The White House had better mark Democratic Rep. Alcee Hastings as a firm “no” on the Iran deal. In a lengthy speech to Nova University in Davie, Florida at an AIPAC event, the liberal Democrat blasted Barack Obama and John Kerry for cutting a bad deal and Iran as entirely untrustworthy. Javier Manjarres reports on the speech, and of Hasting’s sharp rejoinders to the Obama administration — and demands that Obama immediately provide Israel with bunker-buster bombs.
I wonder what he thinks Israel would do with those, huh?
“If I was at table, what would I have led with. What I would have led with is, ‘ you need to give me good faith gesture now, and that is, release the three hostages,” adding that “when the Iran deal commenced, the world found out that Iran had the capability of building 1 to 10 nuclear weapons in a 2 to 3 month span. What in the hell is going to make us they aren’t going to cheat again?” …
But Hastings ripping of the nuclear deal didn’t stop there, as the long-time congressman questioned the economic motives of the so-called P 5 allies, saying that he “feels very strongly that some of are allies are a bit untrustworthy.”
In defense of Israel, Hasting believes that the U.S. should help bolster Israel’s defenses by sending them “David’s Sling,” which is a derivative of the Iron Dome,” as well as proposes that the U.S. send Israel “bunker buster bombs now.”
Javier doesn’t highlight this portion, but Hastings also slammed the White House for its depiction of the international community on the deal. Obama and Kerry repeatedly state that Russia and China want this deal and will implement it with or without the US, but Hastings challenges his audience to recall ever hearing that from the Russians or Chinese. Hastings recalls hearing similar arguments about the Framework agreement with North Korea, too. How did that turn out? “Nine months later,” Hastings said, “they had a bomb.” The same thing happened in Pakistan, Hastings says.
He’s not the only Florida Democrat pushing back on the deal. Debbie Wasserman Schultz killed a motion at the DNC summer meeting to praise Obama and the deal, the Washington Post’s Dan Balz and Philip Rucker reported on Saturday:
Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz prevented consideration of a resolution at the party’s summer meeting here that praised President Obama and offered backing for the nuclear agreement with Iran, according to knowledgeable Democrats. …
Some Democrats on the national committee who were unhappy that the resolution did not come up for consideration said that, as DNC chair, Wasserman Schultz owed her allegiance in this instance to the president, regardless of her own local political considerations.
Public consideration of the resolution at the DNC meeting, however, could have prompted a contentious public debate within the party just as the president is looking to consolidate Democrats behind the agreement, a factor that was noted in a Buzz Feed story about the way events unfolded here.
Hastings doesn’t seem to put party loyalty above national security and opposition to Iranian hegemony. It’s interesting to see other Democrats do so, however, and whether Wasserman Schultz ends up doing the same.