National Journal columnist Ron Fournier argued Monday night that President Barack Obama could wind up being “one of the worst presidents in our nation’s history” if the Iran deal goes sour.
The political writer added that Obama has two things going against him at this point: 1) that he’s not a “great negotiator” and 2) that his administration is not known for “being very honest and transparent with the American public.”
Fournier made the comments to Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren and ABC News’ Rick Klein, on Monday’s broadcast of “On The Record.”
GRETA VAN SUSTEREN: You know, Ron, I think this is one of the president’s biggest nightmares of his presidency if he can’t get those Arab states — I mean these gulf states on board with this plan. Because that means it will ignite a nuclear arms race, possibly. and they all hate the fact that Iran is going to have billions of dollars in cash when they lift the sanctions.
RON FOURNIER: He is on a razor’s edge here. He’s trying to build his legacy by having a deal that might avert war with Iran but this could easily tip the other way where the Saudis and their allies see that the United States is giving too much to Iran and emboldening Iran by taking away the sanctions, and, possibly, allowing Iran to rush to a nuclear weapon, which could create an arms race, which would be a horrible legacy for the president. He would go down as one of the worst presidents in our nation’s history if this goes as bad as it possibly could. So, like I said, he’s on razor’s edge. This could work out well if we get a legitimate deal. But if it doesn’t, we’re in a lot of trouble.
VAN SUSTEREN: But even legitimate deal, what it does is it puts Iran out of the nuclear arms business possibly for 10 or 15 years, which is good news. That’s the good news. But they have so much money and they spend so much time with their money disturbing that region, whether it’s Hezbollah, or what they are doing in Yemen, or what they’re doing in Syria or what they are doing Sudan. I mean, if Iran has a ton of money that scares the living daylights out of these Gulf statements.
RICK KLEIN: This is one of the biggest gambles that you can imagine in foreign policy, and the president knows what he is going up against with allies in the gulf region. He knows what he is going up against even with friends in congress. This is not a congress that’s on board for the same thing, and he’s going to be leaving the next president with it. If he is right, the history books will have one thing to say, as Ron mentions. If he is wrong, it’s going to be a much harsher judgment. Just even the immediate term, the fact that this summit isn’t what the White House hoped it would be. It’s going to hurt the relations in the region, but it also hurts the coalition building that has to happen here.
FOURNIER: Because, in fairness, this is a possible price for doing nothing. We might have to go to war with Iran which would have his own cataclysmic consequences. So it’s not an easy call. But I can certainly understand why people are very concerned about what he has done so far. He certainly doesn’t have a great track record of being a great negotiator or being very honest and transparent with the American public. Two things that are going to be really important here in the next few months.
VAN SUSTEREN: Of course, Israel doesn’t want Iran having a lot money either.