Senator-elect Scott Brown was quoted Thursday by Politico as saying: "I think [President Obama]'s done a great job with North Korea and Iran and the war in Afghanistan."
I emailed the quote around to a few conservative friends, noting that we'd finally found some evidence that Brown was too good to be true. How could he say that Obama has done a "great job" on Iran after the president did practically nothing to help Iranian dissidents and failed to check the mullahs' nuclear program? It appears that, in fact, Brown said no such thing.
On Friday afternoon, when I spoke to Brown on the phone (more on that here), I asked him about that Iran quote, and he said: “I don’t think I mentioned Iran. I said Korea and Afghanistan.” I couldn't find audio of the quote, but according to CQ's trustworthy transcript (via Nexis), Brown is correct; he didn't mention Iran:
"I think he's done a great job with North Korea and how to handle that, and with the war in Afghanistan, I thought he's done a very nice job. The simple fact that he had the guts to step back, analyze the situation and then make the determination that we need to finish the job and provide the tools and resources for our soldiers to do just that -- that was great. "
Many conservatives would disagree with Brown's take on Obama's handling of North Korea, but it's reassuring to know Brown didn't praise the president on Iran.
On Friday, Brown told me that he supports “quick passage” of sanctions on refined oil products to Iran. Asked if he thinks Obama should have done anything different regarding Iran, Brown said: “It’s easy to go in hindsight and criticize what has happened. I’m just moving forward,” adding that he’ll be vocal proponent of advancing human rights “throughout the world and American interests.”
Update: Brown's position paper on Israel has an entire section on "Countering the Iranian Threat."