A pair of Republican governors eyeing the White House are supporting a controversial letter sent by Republican Senators to the Iranian government warning against an emerging nuclear deal.
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal led the effort Tuesday, calling on all Republican presidential candidates to support the letter, organized by Sen. Tom Cotton, which has drawn the ire of the Obama administration.
Signed by 47 GOP Senators, including presidential contenders Marco Rubio, Lindsey Graham, Ted Cruz, and Rand Paul, the Monday letter warned the Iranian government that the next president would not be bound by the agreement. He was followed shortly after by former Texas Gov. Rick Perry.
“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,” Jindal said in a statement released by his political group America Next. “Make no mistake – any Iran deal that President Obama makes is not binding on a future president.”
The White House condemned the letter, with Vice President Joe Biden penning a harsh statement Monday evening, calling it an unprecedented encroachment on the president’s ability to conduct foreign policy. “This letter sends a highly misleading signal to friend and foe alike that that our Commander-in-Chief cannot deliver on America’s commitments—a message that is as false as it is dangerous,” he said.
Later Tuesday, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker said in a statement that any deal with Iran should be subject to congressional review, echoing the letter’s argument that the next president would “not be bound” by any agreement struck by President Obama. He did not directly address the letter, however.
Likewise, Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush said in a statement to TIME that he understood the senators’ decision, but didn’t explicitly say if he supported it.
“The Senators are reacting to reports of a bad deal that will likely enable Iran to become a nuclear state over time,” he said in a statement. “They would not have been put in this position had the Administration consulted regularly with them rather than ignoring their input.”
A spokesperson for Chris Christie did not immediately comment on whether their likely-candidates would sign on.
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