President Obama doesn’t want a debate about the facts of his proposed nuclear deal with Iran. A month after claiming to welcome scrutiny, the president’s push for the deal is all about fear, intimidation, and over-the-top partisan attacks:
- “Obama: Rejection of Iran nuclear deal is a vote for war.” (NBC News, 8/5/15)
- “Obama: Iranian 'hardliners' have 'common cause with' GOP caucus.” (Washington Post, 8/5/15)
- “The president… warned… no Democrat would get a pass for voting against [the Iran deal].” (POLITICO, 7/27/15)
- “Former top Obama adviser David Plouffe… blasted Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) for opposing the Iran deal, suggesting it makes him unfit to lead Senate Democrats.” (The Hill, 8/10/15)
- “Daily Kos posted a cartoon showing Schumer with an Israeli flag and calling him a ‘traitor.’” (New York Post, 8/10/15)
- “Obama doubles down: Republican opposition to Iran Deal is ‘ideological,’ ‘a lot in common’ with Iranian Revolutionary Guard.” (Real Clear Politics, 8/7/15)
- “If the United States walks away from the nuclear deal struck with Iran… the dollar may soon cease to be the world's reserve currency, [Secretary of State John Kerry] said on Monday.” (Reuters, 8/11/15)
This smear campaign is designed to do three things. First, the president is desperate to pick a fight with Republicans in order to distract attention away from the top Democrats – including Senator Chuck Schumer and House Committee on Foreign Affairs Ranking Member Eliot Engel – that have announced opposition to the deal.
Second, the president wants to silence others in his own party leaning towards speaking out about the deal. “[If you are a Democrat who opposes the agreement, you are also risking your political career. That's the message the White House and some liberal leaders are sending,” former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg writes.
Finally, the president wants to avoid getting bogged down in an actual discussion about the details of the deal because he knows the facts aren’t on his side. And he doesn’t want to have to answer for:
- Inspections that Senator Schumer notes are not the “anywhere, anytime” the administration promised, and a “troubling” provision that prevents the U.S. from demanding inspections at suspicious Iranian sites unilaterally.
- The lifting of the embargoes on arms and ballistic missiles that Rep. Engel calls “unacceptable” and “dangerous.”
- The secret side deals that address Iran’s past nuclear activities, and access to the Parchin military site.
- And the president’s own admission that “the time it takes Tehran to acquire the material to build a bomb would shrink to a ‘matter of months’ as the agreement expires.”
The American people have serious, substantive questions about whether this deal will actually keep the country safe. So far, President Obama isn’t offering any real answers.