Indian-American Republican presidential hopeful Bobby Jindal has blamed his party’s lawmakers for getting badly outplayed in their efforts to sink President Barack Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran.
The Capitol Hill Republicans got “conned” by Obama, he said in an interview Wednesday as the president scored a major victory by getting the necessary 34 votes to sustain his veto of a resolution of disapproval in the 100-member Senate.
“I think that the president got conned by the Iranians — he then conned the Senate Republicans and turned it on its head so it only takes 34 votes to save this bad deal,” Jindal told The Huffington Post in Denison, Iowa.
“My fundamental critique is that the Senate Republicans made a mistake,” he added.
“They approved this bill,” said the Louisiana governor who is polling near the bottom of the polls among the crowded field of 17 Republicans in the 2016 presidential race
Jindal argued that congressional Republicans ensured the deal’s passage by setting up a vote of disapproval, which was unlikely to get the two-thirds majority necessary to override an inevitable presidential veto.
The Republicans should have tried “harder” for a vote of approval rather than disapproval when the Congress in May overwhelmingly passed a bill that gave lawmakers a 60-day review period to consider any deal.
Jindal, according to HuffPost, didn’t acknowledge the necessity of a trade-off that gave Congress a say in the deal in suggesting Republicans should have tried harder.
“I think they gotta go home and say they passed a bill, they’ve got to go home and take political credit.
“But it really isn’t stopping a bad deal. This was predictable when they voted on the bill. They should have stood up and fought back then,” he said.
Jindal also criticised presidential contenders in the senate for supporting the bill, specifically naming Senator Ted Cruz.
“None of the Senate Republicans running for president, including Senator Cruz, stood up and voted against this bad bill,” he said, “and I think they put us in this bad position.”
Jindal dismissed Cruz’s argument made in May that the bill ensured “a Congressional debate on the merits of the Iran deal”.
Republicans have shown a pattern of “giving up before they fight”, he said.
“What’s the point of having a majority if they’re not going to fight for our principles?” Jindal said. “I’m angrier with the Republicans. At least the Democrats are honest.”