The MSM is highlighting the fact that Governor Scott Walker has promised to take military action against Iran on his first day as president, if that is called for.Last night Chris Matthews mocked Scott Walker for his comments. The Washington Post is holding Walker’s statement up for scorn– as well as Jeb Bush’s own vows to undo the deal. Today on National Public Radio, the host said that “many Republican candidates have said they would scotch [the Iran deal] if they get into office.”
The press is leaving out the most important element of these statements. They have a rational basis: as auditions for Sheldon Adelson’s money and the donations of other neoconservative pro-Israel billionaires. A year and a half ago, Sheldon Adelson called on President Obama to nuke Iran.
That’s the pressure in the Republican Party. It’s the Republican Jewish Coalition sounding one hawkish note after another against the deal, it’s Bill Kristol working alongside AIPAC to try and defeat the deal: they are all using money as a lever to move these candidates. AIPAC has said that it will spend as much as $40 million opposing the deal; it spent a record $1.67 million opposing the deal earlier this year. Last night their ad against it was on the NBC Nightly News. Republican candidates need some of those millions to mount a serious campaign. And Jeb Bush is still hobbled by the fact that he has James Baker as a foreign policy adviser– Baker who has opposed Israeli settlements and spoke at J Street. That’s why Bush has thrown Baker under the bus, and why Bush is now trying to recover from another realist mistake, when he said that the Iran deal is not reversible. It is why Lindsey Graham has joked that he will have an all-Jewish cabinet, because that is the source of his funding; and it is why Marco Rubio stakes out hardline positions on Iran, because he has the backing of Paul Singer and Norman Braman, the man who went to Israel with him in 2010 the minute he was elected.
Below is a timeline of Walker and Jeb Bush’s statements about killing the Iran deal and attacking Iran, as reported by Kristol’s publication, the Weekly Standard:
Scott Walker, announcement speech July 13:
He would “terminate the bad deal with Iran on the very first day in office, put in place crippling sanctions and convince our allies to do the same.”
Jeb Bush, July 17:
“One thing that I won’t do is just say, as a candidate, ‘I’m going to tear up the agreement on the first day.’ That’s great, that sounds great but maybe you ought to check in with your allies first, maybe you ought to appoint a secretary of state, maybe secretary of defense, you might want to have your team in place, before you take an act like that.”
Jeb Bush is caving on Iran already — won’t commit to rolling back Obama’s Iran deal
The Walker campaign released a statement blasting Bush:
“We don’t need more information, we don’t need to wait to confirm the next Secretary of State, we need decisive leadership and we need it now.
July 18, Walker made the attack himself:
I believe that a president shouldn’t wait to act until they put a cabinet together or an extended period of time,” Walker said. “I believe they should be prepared to act on the very first day they take office. It’s very possible – God forbid, but it’s very possible – that the next president could be called to take aggressive actions, including military action, on the first day in office. And I don’t want a president who is not prepared to act on day one. So, as far as me, as far as my position, I’m going to be prepared to be president on day one.”
Bush flipflops, in statement to the Weekly Standard:
“I have repeatedly said [it] is a terrible deal. Congress should reject it and it would be best to do so before Iran is given more than $100 billion in sanctions relief that they can use to further destabilize the region. Should it be upheld, as President I would begin immediately to responsibly get us out of this deal, with a comprehensive strategy that is responsive to the conditions at the time and confronts Iran’s continued pursuit of a nuclear weapons capability, its support for terrorism and instability, its ballistic missile proliferation, and its horrific human rights record.”
He continued: “Such a strategy will require a new national security team that is committed to rebuilding our defenses and restoring our alliances, starting with our relationship with Israel. It will require sustained diplomatic efforts to put significant financial, diplomatic, and military pressure on Iran to change its behavior. And because of the massive sanctions relief provided by this terrible deal, the impact of unilateral U.S. sanctions will be limited and it will be important to work with our allies to reimpose multilateral sanctions and pressure.”