- The Washington Times - Monday, July 27, 2015

President Obama blasted Republicans Monday for playing “fast and loose” with the facts of his administration’s nuclear deal with Iran and said some GOP presidential candidates are using the issue to divert attention from Donald Trump’s surging campaign.

Responding to former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who said the Iran deal will march Israelis “to the door of the oven,” the president said such criticism from the GOP “would be considered ridiculous if it weren’t so sad.”

“Maybe this is just an effort to push Mr. Trump out of the headlines,” the president said at a news conference in Ethiopia. “But it is not the kind of leadership that is needed in America right now.”

The president recounted other insults directed at him and his advisers by the GOP over the Iran agreement.

“We’ve had a sitting senator call [Secretary of State] John Kerry ‘Pontius Pilate,’ ” Mr. Obama told reporters. “We’ve had a sitting senator who also happens to be running for president suggest that I’m the leading state sponsor of terrorism. These are leaders in the Republican Party. Part of what has made America historically great is, particularly when it comes to foreign policy. … We don’t play fast and loose that way. It is not the kind of leadership that is needed in America right now.”

The president and his advisers are lobbying Congress on the Iran deal, which will impose limits on Tehran’s nuclear program in return for lifting economic sanctions. Congress has 60 days to review the deal.

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