Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ). Photo by Jacob Kornbluh
New Jersey Senator Cory Booker on Thursday blasted his governor, Chris Christie, for finding Hillary Clinton “guilty” of launching diplomatic negotiations with the Iranian regime over their nuclear program during a speech at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland on Tuesday.
“He is blaming somebody for something we should all be celebrating,” Booker told Jewish Insider during a DNC press conference in Cleveland. “Hillary Clinton helped to negotiate China, Russia, UK, France – a unified set of sanctions on Iran, which created an atmosphere which Iran was ready to negotiate.”
“Now, whatever, you think of the Iran deal, this is what I do know thanks to Sec. Clinton’s work: Before this deal, the number one national security concern of Israel was Iran, and how close they were to a nuclear weapon,” he asserted. “Today, every one of their immediate pathways to a bomb has been closed off, and that threat hanging over every single country in the middle East has now been removed.”
Speaking at the Republican convention on Tuesday, Christie – putting himself into the role of a prosecutor – said Clinton’s effort to get the Iranians to the negotiation table led to the Iran nuclear deal, the “worst nuclear deal in history.”
“In Iran, she led the negotiations that brought about the worst nuclear deal in history,” the New Jersey Governor charged. “Let me be clear: America and the world are measurably less safe and less respected because of the Iran deal Hillary helped cut. Period. After she launched those negotiations, she became the biggest cheerleader for it at the end. A deal that will lead to a nuclear Iran, and an Israel that will be less safe and secure and much more dangerous Middle East.”
But the junior senator from New Jersey repudiated that claim by pointing out Clinton’s effort to stop Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.
“I don’t know who wants to blame her for unifying us with our allies — and often our adversaries if you’re talking about Russia,” said Booker. “Unifying all those folks in putting sanctions on Iran. To me, a person that can do that on the international stage is someone that deserves praise.”
Booker, who is considered to be one of the finalists in Clinton’s search for a running mate, went on to draw a contrast between Clinton’s work and the Republican Party’s presidential nominee standing in the world, highlighting the condemnation he drew from NATO leaders over comments he made about withdrawing from America’s pledge to defend NATO countries from outside attacks. “Here is a person that is not even in elected office yet and they’re already destabilizing and straining critical alliances that had helped to keep peace in many regions around the globe,” he said. “That’s the contrast we have here.”