A week ago, I suggested that—contrary to conventional wisdom and perhaps even to first-blush common sense—the GOP field might benefit from one or more new candidates. One of the well-qualified dark horses I mentioned was third-term Rep. Mike Pompeo from Wichita, Kansas.
Pompeo's been a leader in fighting the Iran deal, and has kept on battling over this recess. Recently he criticized a former Kansas Democratic congressman, Jim Slattery, who's been campaigning for the deal and (following President Obama's lead) slandering its opponents. Pompeo put out a release that got good coverage in the local papers. It would be nice if lots of other Republicans were as aggressive in making the case against the deal—and in turning up the heat on its defenders.
Here's Pompeo's statement:
“Congressman Slattery is a good man, but he is tragically naïve for supporting the Iranian nuclear deal. The deal provides tens of billions of dollars for the Islamic Republic to expand its terror regime. Rep. Slattery places his hopes for this ‘historic opportunity’ in Iranian goodwill – but they are already cheating even before the deal is signed. Rep. Slattery says we ‘can’t let perfection be the enemy of the good,’ but the truth is that President Obama didn’t get ‘good’ in this deal, he simply surrendered to the Ayatollahs.
“Moreover Slattery suggested, according to one article, that opponents of the deal were doing so in part to ‘move the American Jewish vote and campaign contributions to the Republican column.’ This suggestion is disgusting, borderline anti-Semitic and deeply repugnant. Rep. Slattery should apologize immediately for even hinting that those of us against this are doing so on behalf of a ‘cadre of political operatives’ and for the purpose of currying favor with the so-called Israeli lobby.
“Opposition to this deal is only increasing, and includes over 60% of Americans and leading Democrats, including Senator Chuck Schumer. This broad opposition is solely based on the dangers to America presented by this deal. This kind of language, hinting that Jews are in control of American policy, has a long, nasty history and Rep. Slattery knows it. Using such terms as a political weapon is beneath the dignity of a good Christian man like Rep. Slattery. He should correct his statement and apologize to every Kansan, and indeed, every American, today.”
Indeed, Pompeo hasn't limited himself to taking on defenders of the deal in the U.S. Here's a report from the London Sunday Express of an interview Pompeo gave criticizing the British government for making the same "specious" arguments the American administration has been employing:
Speaking to the Sunday Express last night, Congressman Pompeo said: “Sadly, it appears that Cameron is using specious arguments, just as is my President, to hoodwink his own people about the true nature of the deal – and the true nature of the Iranian regime.” …
More worrying still, ‘side agreements’ between the International Atomic Energy Agency and Iran would mean sensitive sites like Parchin could be inspected by Iranians themselves, rather than international experts.
“The Iranian extremists have read those documents and possess copies of them – no American or British diplomat can say the same,” he said.
“The Iranians know what they have agreed to, but we do not. We begin from a strategic disadvantage,” he said.
Mr Pompeo hinted that the move may jeopardize the “special relationship” that the UK enjoys with leading Republicans in the US.