Tags: Bobby Jindal | Hillary Clinton | Iran | Rick Perry | Cotton | Jindal | Santorum

Clinton Slams Cotton's Iran Letter; Jindal, Santorum, Perry Support It

Tuesday, 10 Mar 2015 05:47 PM

A sudden litmus test for the prospective 2016 presidential candidates has emerged: Was Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton's letter to the leaders of Iran worth signing? 

One day after a controversy erupted in Washington over a letter organized by Cotton, signed by 46 of his Republican Senate colleagues and sent to Iran's leaders warning them against a nuclear deal with the Obama administration, three more Republican presidential hopefuls added their support, while the Democratic frontrunner took the legislators to task.  

"Every single person thinking about running for president, on both sides, should sign on to this letter to make clear to Iran that they are negotiating with a lame duck president," Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal said in a statement Tuesday. "Make no mistake — any Iran deal that President Obama makes is not binding on a future president."

Jindal's call was a bit late for Sens. Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, and Lindsey Graham, all of whom signed the letter that went out on Monday. Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, however, quickly obliged. 

Appearing on Fox News' "Hannity" the night before, Perry expanded on his belief that whatever might be in the nascent deal between the two nations, it would not last long after President Obama left office. 

"This Congress has no idea what’s in this plan — we have ideas about what’s in it," Perry said. "But the president’s not being open and honest with Congress, and I will suggest to you the next president of the United States shouldn’t be held to this agreement at all."

Not to be outdone, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum also signaled his support on Tuesday. 

"Sen. Cotton is correct; the United States Senate plays an important role in moments like this and President Obama cannot usurp their authority. The deal is a bad deal and what is necessary is to make it an acceptable deal for our national security isn't even on the table to be negotiated," Santorum said in a statement. "I am grateful that the U.S. Senate is exercising their constitutional prerogative to stop this reckless diplomacy by the Obama-Kerry-Clinton foreign policy team." 

Clinton, speaking at a Tuesday news conference focused on her use of a private email account during her tenure as secretary of state, took a moment to criticize the letter- signers — and, by extension, Jindal and Perry — for their attempt to scuttle an Iran deal. 

"A recent letter from Republican senators was out of step with the best traditions of American leadership, and one has to ask, what was the purpose of this letter?" Clinton said. "There appear to be two logical answers. Either these senators were trying to be helpful to the Iranians or harmful to the commander in chief in the middle of high-stakes international diplomacy. Either answer does discredit to the letter's signatories." 

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker have yet to comment on whether they support Cotton's letter. 

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A sudden litmus test for the prospective 2016 presidential candidates has emerged: Was Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton's letter to the leaders of Iran worth signing?
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2015-47-10
Tuesday, 10 Mar 2015 05:47 PM
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