A crowd of several hundred New Yorkers rallied outside Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand’s Third Ave. Manhattan office Tuesday, demanding that she change her vote and oppose the administration’s Iran nuclear deal.
The White House secured 34 Democratic votes Wednesday, enough for the deal to make it through the Senate, but many are hoping some in the upper chamber will change their mind. New York’s other Democratic senator, Chuck Schumer, opposes the deal.
Republican presidential candidate Sen. Lindsey Graham joined former Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman, Clinton administration CIA Director R. James Woolsey, and Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino, The Observer reports.
“The ayatollah hates everybody here,” Graham said to the crowd. “You might as well write the check to Hezbollah! You’re crazy to give him the pathway to a bomb. You’re crazy to give him a missile to deliver it. And you need to understand who he is. He is a religious Nazi. He wants a master religion, not a master race. He would kill everybody here if he could. When he says ‘death to Israel,’ he literally means it. When he says, ‘Death to America,’ he wants to accomplish it.”
Lieberman asked the howling crowd, “How can you make an agreement with a country that wants to kill you? How can you make an agreement with a country that wants to kill you?”
He continued, “It’s pretty hard. Maybe only if it’s airtight. And this agreement is full of holes. You know it all — 24 days is minimum to get inspections. Later the secret agreement we find out allows them to self-inspect the Parchin.”
He later said, “We end our economic sanctions on Iran. They get a legitimate legalized path to nuclear weapons. How could anyone reasonably support such an agreement? So I want to thank Sen. Schumer. I wanted to say to my former colleague and my friend Kirsten Gillibrand, who I respect and like that I was deeply disappointed.”
As Lieberman brought up Gillibrand’s name, boos and hisses could be heard from the crowdaccording to The Observer.
He added, “I was shocked. I was amazed when she came out in support of this agreement. I know it’s unlikely but I want to appeal to Sen. Gillibrand. Look inside your heart. Look inside your head. Look at facts that have come out about this agreement since you declared that you were for it. Particularly the secret side agreement and the self-inspection at Parchin and do what is reasonable and courageous. Change your vote.”
The crowd began to chant the refrain, “change your vote” as Lieberman continued. He later concluded, while referencing Winston Churchill, “Are we going to give up? You bet your life we are not going to give up. And neither am I. And eventually we will stop Iran from becoming a nuclear power.”