- WATCH: Obama Hints Netanyahu's Interference in U.S. Affairs Is Unprecedented
- American Jews at the Service of Netanyahu
- WATCH: Haaretz's Chemi Shalev Talks Iran Deal With Charlie Rose
- And – Poof! – Charles Schumer Disappears
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: It's those hardliners chanting "Death to America" who have been most opposed to the deal. They're making common cause with the Republican caucus.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: President Obama shocking a lot of people in Washington, both Republicans and Democrats with that comment as he fights to get his Iran nuclear deal through Congress. And we're back now with the panel. George, after comparing Republicans in Congress to the death to America crowd in Tehran, I'm not sure where it goes from there.
WILL: Judging intentions by behavior. I would say that both the Iranian government and the Obama administration want this defeated. The Iranian government is taunting us by saying no matter what the words say, you can't go here, you can't go there for inspections and then this extraordinarily un-presidential speech. It's impossible to imagine Dwight Eisenhower or Jack Kennedy giving a speech that portrays his adversaries like this. The big development this week was Schumer. Now, the question is, did Schumer come out against this because they already have sufficient votes, sufficient votes for what? Sufficient to override to sustain a veto. I think that's what we're looking at. One-third plus one member of one House of Congress because the president in his ongoing constitutional vandalism will not submit this as a treaty which it obviously should be.
WALLACE: I have to say, that was a really good answer, because you basically answered every question I'm now going to ask all of the others.
WALLACE: It was really sort of one stop shopping. Let me pick up on Schumer. And for folks out there who may not know, Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the number three person in the Democratic leadership in the Senate, but basically he's locked up after Harry Reid retires in 2016, he will be the Senate Democratic leader in 2017. He came out this week during the Republican debate at about 10:00 at night against the vote. The White House wasn't very happy. And here's what they had to say about Chuck Schumer and getting the new job.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOSH EARNEST, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I certainly wouldn't be surprised if there are individual members of the Senate Democratic caucus that will consider the voting record of those who say they would like to lead the caucus.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: In other words, if Chuck Schumer is going to vote against one of the president's top priorities, maybe Democrats shouldn't make them their leader. Lisa, what do you make of Schumer's decision to go against the president on this huge issue and what do you make of that response from the White House?
LERER: Well, the big question here, right, of course, is whether this is an indicator of the vote or an indicator of how tough the politics is. Particularly for Jewish Democrats or Democrats with front states with big Jewish blocks. I think it's more of the latter. Based in part for how he announced this. He announced it after they had left for recess. He announced it sort of quietly. It was supposed to be quietly at night. Like he has it - he signaled that he's not going to be rallying his fellow Democrats against the cause of this Iran deal. So, I think this more has to do with how difficult the politics are for members like Schumer. I also think the president's rhetoric is in part due to the fact that they are beginning to see the House as a sort of firewall. In order to sustain a veto he needs one-third as George pointed out of one body. If that body is the House, that kind of fiery rhetoric plays much better there. So, they may be targeting Democrats in the House to make sure that this thing gets through, of course, by veto.
WALLACE: Well, let's talk about the politics because Congress is now on a six-week recess. They've worked so hard this year so far. And when they get home, they're going to face a huge multimillion dollar - I mean I'm talking tens of millions of dollars lobbying campaign, TV, commercials, all of that by pro-Israel groups against the Iran deal. Laura, how much trouble is this deal in?
INGRAHAM: I don't think it's in much trouble. I think Nancy Pelosi is rounding up the votes in the House. She's a loyalist on this deal. Dick Durbin feels like he has the votes in the Senate. Tammy Baldwin is going to vote for the deal.
WALLACE: Explain who she is and ...
INGRAHAM: Tammy Baldwin is a Wisconsin senator and she's someone people are looking to as the future of the Democratic Party. Kirsten Gillibrand often talked about it, the future ...
WALLACE: New York Senator.
INGRAHAM: Yeah, a presidential contender sometime in the future. She's voting for the deal. The couple people on the fence. Harry Reid is retiring. He's going to ultimately vote for the deal. So, I think this is - Schumer probably does have problems with the deal, but also he has a lot of donors who have problems with the deal. So, it didn't really surprise me that Schumer in the end did this. I don't think it's going to make a difference. So, I think with the Obama insult to anyone who stands against this deal, it is just - it's interesting given this great feeling everybody had after the trade promotion authority was passed with this bipartisan push with Boehner and McConnell. That didn't last long, did it? I mean Obama goes right from that kumbaya moment on trade to filleting the Republicans on Iran. It was pretty - it was Obama-like.
WALLACE: OK. Now, we have kind of touched on this, but let me explain again. Congress does not have to approve this deal. And they certainly don't have to approve it by the super majority for a treaty. Because it is just an executive agreement. So, what happens is let's say that Congress and if they probably will, the Republican majority, votes to disapprove the agreement and then the president can veto that disapproval and then all he needs in one of the - both Houses, one or either House, is one-third plus one in the Senate that would mean 34 votes, 33 plus one, 34, and there are 46 Democrats, I don't know what the math is in the House and what that would mean. But what do you think? I mean are they going to be able to get one-third plus one of Democrats either in the House or the Senate to sustain a presidential veto of a resolution of disapproval? I'm worn out from all that part of ...
LANE: Well, it's good that you explained it, because first of all, to answer your question, yes, I do think at the end of the day, I agree with the rest of the panel, this thing will go through by perhaps a narrow margin. But as you basically described it, what we have here is a game, in which the rules maximize the opportunity to vote without consequence against this deal, right? It's a pretty free vote for everybody who is against it, because at the end of the day the president gets the veto and he will have a minority of supporters enable to get it through.
But I just want to emphasize that as we look at the cost and benefits of this Iran deal, whatever they are, I think we now have to add to the cost side tremendous division within American politics about an issue where in the past there used to be consensus, namely or posture toward Iran. This - the Iranian have achieved, I think, something very important by dividing the United States from Israel, possibly in a lasting way. They have divided Republicans from Democrats and now with the Schumer thing, they are dividing Democrats from Democrats. The opposition to this, obviously, spreads across party lines. And the rhetoric on both sides is as inflammatory as it can possibly be and when the money starts flowing, we'll get more inflammatory.
So, in an area where we used to have some consensus in this country, we now have nothing, but division. I would add there's also a point about presidential leadership here. The last time we had a president as certain he was right about something was just before George Bush decided to invade Iraq. And it's a little ironic and a little, I think, worrisome that the president is quite so certain that he's absolutely right.
WALLACE: We have got about a minute left, George. Let's play this out. Let's assume that Congress kills the deal, you know, and that they are able to muster the votes to override the presidential veto. We would keep - the U.S. would keep our economic sanctions, but the rest of the world is - including the U.N. is dropping their sanctions. What happens then?
WILL: Well, what happens then is Iran gets richer and Iran becomes with its fueled by this money becomes more disruptive in the Middle East, so that the negotiations themselves were a triumph for the Iranians, precisely because they put us in this position. And at the end of this the president's - principle domestic achievement, his legacy will be the Affordable Care Act deeply unpopular five years later and a foreign policy semi-treaty agreement that the country dislikes.
WALLACE: Well, and in that sense, Iran getting richer. That happens whether or not the Congress approves the deal or not because the sanctions are lifted and they also -- the arms embargo is lifted five years from now and the missile embargo is lifted eight years from now.
WILL: That's what I'm saying. The damage was done by the negotiations.
WALLACE: Thank you, panel. See you next Sunday. Up next, our power player of the week. The people's diva gives me a singing lesson.