003.

    1. jmprint July 15, 2015

      All the republicans would rather live in fear and in war then try something different. I guess there is no money for their donors in is trying something different.

  5. bobnstuff July 15, 2015

    Without this agreement they will have a bomb, there is nothing stopping them and no reason to stop. The Republicans not only have no faith in our President but non in any of the other countries involved. This isn’t a US only agreement The other world leaders are also aboard with it. If you have a foe you can do one of two things, fight them everyday and live in fear or make friends with them and let them depend on you. The Republicans like fighting.

  6. Paul Bass July 15, 2015

    So the republicans agree with the Republican Guard, the most anti-everything, head chopping off regime in history, worse than the Nazis?

    I guess they are so simple they believe the “republican” in Republican Guard.

  7. Daniel Jones July 15, 2015

    IT’s **SO** non-partisan they all line up in accordance with the party line.

    The party line, by the way, is this. Evil outsider not-us! Seriously, if they aren’t enemies, the Republicans can’t waste money and lives trying to not solve a problem in order to generate enough angst and fear to keep them in power!

  8. Karen Bille-Golden July 15, 2015

    Did we really expect anything different? They are all reading off the same prompter. Has any of them ever had an original thought or idea? I’m already sick and tired of listening to them and it’s only day two.

  9. dpaano October 19, 2015

    What is so hilarious is that these candidates, many of whom have NO foreign policy backround, have the nerve to make their ridiculous comments….most of them probably haven’t even READ the bill! Who gives a damn what Fiorina, Carson, Trump, et al have to say….they know nothing!!! As for Netanyahoooo, when did he become a member of our Congress??? Did someone elect him when we weren’t looking? He’s kinda right up there with Grover Norquist, another unelected member of our so-called Congress!!


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