Feeling The Heat, Republican Senator Ron Johnson Backpedals On Iran Letter (Sort Of)

Senator Ron Johnson

At a Friday morning breakfast with Bloomberg reporters and editors, Wisconsin Republican Senator Ron Johnson backpedaled a little on his support for the letter signed by 47 Senators to the leaders of Iran. The controversial letter warned Iranian leaders that U.S. lawmakers or future presidents could disregard any agreements Iran made with President Obama. The patronizing and seditious letter was put forth by Arkansas freshman Senator Tom Cotton, and signed by 46 other Senate Republicans, including Johnson.

After tremendous public backlash, some U.S. Senators have launched into damage control mode, trying to tamp down the righteous outrage of their constituents. Ron Johnson, who faces a tough re-election fight in 2016, told reporters that addressing the letter to Iran’s leaders was a mistake. Of course, he quickly pivoted to saying that the only mistake was who it was addressed to, not the content itself. Nevertheless, the fact that the Senator even recognized that addressing the letter to Iran’s leaders was foolish is noteworthy. Johnson stated:

I suppose the only regret is who it’s addressed to. But the content of the letter, the fact that it was an open letter, none whatsoever.

After acknowledging his regret, he undermined his own statement continuing to want to have it both ways, by adding:

This is such an important deal, it’s a deal that rises to the level of a treaty that really should be evaluated and judged by the American people through their representatives. That treaty should come to Congress for an up-or-down vote.

Apparently Johnson is hoping that his feeble apology, and his halfhearted regrets, will somehow ingratiate himself to Wisconsin’s voters, who have soured on him since he was first elected in November 2010. A poll released on Wednesday showed Johnson trailing the man he beat in 2010, Democrat Russ Feingold, 50-41 in a hypothetical rematch.

Johnson knows that his political future is precarious, so he is attempting to limit the political fallout from signing the “treason letter”, while still trying not to say anything that would potentially offend his tea party base. The Republicans thought they could score a little propaganda victory with the Iran letter, but instead it has backfired in monumental fashion.

While Republicans in deep red states can probably survive the repercussions from their stupid stunt, swing-state senators, like Johnson, may have sealed their political doom. Senator Johnson’s weak efforts to distance himself from his signature may be motivated by his desire for political survival, but the damage has already been done. Whether or not he truly regrets his decision to sign the letter is unclear from his rather mealy-mouthed retraction. However, there is a good chance he will regret signing the letter, shortly after the polls close on Election Night in 2016.

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31 Replies to “Feeling The Heat, Republican Senator Ron Johnson Backpedals On Iran Letter (Sort Of)”

  1. Idiot Johnson should know by now it is NOT a Treaty and something doesn’t rise to that level — it is is a Treaty or it is an agreement between Nations subject to International Law and the Senate cannot block. They still don’t get it – they blew it big time listening to a Freshman Senator who even his Law School professor took him to task he got it wrong. These 47 Republican Senators don’t want to face facts that only they in the history of this Country undermined not only our President in the middle of negotiations with Iran on potention for nuclear weapons but also our National Security.

    Know one person getting a contribution out of me to retire this lowlife — Russ Feingold who is ahead in the polls which I am sure Johnson has seen. But even then his apology is full of holes and refuses to admit that the President is the sole authority to sign agreements with others nations and since there are other countries signing, his argument shows how stupid he is.

  2. Sorry about that; I mean I hate Obama and I’m glad to be a tea bagger and get some Koch money ; well forget it I’m not sorry; but I am sorry I’m not sorry.

  3. I wouldn’t bet on that Mike. This will come back to bite all of them in 2016. Feingold is more than ready to throw this up in Johnson’s face as he wins his seat back, and Democratic candidates will do the same in their elections. This is the doom of the GOP and they know it.

  4. Addressed to whom? Did this numbnuts plan to address this letter to the rest of the P5 nations? What is his message? That you can’t trust the U.S. government? There isn’t any of the 47 that thought this through.

    From this point on, no republican can have a “foreign policy” past go-it-alone. What nation would trust the word of a republican seeking allies when just “a stroke of a pen” could negate any agreement?

    Message to the world: You can probably trust the word of a democrat president, but republicans won’t honor international agreements.

  5. Yep, John McCain, Rafael Cruz, Miss Lindsay Graham,Rand Paul, and the rest of the signers that dont even know the laws they’re supposed to uphold. They have shown themselves incapable of doing ANYTHING constructive. They should all be charged with conspiracy. Its funny, they think they’re smarter than a Constitutional Professor, shows their ignorance.

  6. They violated the Logan Act, it’s that simple. It’s not treason but what they did is an affront not just to the current President, but to the Presidency itself – and, by extension, the American people.

    Whether you like Pres. Obama or not, whether you are a Republican or a Democrat or an I-don’t-know-what, you ought to be pissed off to no end that these people did this.

    They didn’t undermine Obama – they undermined the Oval Office.

    I’d say they ought to be ashamed but, clearly, they have no shame.

  7. None dare call it treason. It’s just Republicans doing business as usual.

    The Senate Republicans’ open letter to Iran wasn’t meant for Iran.

    I don’t believe the Republicans, particularly the ringleader on this one, Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton, are stupid enough to think the Iranians are as stupid as the letter makes them out to be.

    They think their own voters are stupid.

    And that’s who the letter’s meant for.

    The suckers back home.

    Always keep in mind: Everything the Republicans say is aimed at riling up the base. This is always the goal: Keep them mad, keep them afraid, keep them from thinking, keep them writing checks and coming out to vote.
    Read More

  8. Anyone else notice that most repubs are being quiet about this, and I heard that Cotton has gone for a tour of Guantanimo!!!
    Perhaps he is selecting his new room.

  9. Of course these Repubs are silent on this —and going after Hillary to do anything they can to discredit her before 2016 elections. They are ready to haul her into court…and the Dems are saying that what the 47 did was “close” to treason – but no process so far. I do not understand this. The last think I want to be is like them, but it’s past time to fight back…

  10. Bye Bye Ron. The 47 people that they are have shown the American people that they are once again willing to sacrifice their loved ones for bullshit

  11. You can’t “backpaddle” on something like this. The damage is done. Thanks, Ron Johnson, for making the world a more dangerous place and eroding America’s international stature.

    The statement “I wish I hadn’t signed it” is absolutely meaningless. Supposedly, some of them signed it because they wanted to get out of D.C. before a snowstorm. What shallow characters these people have.

  12. PLEASE SIGN and SHARE the Petition at http://wh.gov/iD6Ec to: File charges against Senator Cotton and the signers of the Letter to Iran under 18 U.S. Code § 2381 – Treason – In addition to Violating the Logan Act,18 U.S. Code § 953 Private correspondence with foreign governments; “Whoever, owing allegiance to the United STATES, levies war against them or ADHERES to their ENEMIES, giving them AID and comfort within the United States or ELSEWHERE , is guilty of treason..”

    The Iranian Assembly of Experts, the clerical equivalent of the “Senate,” and the Revolutionary Guard are the Sworn Enemies of the United States and are opposed to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. This letter ADHERES to their position and AIDS our Enemies in Iran continue to prepare for Nuclear War.

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