Joining a hawkish GOP pushback, likely presidential candidate Scott Walker said he would not accept an Iran nuclear deal from "day one" in office, should he win the White House.
Speaking with KKNT radio host Hugh Hewitt
, the Wisconsin governor answered "absolutely" when asked if he would "disown" any agreement between the U.S. and Iran that allows for uranium enrichment if he wins the presidency in 2016."
"I mean, to me, it is, the concept of a nuclear Iran is not only problematic for Iran, and certainly for Israel, but it opens the doors. I mean, the Saudis are next," Walker said as he outlined his foreign policy focus. "You're going to have plenty of others in the region.
"People forget that even amongst the Islamic world there is no love lost between the Saudis and the Iranians. And so they're going to want to have a nuclear weapon if the Iranians have a nuclear weapon," Walker added.
"This is something that just escalates right before our eyes. And the fact that this administration began these discussions essentially conceding that they're going to allow enrichment to go forward with the Iranians just shows you that they don't have the same level of concern that I think I and Senator Rubio and many others out there have, that a nuclear Iran is a problem for the entire world, not just for Israel."
Rubio on Tuesday noted that if he were to win the White House, he'd overturn any deal negotiated during the Barack Obama years, the Washington Examiner reported
as the Florida senator also spoke with Hewitt about his views on Iran moving ahead.
"We need to remember what's not being covered by these negotiations, which are just as important as their nuclear ambition, and that's the intercontinental ballistic missiles that they're developing," Rubio said.
"And it's very reasonable that before the end of this decade Iran could possess a long-range rocket that could reach the United States, the Continental U.S. They're rapidly, that's not even being covered by these negotiations. They're not even the subject of sanctions. And I think that alone is a reason to be imposing sanctions on Iran, not to mention their state sponsorship of terrorism."
A deal that would let Iran retain the ability to continue enrichment capability, "leaves in place the infrastructure they will need in five, ten, eight, whenever they decide to ramp up enrichment and produce a weapon, if the only thing standing between them and a nuclear weapon becomes, and the ability to deliver it through a long range rocket becomes the ability to enrich at a higher level, that's the easiest switch to flip," Rubio said.
The comments made by he and Walker showcase an increasingly hawkish view held by Republicans on foreign policy — a contrast point likely to emerge in an election strategy in 2016. Rubio, noted USA Today
, was among 47 senators who signed a letter to Iran that warned any Obama nuclear deal would be temporary. A March 31 deadline for such an agreement with Iran looms next week.
Walker noted what he sees as Obama's underplaying of global threats as Americans raise growing safety concerns over even traveling to that region of the world.
Many Americans, Walker contended, "as they look at this more closely, they see a president whose drawn a line in the sand and crossed it, who called ISIS just a year ago the 'jayvee squad,' who called Yemen last fall a success story, who calls Iran now a place where we can do business. Think about how screwed up that is."
He added: "I remember the movie in the '80s, "Trading Places" … you know, with Dan Aykroyd and Eddie Murphy, it's like Iran and Israel are trading places in the sequel. In the eyes of this president, our ally is supposed to be Israel. Our adversary has been historically Iran. And yet this administration completely does it the other way around.
"We need to call radical Islamic terrorism for what it is, and have a commander-in-chief who's willing to act."
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